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Hearst Bedroom Redesigned with not a Rosebud in Sight
Q: We're going to California during January, and I am keen to go to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon for the first time in my life. Somewhere I got the idea that it's been redecorated. Who'd have the nerve? What's the story?
A: You must have heard about the so-called Hearst Castle "Overnight Room," a one-off makeover venture by designer Barclay Butera.
You'll be relieved to hear that William Randolph Hearst — said to have been passionate about the decorative arts — is probably not tossing in his grave. Butera's redesign was done all in the name of charity, sponsored by the Friends of Hearst Castle, honoring the 50th anniversary of public access to the castle (now a State Historical Monument and a California State Park).
Last year, the Friends of Hearst Castle auctioned off "Hearst Castle Overnight" to a winning couple who could invite eight friends to swim in the Neptune Pool, play tennis, dine on the terrace, stroll the garden and enjoy an after-dinner movie in the Castle theater.
Then they went home, and the winning couple stayed overnight in the newly decorated pictured showcase room — with a view of the Pacific Ocean and furnishings by Hearst Castle licensees, among them Butera, who does upholstered pieces and pillows that are inspired by Mr. Hearst's collection.
They're a good match, the designer and the media magnate, sharing a taste for old Hollywood grandeur and glamour. Butera has owned homes that once belonged to Frank Sinatra and Bette Davis, and he was the creative director for the $25-million renovation of the L'Auberge del Mar in Del Mar, Calif., a former favorite playground of the stars.
More ordinary homeowners can also enjoy Butera's talents, if not within the splendor of Hearst Castle.
Check out his designs at barclaybutera.com and barclaybuterahome.com. And before you visit Butera's site, you may also want to have a look at hearstcastle.org.
Rose Bennett Gilbert is the co-author of "Manhattan Style," "Hampton Style," and five other books on interior design. To find out more about Rose Bennett Gilbert and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at http://www.creators.com/.
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