Tips & Ideas: 10 Minutes With Barclay Butera
Inspiration is everywhere,” said lauded national interior designer Barclay Butera, in town recently to promote his rug line along with his newest title, Barclay Butera: Living in Style.
He went on to tell a packed house at Fine Rugs of Charleston’s Meeting Street showroom, “Just walk down King Street and pay attention to store windows... note the way retailers style them. Take cues from fashion, outfits you’re especially drawn to, and incorporate these colors and patterns into your surroundings.”
The California native went on to extol the virtues of livable design and explain how to amplify natural surroundings through smartly planned interiors. Given that his work has graced the pages of Elle Decor, House Beautiful, and Traditional Home, and that his client roster includes the likes of Michael Bublé, Reese Witherspoon, and Renée Zelwegger, his audience was a rapt one.
The designer, who by his 20s had established his own firm in Newport Beach, California, and followed that with an international home furnishings line—the Barclay Butera Collection—then fabric and rug lines with textile giant Kravet, shared his influences with the crowd. Among them? Dorothy Draper, Sister Parrish, and his own mother, who made a living designing model homes for subdivisions around the country. We caught up withBarclay on his first visit to the Holy City to talk coastal design, budget buys, going glam, and finding your look.
Words To Live By
On designing on the coast:
I think it’s a mistake to chase down a “coastal look.” Living on the coast is about the view and creating a design that amplifies your surroundings. For example, in the design of one coastal home, I used lots of blacks, camels, and ebony furniture to create a serene feeling that didn’t overpower the view.
On achieving glamour:
Particularly in houses with children, it’s best to glam up hard surfaces that can’t easily be damaged, such as flooring, backsplashes, or cabinetry. You can easily work luxe details into everyday rooms, such as the master bath or even a closet. Think pearlized mosaic or Greek key tile—it doesn’t have to be a floor-to-ceiling makeover.
On rug selection:
Rugs don’t have to fade into the background—I often select the rug first and coordinate the entire room around it. Don’t be afraid to get creative. I love layering a broadloom on a wall-to-wall for added depth and texture.
On designing on a budget:
The best way to make your dollar stretch? Focus on high-quality, core pieces that will really last. The last thing you want to do is purchase a sofa that will need replacing two years down the road. Once you’ve spent the bulk of your budget on well-made furniture, you can easily work in less expensive finds.