Ceci Beach Design
Ceci Beach, a New York native, earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon and her MSc from Columbia University. She gained experience in real estate development in both New York City and the Turks & Caicos Islands before securing a management position at the renowned design firm Champalimaud. Ceci's family background in interior design kindled her interest in the field, as both her aunt and grandmother worked as designers – with endless fabric samples lying around and auctions always being feverishly anticipated. However, it was her time at Champalimaud that opened her eyes to the international world of design and its many expressions of beauty. Ceci harnessed this design inspiration and appreciation during her relocation to Lexington, KY in 2015, where she currently owns and operates an interior decor business, Ceci Beach Design, along with its sister company, C. BIRD, a storefront filled with antiques and unique finds.
In Her Words...read on to get to know Ceci!
How did you get started in Interior Design? What is your background?
I had a teacher in 8th grade who said I had a circuitous brain; that my mind wouldn’t go from A to B, but would go to every nook and cranny along the way and then, finally, end up at the point. At the time I was offended, but I know now it’s just a sign of an active mind and imagination. It seems my path to interior design was also circuitous.
I was an English major in college and had plans to be a writer, but soon realized that might be a bit too solitary a career path for me. I then went to graduate school for real estate development and worked in that arena for a few years before trying my hand at design. My friends had always encouraged me to take this path, but I didn’t think it was realistic or that I had a distinct enough point of view.
Moving to Lexington and working on my own house gave me the confidence to start taking on clients and turn what was something I considered a hobby into a career. It’s such a relief to really love what you do and jump out of bed with excitement, on most days, for what lies ahead.
What inspires you today? Who are your design "crushes" or favorite Instagram accounts for inspiration?
I find inspiration in a lot of places, but mainly when travelling and I have the time to really study the details. Right now I think Beata Heuman in London is doing cool things. Heidi Caillier in Seattle is amazing–very moody, layered Pacific Northwest vibes. A dear friend of mine who is also an exceptional designer, Elizabeth Pyne Singer, recently gave me a book of the work of Samuel Marx who was a modernist architect and designer. The beauty of his work is quite stunning.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Great question! I like for every project to be different and for every space to be a direct reflection of those who live in it or use it.
photo by Justin Cordova
What do you love most about including original art in your designs?
Original art is alive and evokes emotion. It's also vitally important that we support artists in producing original work–what would life be without art?
photo by Shaun Ring
I'd love to work on a ski house.
Favorite thing about living in the south?
Nothing beats Kentucky in the springtime.
photo by Shaun Ring
Current design trend that you think should take an early retirement?
Furniture made from engineered wood that has a very short lifespan.
What is your favorite room in your own home?
Our bedroom. I think people often leave their bedroom to be decorated last because “no one sees it.” My advice is always–do your bedroom first- you see it and if it is beautiful, you will enjoy it 8 hours a day!
What are your three "must haves" in order to create an inviting space?
Great lighting, antiques and rugs
What are some design upgrades you recommend to clients that won't break the bank?
Paint, lighting and hardware.