Bassman Blaine was fortunate to sit down with Design Campus and Southern California native and celebrity interior designer, Barclay Butera, to discuss his inspiration and his beautiful collection at Leftbank Art. Barclay Butera Private Collection by Leftbank Art, is an eclectic collection is inspired by Butera’s worldwide travels and includes his original photography, abstracts influenced by the colors of the sea, textiles found at a Parisian flea market, fabric that has been reprinted from an original on canvas and vintage block prints. The line has been created to complement his signature interiors as well as his furniture collection with Highland House.
Since 1994, Barclay Butera has been the creative force behind his eponymous design firm and showroom in Newport Beach, California. His success in Newport prompted Butera to establish showrooms in Hollywood, California, and Park City, Utah. Butera is renowned for his approachable elegance and glamorous, chic interiors. His passion for interior design began over two decades ago, and has grown into an impressive lifestyle enterprise that is known and sought after around the world today.
Barclay’s spectacular design projects and his myriad of licensing collections are frequently featured in luxury consumer publications, decor and lifestyle magazines. Butera is also the author of five elegant coffee-table books: Living In Style (Assouline, 2008), Barclay Butera – Living On The Coast (Gibbs-Smith, 2012), Barclay Butera – Getaways and Retreats (Gibbs-Smith, 2013), Barclay Butera: Past, Present, Inspired (Gibbs-Smith, 2015), and Barclay Butera: Modern Living (Gibbs-Smith, 2016) a look beyond his traditional coastal designs and a showcase of his unique ability to create enchanting homes.
INTERVIEW WITH BARCLAY
1. When did you first become interested in interior design? When did you first know you wanted to be an interior designer?
Barclay: My mother who has practiced interior design for 50 years was and is a big influence on me. But I didn’t start right after school. In my early 20’s, I actually went to law school and I quickly realized it wasn’t for me. So I followed my true passion, interior design, and started my own business at age 27.
2. What is something you wish you knew when you first started in the industry? What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Barclay: Luckily, most of these items I already knew but my advice is know who your market is and make sure your brand (you) relates to that clientele. Also, really get to know people and make connections. Be active in local charities and make meaningful relationships. I am where I am today because of the relationships throughout my life and career.
3. It’s your time to brag a bit: What past project of yours are you most proud of?
Barclay: It’s hard to pick but I would have to say the Luxury Hotel L’Auberge Del Mar in San Diego. I was given complete creative freedom for the entire interior and exterior which is an opportunity most interior designers do not get. From the color scheme, lighting, furnishings, accessories, architecture and landscaping… you name it!
4. If you were not an interior designer, what would you be?
Barclay: A rock star!
5. Are you inspired by other, designers, artists? If so, whom and why?
Barclay: I’m inspired by many iconic designers but right now I am inspired by today’s millennials who are pushing the boundaries in interior design. I’m proud of those who have that drive and those who will be ahead of the game because of their passion and determination.
6. What sets your aesthetic apart from other interior designers?
Barclay: Symmetry provides the Barclay Butera stamp of approval throughout all my designs. Layering is also very important in my design aesthetic. And it’s important to note there are so many aspects to layering, which includes carpets, art, textiles, lighting, window coverings – not just textiles.
7. It goes without saying that in addition to being a talented designer, you also have to be a smart business person, in order to run a successful design firm. What would you say is the key to achieving that success?
Barclay: I wouldn’t have been able to build my design firm and brand without my staff. I think it’s important to be able to let go and trust the team you have built to accomplish your company’s goals. By doing that, you allow your staff to grow as individuals and ultimately grow with you.
8. What does your own home look like? Is it different from what you design for clients?
Barclay: You can actually see my home in my previous book, Past, Present, Inspired, and others I own and have owned throughout the years. My home in Newport Beach, CA follows my signature design aesthetic, coastal chic with an open and airy feel.
9. What is your favorite color?
Barclay: Blue & white
10. What is your favorite city?
11. Tell us about your new book, Modern Living. What sets it apart from your previous published?
Barclay: Most people know me for my All-American design and aesthetic and I wanted to really show the breath of the projects Barclay Butera Interiors takes on. From high rises in Los Angeles to mountain homes in Park City Utah to desert destinations in Palm Springs, you’ll be able to see our take on Modern Living and simplifying your lifestyle with a clean oasis.
12. What are some exciting projects you are working on right now?
Barclay: I recently launched a new line of wallpaper with MDC Wallcoverings which will also be sold through Kravet. It’s been so well received that we are already working on a second line. I am also coming out with a new outdoor collection with Castelle that will launch next Spring at High Point Market.
View 200 Art Pieces from Barclay’s Designer Collection at Leftbank Art
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