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10 Questions with Designer Barclay Butera

West Coast interior designer Barclay Butera sits down with RugNews.com to talk style, his new licensed rugs by Jaipur Living, favorite colors and more.

Lisa Vincenti
Headshot of Barclays Butera
Interior designer Barclay Butera

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Luxury interior designer Barclay Butera has been creating elegant yet casual West Coast-styled interiors for more than two decades.

His design business launched in 1994 with the opening of his Newport Beach showroom, and Butera has since expanded his reach with studios in Corona del Mar and Park City, Utah. What's more, his all-American distinctive style, which offers classic looks with a fresh twist, today includes a successful branded furniture portfolio with Lexington Home Brand (LHB) -- and his just-introduced area rugs by Jaipur Living, comprised of three initial collections and seven designs,  build on the LHB program.

"The three rug collections were designed specifically with Newport, Brentwood and Malibu, my three furniture collections from LHB, in mind," Butera told RugNews.com.

His area rugs offer a choice of fibers: viscose, a wool and viscose blend, and wool and sisal blend, each crafted to capture the essence of his multi-faceted aesthetic. Newport includes abstract and geometric patterns with a modern coastal vibe reflected in blue and white with splashes of glass green, or soft sand and white color combinations. Brentwood, with a pearl gray and celadon green palette, offers a fresh approach to formal yet comfortable living. And the Malibu rugs reflect Butera's eclectic and global style.

Barclay Butera's new rug program with Jaipur builds off his successful furniture line with Lexington Home Brand.

RugNews.com sits down with Barclay Butera to discuss his signature style and how he recast his design ethos for the floor.

How would you describe your design style?

California-based interior designer Barclay Butera creates a classic sophisticated setting for a Newport Beach home.

B.B.: I definitely love a glamorous home but it has to be warm, comfortable and inviting. And while my projects often have a sophisticated but easy West-Coast vibe, my designs translate seamlessly to mountain, loft and city-transitional properties alike.

What is your philosophy on design?

B.B.: I like to think of myself as being a “therapist for the home”. When you work so closely with clients, on such a deeply personal level, you truly become part of their family; the entire process becomes a “yours, mine and ours” project. I guess you could say that’s my own design philosophy.

How do area rugs fit into your designs?

Among Barclay Butera's preferred palettes are blue and white and here ticking-inspired rug, upholstery and accents creates a casual beachside vibe.

B.B.: Rugs are often the starting point. When we find a spectacular base, the paint, wallpaper, upholstery and colors often come naturally after that.

What were the most important criteria for you in the creation of your new area rug collection – and choice of licensing partner?

B.B.: We are thrilled to partner with Jaipur Living! They have an authentic understanding of our desire for quality and spectacular design. Of course we wanted these first collections to complement our expansive furniture lines with Lexington Home Brands, but we are also confident they far supersede those parameters. The rugs stand on their own, and we excited to specify them in our own design projects nationwide.

Do you have a favorite design from your new Jaipur Living collaboration?

Barclay Butera counts the Canyon design from his new area rug collection Malibu by Jaipur among his favorites.

B.B.: One of my favorite designs from the collection is the Canyon rug from the Malibu collection. It has a hand-loomed quality and showcases an erased medallion motif that is very unique -- it retains its Old World elegance but still feels fresh and modern.

Who is your clientele today? Did you set out to target that demographic?

This Miami home's dining room designed by Barclay Butera merges an eclectic range of styles from classic to contemporary, for a modern approach.

B.B.: I am very fortunate to have a range of extremely loyal clients. It can be that young millennial who purchases her first candle from my showroom, then we go on to do her apartment, then the first home, etc. My client base is established families across the country: executives, sports figures, celebrities. And yes, most have luxury properties, but all share a love for good, timeless design and I am grateful to say have appreciation for what I do.

How do you start a new design project?

This elegant home office in Palm Desert, California, offers a classic Persian design in modern colorations for pops of inspiration.

B.B.: It all starts with the structure, architecture and property. I think the interiors need to complement that design to feel authentic. Once I have a feel for the property and client tastes we hit the ground running.

How do you combine beauty and function?

A black and white area rug sets a bold foundation in this Snowmass, Colorado, living room designed by Butera.

B.B.: I am careful to select the highest quality upholstery a client can afford. You never want to skimp there. Case goods can be investment pieces or an occasional fun piece or two. But there is an art to pulling it all together. And traffic flow and furniture layout need to respect how the family spends their time, what their lifestyle is. Pretty is fairly easy, it’s making it functional, and all the while being gorgeous, that is the backbone of my business.

What colors, textures and furniture/decor pieces do you love the most?

Blue and white are some of Barclay Butera's top color pairings and his new abstract Newport area rug from Jaipur recasts combination for the floor.

B.B.: Well, everyone knows me for my love affair with blue and white, and I do not fight that reputation. My other signatures are animal prints and lots of textures and layers. That and good art are essential.

What would you consider as one of your most career-defining projects?

B.B.: It really had to be the Celebrity Bel-Air show house that put me on the national map with House Beautiful in the early 2000s. I was a young newcomer in a sea of seasoned design icons, and I am happy to say my coach house was a media hit and the homeowner purchased it right down to the accessories. That was a game-changer.

Barclay Butera creates an utterly elegant and inviting bedroom for this sophisticated Newport Beach, California, bedroom.
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