The Joy of Design
Acclaimed Louisiana-based designer Beth Claybourn, who has dedicated her life to bringing beauty and elegance to homes all over the country, offers a dazzling showroom in New Orleans’ own Central Business District.
Gracious, elegant and inviting, Beth Claybourn embodies many of the same characteristics as the spaces she creates. Over the past several decades, the Mississippi-born Interior Designer has honed her innate taste for an exquisite, European style that began in early childhood. “My mother was very artsy; she loved to sew; and she’d always be rearranging the furniture,” Claybourn says. “My father used to joke with his colleagues that he’d have to turn the lights on when he came home because he’d never know where the bed would be.”
A passion for all things beautiful, from fabrics to fine furniture, Claybourn rapidly fulfilled her dream, graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi and apprenticed under renowned designer Mary Tatum for six years. “She told me that there’s only eight hours in a day and I’ll never reach the heights I’m aiming for if I charge by the hour,” Claybourn says. “She always said, give a lot and you’ll receive a lot, and it’s something that has always held true.”
More than 30 years ago, Claybourn launched her own design firm, Beth Claybourn Interiors, in Baton Rouge that offers an expansive range of design services including a large retail showroom featuring linens, custom drapery, furniture, china and antiques. “I spend a fortune on my fabrics and keeping them updated,” Claybourn says. “I just love beautiful fabrics — that’s my weakness.”
Only two years ago, Beth Claybourn Interiors opened a second location in the Walle Building on Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans, a historic mid-rise structure renovated into a mixed-use building featuring condominiums and retail space in 1998. With 5,000 square feet and 13-foot windows, the new showroom features a blend of classic New Orleans style with a modern industrial feel. Customers can choose from a huge selection of meticulously displayed furniture, both new and antique, fine china and crystal, original art, and custom draperies and fabrics.
As is apparent from her extensive portfolio, Claybourn has a flair for the dramatic, especially when it comes to the master bedroom. “It’s a retreat for the husband and wife, away from the pressure of making a living for their family,” Claybourn says. “It needs to be a boudoir to me!” She also enjoys creating communal spaces for the whole family in kitchens and dens. “I just think a home is the melting pot of a family and without that home and that connection, it’s something that people miss in life,” Claybourn adds. Growing up in a family of six siblings, having a space where they all could come together was an important part of Clayboun’s own life growing up.
For more than 40 years, Claybourn has traveled the world and designed homes for new clients, as well as those return customers who have become old friends. “I’ve started off with some of these couples when they were young couples,” Claybourn says, “Now they’ve taken over the family business, running multi-million dollar corporations, and they’re still sticking with me.”
One would imagine that retirement would be an attractive option for a woman who has worked so hard for so many years, dedicating her life to serving the design needs of so many fortunate people. “I don’t know what I’d do with myself if I retired,” Claybourn says. “I have so much energy. This is my life and I love it.” bethclaybourninteriors.com