Barclay Butera: “In Interior Design, There Are No Rules”

The Design Bloggers Conference is thrilled to have the amazing Barclay Butera, President & CEO of Barclay Butera Inc., as a featured speaker in the session LA Confidential, where attendees will hear Butera and Suzanne Rheinstein, two of LA’s leading designers, talk about their current designs and projects. Attendees will learn first hand about their philosophy and trend-setting approach to design, and gain exclusive information and insight about the future of design.

Butera has been redefining luxury his entire career and one thing has not changed: his firm belief in helping his clients achieve the “Better-Best” concept of living. The end result is a glamorous, yet completely livable environment that often integrates the client’s heritage pieces into the Butera philosophy of blending furniture and pattern-on pattern fabrics and textures. He also frequently uses the mantra: “In interior design there are no rules.”

Butera grew up in the interior design business, working with his mother who designed for private clients worldwide. Earning his degree in political science and economics, he pursued a career in law after graduation. Within a year he returned to the interior design industry, opening his mother’s Southern California office. At 25, he found himself faced with a business opportunity to create and run his own stylish case goods company in Los Angeles. In 1993, he selected a strong team to grow with him and showcase the complete lifestyle direction in which he was heading. Butera’s taste, passion and vision were executed by his new staff, which included defining a new approach to cross-merchandising in furniture retailing.

Butera takes traditional fashion elements and interprets all aspects of tailored couture clothing into interior design. In creating ‘fashion for the home’, he has always guided his clients to integrate their own personal pieces with new classics that contain an edgier element. His transitional style grounds itself in European, American and Far East traditional influences, while adding his own contemporary twist. He is inspired by everything from fashion to his many travels and by all cultural periods. He especially enjoys the quintessential mid-20th c. American styles of old Hollywood, vintage West Palm Beach and early American design emphasizing clean, classic, tailored lines and the importance of intriguing fabrics and bold patterns. For a designer such as Butera, who conceives of a better-best living space akin to forming a great wardrobe, these design elements – along with integrity, creativity and timelessness—are key to his vision.

Butera has always focused on listening to the client and working closely with what they want. “I’m a huge believer in developing a lifetime partnership with my clients,” he says. “I also believe that you have to have something for everyone. It’s always about the customer, the quality, and service.” To that end, the entrepreneur designer has developed two umbrella brand identifiers within the Barclay Butera brand that focus on different qualities and price points, covering a vast spectrum of client needs.

BARCLAY BUTERA HOME (www.barclaybuterahome.com) is the couture upscale brand which focuses on his fine bench-made upholstery and case goods, is distributed through over 300 retailers and designers nationally and will soon be more accessible through high-end designer showrooms in the top design centers throughout the country. To date, Butera’s luxury brand can be found in the Denver Design District at Phoebe Marsh, Chicago’s famed Merchandise Mart in DeAurora, and the ultra-chic ID Collection showrooms in both Dallas and Houston. Atlanta and San Francisco markets are underway.

BARCLAY BUTERA INC. (www.barclaybutera.com) features his three self-owned retail/design showrooms: his flagship in Newport Beach, CA, his ultra-chic design studio in Los Angeles servicing celebrity clientele as well as premiere hospitality and commercial clients, and a satellite showroom in Park City, UT, focusing on sophisticated mountain living. Rounding out the mix for Barclay Butera Home is a custom upholstery and pillow line for THE HEARST CASTLE COLLECTION®.

Butera has also created a more price-sensitive collection of fine furnishings under the BARCLAY BUTERA LIFESTYLE brand showcased at (www.BarclayButeraLifestyle.com). The line was developed to provide consumers with “aspirational design at attainable prices”, fulfilling Butera’s promise of his better-best approach to design. The diverse collection of furnishings is offered in his signature TOWN, COUNTRY, CITY, MODERN BEACH AND PLANTATION lifestyles affording consumers more choices than ever before.

Complements to Butera’s Lifestyle furnishings include an extensive collection of fabrics and rugs for Kravet, a coordinating paint palette developed in tandem with Kravet for Benjamin Moore, and launching spring 2011 a clean crisp collection of outdoor textiles with Kravet as well. Included in Butera’s other licensing offerings is an extensive 400 sku collection of art from Wendover Art Group, elegant lighting with Bradburn Lighting Gallery, natural sisal and abaca rugs with Merida and coming holiday 2010 a new line of candles and home fragrance with Zodax. Zodax will also be introducing an extremely comprehensive collection of home accessories and décor launching at the spring 2011 High Point Market. Also debuting spring 2011 is a program of elegant bedding with Eastern Accents and a new coffee table book is on the horizon!

Both the BARCLAY BUTERA HOME and BARCLAY BUTERA LIFESTYLE brands will continue to reflect Butera’s reputation of focusing on better-best living. Just as the automobile industry has developed better/best levels of automobiles (3 series, 5 series, 7 series for example), Butera continues to approach the home furnishings industry as a well-rounded wardrobe, because as he notes, “We all love our Gap t-shirt mixed with a great pair of designer jeans.”

Butera’s book, Living In Style (Assouline Publishing), a 17-year retrospective of his interior design projects divided into lifestyles, was released in the Fall of 2008. He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, Extra!, CBS, ABC, Fox, Beautiful Homes & Great Estates and HGTV; and has received press in the New York and Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Veranda, House & Garden, ELLE DECOR, Western Interiors & Design, Luxe, Robb Report, Esquire, and 1stdibs.com.

Butera’s long list of accomplishments includes:

  • Assouline Publishing’s 17-year retrospective book “Barclay Butera: Living In Style”.
  • Exclusive designer of a Hearst Castle bedroom; first interior design of a room at the Castle in 50 years.
  • Panelist on “Ahead of the Curve” Las Vegas Design Center/World Market 2009 filmed panel hosted by Susanna Salk.
  • Keynote speaker on panels such as the Wall Street Journal, Luxury Home Alliance, ASID, and other conferences including the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and international bi-annual High Point Market.
  • One of House Beautiful’s “Top 125” designers and “Top 25” furniture manufacturers in the country.
  • IFDA New York winner of Circle of Excellence Interior Designer of the Year.
  • Western Interiors & Design “Top 100 Designers”.
  • Mountain Living Magazine’s top 50 designers.
  • Nationally recognized member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
  • Creative Director for the $26MM redesign of the historic Hotel L’Auberge del Mar, in Del Mar, California.
  • Designer, WOW Collection model penthouse for The Residences at W Hollywood, Spring 2010.
  • Lead designer in multiple, internationally recognized showhouses. Design projects include participation in Los Angeles (Bel Air, Brentwood), New York, the Hamptons, Miami, and Chicago for Hearst and Condé Nast Publications. Includes such magazines as House Beautiful, Esquire, House & Garden and Veranda.
  • Official Provider of the Sundance Film Festival 2010; helped produce Opening Night: An Artist at the Table.
  • Designed and sponsored venues during Sundance Film Festival since 2005.
  • Featured in Kravet Inc.’s book, “Inspired Styles”, published by Assouline Publications.
  • Designer of the prestigious Orchid Dinner sponsored by Veranda magazine to benefit The New York Botanical Garden at New York’s renowned Rainbow Room.
  • Exclusive designer for Hamptons Classic Polo match dinner opening day gala.
  • Los Angeles Chair for 2008 DIFFA Dining By Design.
  • Regular supporter of institutions such as DIFFA, The Children’s Action Network, the Sundance Institute, Project Angel Food, APLA, GLEH, National Assistance League, Junior League, Infant Welfare of Chicago, the Palm Beach International Fine Art &
  • Antique Fair Design Committee, and charities local to his collection showrooms.
  • Donated all proceeds of the sale of his custom-designed Airstream Trailer to the Children’s Action Network charity (‘08).
  • Press includes New York Times, New York Post, NewsDay, Wall Street Journal, MSN.com, CNN.com Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Esquire, Veranda, House & Garden, ELLE DECOR, Florida Design, Western Interiors & Design, Coastal Living, Domino, In Style, Oprah at Home, Interior Design, Robb Report, Luxury Home Quarterly, Boutique Design, HD, Hollywood Life, Estates West, Country Home, Real Simple, BizBash, NUVO (Canada), Property Weekly (Dubai) and extensive features on 1stDibs, Gilt and Decorati.
  • Television appearances include NBC’s “Today Show”, EXTRA!, CBS, Fox11 L.A., KTLA, HGTV and Beautiful Homes and Great Estates.
  • Butera’s great respect for homes with Hollywood history led him to return several to their original heritage glory, with his own twist. They include: a bungalow in Laguna Beach formerly owned by Bette Davis; Frank Sinatra’s “Twin Palms” estate in Palm Springs, CA; and Desi Arnaz, Jr.’s longtime Hollywood home given to him by his mother Lucille Ball. All of these redesigned homes have been published.
  • Butera hosted pre-Oscar and Sundance-related parties in conjunction with magazines such as Hollywood Life, Modern Luxury publications, Entertainment Weekly an Los Angeles Times. He also hosted parties with Architectural Digest, ELLE DECOR and Robb Report.

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