By Janice Harris
Regardless of whether your weather permits outdoor living three months of the year or you’re used to lounging out in the sun all year long, a comfortable outdoor living situation is something that many homeowners like you are looking for.
Because we know how much you care about your outdoor furniture, the talented interior and product designer, Christopher Grubb took the time to speak with Mark Stephens, president of Castelle, and recent product collaborator, world-famous designer Barclay Butera at the Spring 2018 High Point Market.
This biannual furniture industry trade show provided the perfect backdrop for Christopher, Mark, and Barclay to discuss the Castelle product line and current outdoor living trends. Here’s what we learned.
Christopher Grubb (C.G.): Mark, I’m so happy to be here with you. What I love about your line is the variety; you have contemporary and traditional [designs]-- you hit a broad area of the market. Tell us about your company, Castelle.
Mark Stephens (M.S.): Castelle has been around for 40 years. We’re well-known for our luxurious and high-end, handcrafted aluminum outdoor furniture collections. We do all of our manufacturing by hand in Costa Rica, where we own a foundry.
Christopher Grubb (C.G.): And Barclay, you collaborated with Castelle for a product line, but before we live into that, tell us about your career.
Barclay Butera (B.B.): I’ve been in business [as a designer] for 25 years, and I currently employ 22 interior designers and a total of 50 employees in three offices. Two offices are in Newport Beach, and the other is located in Park City, Utah. We also have showrooms in both cities.
C.G.: The collaboration with Castelle is elegant. It was one of my top-5 picks last year during an Instagram takeover. The white finish was great, and the black was timeless. Kudos to you... How did this collaboration start?
B.B.: I was in Atlanta speaking on a panel, which is a great place to meet new people, and someone from Castelle came and talked to me about the opportunity. After a few meetings, I got to see the capabilities of what I could do with Castelle with this handmade product out of Costa Rica. From there, we developed the Signature Line, which was my first line with Castelle. It debuted last year and was really successful.
C.G.: Your collection is impressive quality-wise. I love the detail and how it’s made. Can you talk about the philosophy and the importance of it all being handmade?
M.S.: Yes, it’s literally all handmade. Because of this, we can customize any product, including the finishes. When you do it all by hand, you can let the product reflect the designer and the customer. In all, we have over 21 different finishes and countless covers.
C.G.: Barclay, you have many licensed products. What about working with Castelle appealed to you?
B.B.: [Castelle] is really at the high-end of outdoor products, and each product is beautiful. Plus, the lead time for custom products is between two to six weeks. They perform so quickly, so I stand behind this product.
C.G.: One product thing that’s a standout for me is the Canopy Daybed, which is something you’d expect to see at a luxury hotel. Can you tell me more about this?
M.S.: At high-end resorts, they always have daybeds and places where you can lounge with four people. And, when we saw the success of the [Signature] line, we knew we had to offer a better way to seat a lot of people, so we expanded to add a double chaise and a daybed.
C.G.: You’re hitting on this whole indoor/outdoor living experience that everyone’s looking for.
M.S.: Yes! We’re developing furniture for the outdoors, but we’re taking the sensibility of indoor interior design and bringing it to this “Fifth room of the house.”
C.G.: What I love about the look and feel is that it’s like you’re on vacation in your own house.
C.G.: What’s else is new for Castelle?
M.S.: We have the Signature Collection and a new Palm Springs Collection with Barclay. We have also partnered with the Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore line is very traditional and classic--it’s the root of what we’ve always been here at Castelle.
It was wonderful to learn about the handmade furniture by Castelle as well as their designer-chic collaboration with Barclay Butera. Although Castelle sells directly to the trade, you can still go to their website to check out their extensive product line and find a dealer close to you.
Click here to see the Barclay Butera Collection for Castelle.
Finally, we’d like to thank Christopher Grubb for allowing House Tipster to take part of this conversation. Don’t forget to check out our special feature: Designer Spotlight : Christopher Grubb.