With showrooms in destinations like Park City, Newport Beach, and Corona del Mar, interior designer Barclay Butera is no stranger to designing second homes, having decorated everything from Palm Springs getaways to Miami bachelor pads to cozy alpine retreats.
Built on Relationships
For designers hoping to foray into designing second homes, Butera says relationships are key. “Relationships are what this business is all about,” he says. “Most of these types of projects are clients I have worked with in the past.” A happy client will often return with requests for renovations, refreshes, or second (or third or fourth) homes.
“I consider myself incredibly blessed to have such a loyal clientele base,” says Butera. “New clients are wonderful, but nothing feels better than when someone is so ecstatic with our work that they come back to us over and over again. It’s the greatest compliment we could receive!”
Though that’s not to say all second-home projects are with existing customers: “I love when a customer who has come to one of my showrooms for the first time and we get a project from that experience.”
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Even when he’s worked with the client before, Butera says he makes sure to view each project with fresh eyes. “Of course I am always thrilled when a client approaches us to do their second home, but I never like to repeat myself—even if they are so happy with their primary residence,” he says. “I always push them to a new level with fresh design ideas and new inspirations.”
When approaching the design of second homes, Butera keeps the client’s priorities in mind. “Typically that’s time with family and friends, and plenty of entertaining,” he says. Which often translates into: “open floor plans that have cozy, well-thought-out seating conducive to conversation, game nights, or watching sporting events together,” he says. There’s also less of a concern for private spaces, he says. “There is more focus on togetherness—especially now that travel is limited and people still want to escape. We always want deep, comfortable seating, a casual elegance, and always a good bar.”
Though each of his projects are highly individualized, Butera says that his overall design scheme has been skewing more transitional than traditional these days, a trend that’s evident in his latest rug collections for Jaipur Living: Brentwood, Newport, and Malibu, all of which borrow inspiration for idyllic California escapes. “I am known for my pattern-on-pattern textiles and, of course, I love incorporating symmetry into my designs,” he says. “I think it gives a room a sense of calm and balance. But other than that, the sky’s the limit.”