Designer Profile: Barclay Butera

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, West-Coast-chic interiors.




What inspired this career path for you? After a brief stint in law school, I began working at my mother’s design firm as an apprentice. I quickly realized I was happiest in a creative field. I do have to say that my business acumen and knowledge from law school have served me well.

What is your go-to source for inspiration? Without question, my extensive travels and love of fashion are major influences. I just got back from Paris and London, and I have overwhelmed myself with ideas for interiors and product design.

Tell us about your creative process. Although each project vastly differs, ranging from high-end residential interiors to large-scale hospitality jobs, the one thing I always do is start with a vision in my mind. It can be an object, a place, or even a moment in time that can inspire, and once I capture that image the rest just flows.

Describe your style in 6 words or less. That’s a tough one, since I focus on a range of styles to cater to the tastes of my clientele. Overall, I would say everything I do is, “Well-thought out and pulled together.”

What’s a staple in your tool kit? My iPhone — I don’t know what I would do without it. Communication is the most important tool for any successful project.

Who do you look up to in the design world? There are so many icons out there that I respect; I’m a fan of the original tastemakers in our industry like Sister Parish, Albert Hadley, and Mark Hampton, always spot-on, chic, and exquisite.

If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be? A sleek and fashionable Manhattan residence for Tom Ford, modeled after his favorite Upper East Side hotel, the Carlyle.

Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. “No question, hands down: there are no rules.” Mix leopard with stripes and plaid, mid-century with modern and vintage. If you love something, it will work in any room in your home; just own it.

Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? I find inspiration everywhere in media, so it’s difficult to pinpoint a few. However, I will say that Pinterest has been an excellent resource for organizing all of the infinite ideas and inspiration that are out there.

Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet, e.g., do any have unique backstories, in what kind of space do you hope they end up, etc.? Although each piece has individual show-stopping qualities, I curated with a mindset that everything would be harmonious, much like a fashion collection. This group of furniture represents my latest obsession with warm, rich colors accompanied by brass and ebony finishes.

What do you love about Viyet? It’s a unique and user-friendly way to shop and acquire unusual pieces for your home; the variety is limitless.

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