THE RULE BREAKER and THE STATEMENT MAKER
DESIGNER, BARCLAY BUTERA
All-American interior designer Barclay Butera doesn’t play by the rules; and that’s what keeps his luxury lifestyle designs fresh, timeless, and at their core, elegant and comfortable. That willingness to take chances is also the foundation of his success in creating an internationally recognized design firm that has grown into a multidimensional, world-class brand. About his approach, Butera says, “When it comes to great style, there is no rule book to follow. There is no defined set of boundaries or template to copy. Quite the opposite: great style is about making a statement. It is inherently personal and forever evolving.”
“THE ONE CONSTANT IS THAT WE ALL WANT TO SURROUND OURSELVES WITH THE THINGS THAT WE FEEL A CONNECTION TO AND PIECES THAT INSPIRE US.”
Raised in the interiors world, Butera cut his design teeth while working with the family business as an associate design director. At 25 years old, Butera was offered the opportunity to create and run his own case goods company in Los Angeles, setting him on the path to launch his brand, career, and signature style to a global market. Today, the Barclay Butera brand includes three showrooms including his flagship showroom in Newport Beach, California. The success of that original showroom inspired the opening of popular showrooms in Hollywood, California, and Park City, Utah. In addition to these showrooms, Butera has created retail offerings, private label furnishings, design services, licensing partnerships, and a series of inspirational books that capture his commitment to making the good life a great life, all through his iconic, imitable style.
For Butera, helping his clients balance what they want and what they need is always front and center. “I’m a huge believer in the Client for Life—developing a long-term relationship,” Butera says, “is about quality time and service.” It’s also about understanding how to make each space a reflection of his client. He seamlessly integrates his client’s heritage pieces with pattern-on-pattern fabrics and bold textures of a more contemporary design vernacular. He says, “Whether a person lives in a coastal beach town or an urban city, there will always be something distinctly different about them that will set them apart from the rest and make them one-of-a-kind. The one constant is that we all want to surround ourselves with the things that we feel a connection to and the pieces that inspire us.”
Butera creates fashion for the home that is both innovative and timeless with his West Coast twist. And he does this without adhering to one style or another and, yes, he challenges the rules when necessary. With a solid foundation in traditional American, European, and Far East influences, Butera finds inspiration in everything from fashion to his world travels, as well as Slim Aarons cinematic photography and crisp Tom Ford suits.
Making his mark in design since 1994, Butera understands the evolutionary nature of the field; design should be, after all, reflective of who we are, and of course, we are ever-evolving.
Butera says, “My personal style has changed dramatically over the years and has been influenced by a mixture of my life experiences, the unique people I have met, and the interesting places I have visited in my travels.
“Early on, I was never one to take the conventional approach, but lately I have found value in the feeling of comfort; I gravitate to items that evoke a sense of ease. I have discovered that more often than not, it is one great piece that makes the most interesting statement rather than several items that are just not the right fit. From purchasing my first beach cottage bungalow to renovating my current mid-century home, mine is a style that is ever-changing but one that is all my own.”
His years of working closely with refined clients with a variety of backgrounds has, in part, inspired the development of three separate entities within the Barclay Butera brand. The first, Barclay Butera Interiors, is home to his four showrooms that service an extensive celebrity clientele as well as premier hospitality and commercial projects such as L’Auberge Del Mar. Barclay Butera Home is a couture upscale brand which focuses on Butera’s fine bench-made upholstery. Distributed to retailers and designers nationally, this entity has a far reach. And finally, Barclay Butera Lifestyle, a moderately priced collection of licensed wares that Butera developed, provides “aspirational designs and attainable prices.”
Butera has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Extra!, CBS, ABC, Fox, Beautiful Homes & Great Estates, and HGTV; has received press in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal; House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Veranda, House & Garden, Elle Decor, Luxe, Town & Country, Robb Report, and Esquire magazines. If you’re wondering how one man has the energy to accomplish all of this, we are too. It is this drive, fueled by a passion for design, that has elevated Barclay Butera to the level of icon in the design world.