Interior designer releases coffee-table book
Here’s an analogy to inform one’s fashion I.Q.: Barclay Butera is to curtains, candles and rugs as Ralph Lauren is to polo shirts.
Butera, who opened a showroom in Park City in 2002, launches a new lifestyle line of accessories with the debut of his first coffee-table book and a multi-scent line of candles released this month.
The self-titled coffee-table book gives ordinary people the insight of a design expert who has decorated major projects in Los Angeles, New York, the Hamptons, Miami and Chicago and for publications such as House Beautiful, Esquire, House & Garden and Veranda.
"I dream up lifestyle," Butera said. Design is like fashion, he explained, because every season designers are asked to bring new looks to accommodate how people live. Butera seeks to bring the feeling of desert, mountains, oceans, the city and beach to the rooms of a home. "It’s really not about where you live but about how you want to live. It all depends on your taste."
Butera’s mother was an interior designer and he says he learned a great deal about the business from her. He earned a degree in political science and economics and pursued a career in law after graduation. Within a year, he dropped out of school and returned to interior design.
25, he started and ran his own pine furniture company in Los Angeles. Today, Butera has about 100 employees and his work is in 300 showrooms across the country. His influences include the Far East and mid-century Hollywood.
Butera’s taste is reminiscent of a stylish wardrobe, some say. He favors clean, classic, tailored lines and bold patterns.
His first home, a beach cottage in Laguna Beach, belonged at one time to actress Bette Davis. He has also owned homes where Frank Sinatra and Desi Arnaz have lived. Some of the homes are in mild disrepair when Butera purchases them. "I restore the homes to their legacy," he said. "You spend more than 50 percent of your life in your home. It’s the bed you sleep in. It’s how you choose to come home from work every day. I create places people can enjoy."
Tricks of the trade
It’s fair to say that Butera doesn’t like furniture superstores such as IKEA. "I’m not a big fan," he admitted. "I believe in quality over quantity and creating a collection over time."
Furniture doesn’t have to be expensive to be valuable, he said, heirlooms, even antique bicycles, can become artwork on the wall or the centerpiece of a room. "You don’t want things to look kitchy, but you want something that has memories to it," he said.
Another tip: avoid overhead lighting when possible. "Incandescent light is warmer," he said.
Barclay Butera’s book is available at http://www.assouline.com . His showroom is located at 255 Heber Ave. in Park City.
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.