We had the chance to sit down with nationally recognized interior and product designer and long-time friend of Design Campus, Barclay Butera, whose latest book Modern Living is an inspirational look at his varied projects in cities across the US. 

Design Campus. When did you first become interested in interior design/When did you first know you wanted to be an interior designer?

Barclay Butera. 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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus.  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 Butera. 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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. It’s your time to brag a bit: What past project of yours are you most proud of?

Barclay Butera. 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!

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. If you were not an interior designer, what would you be?

Barclay Butera. A rock star!

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

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Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. Are you inspired by other, designers, artists? If so, whom and why?

Barclay Butera. 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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. What sets your aesthetic apart from other interior designers?

Barclay Butera. 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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. 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 Butera.  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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. What does your own home look like? Is it different from what you design for clients?

Barclay Butera. You can actually see my home in my pervious 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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. What is your favorite color(s)?

Barclay Butera. Blue & white

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. What is your favorite city?

Barclay Butera. Paris

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

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Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. Tell us about your new book, Modern Living.  What sets it apart from your previous published?

Barclay Butera. 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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

Design Campus. What are some exciting projects you are working on right now?

Barclay Butera. 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.

Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

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Design Icon Barclay Butera for Design Campus

For your daily dose of Barclay Butera’s SoCal style, follow him on Instagram @barclaybutera!




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