I was sick to my stomach that the man I'd been admiring for years wasn't going to live up to my expectations. Sad, I know, but true. He's such an inspiration to me because he has created a lifestyle brand Ala Ralph Lauren. Similar rich layered looks but with a West Coast casual yet elegant spin. He creates rooms you want to live in, not just be photographed in. I'm happy to report he was as charming as I'd hoped. He was also very real and kind of shy. Not at all what I can pictured, but it made him even more enduring.
Barclay was at the Seattle Kravet showroom to promote his new fabric and rug line with Kravet and give a lecture on "Decorating in Today's Economy". He gave a short presentation that featured many of his iconic rooms from the past 15 years as well as some of his new hospitality ventures. He touched on how he grew up in the business with his mother who decorated show houses around the world. Sounds like she was a kick and a strong influence.
As for the lecture piece, these were his tips. Go back to your roots and do what you did to make you successful originally, and focus on service, service, service. He is also a big believer in "no job is too small" as you never know where it's going to lead, and making sure your clients expectations are exceeded so they will be a client for life. Solid advice Barclay in any economic climate.
He just finished as the Creative Director on the renovation of the L'Auberge Del Mar. To see his renovation click here . He wanted to create a lifestyle experience with his brand which I think he succeeded in doing. (Smart business decision - another reason he's one of my design idols). This resort is so fabulous and more of his modern beach chic (no blue and white here).
He has a rich website with amazing photos, http://www.barclaybutera.com,/ where you can see the rest of his portfolio. He breaks his work and fabric collections into five different categories: Beach, Town and Country, Mountain, Desert and City.
Here's a small sampling of each of the categories. I have eight years worth of magazine tears but I didn't have time to scan them all. Some of my favorite rooms, however, can be viewed on his website. It's worth the trip.