Meet Beau Theriot
Meet Beau Theriot. Yes, the owner of the iconic Oasis. Yes, the developer of high-end properties. But did you know that Beau is also a renowned interior designer? I’ve gotten to know Beau from his frequent forays to friend Lisa Gaynor’s store, Design With Consignment, and he agreed to chat with me.
Beau started his career as a furniture rep in the ‘70’s in Houston. Pivoting to his second passion early, he opened the Brownstone restaurant at age 26 with the goal of “turning dining in to art”. He must have succeeded, because people loved the design and started asking him for help with their own interiors. And a third career was born. Since then, he’s done projects all over Texas, California, Mexico and even London and Hong Kong. He’s been to 77 countries. I would have trouble NAMING 77 countries. (Albania, Afghanistan…)
So, Beau’s been around. What does he have to say about the evolution of the design industry over his illustrious career?
Beau definitely sees the industry changing. He considers his heyday the 70’s and 80s, before the internet and HGTV. And I think most of us who didn’t grow up in the digital and cable TV age agree. Interior designers used to be a little more mythical; they had resources and access the average person didn’t. “Now, everyone thinks they can do it themselves, but they shouldn’t have,” says Theriot with a deadpan expression. Beau believes in the value of craftsmanship, and that every new design owes a debt to that which came before it. Several of his projects begin with the inspiration of historic structures.
One of his most recent projects is a 6000-acre ranch out in Del Rio, intended as a retreat for family and friends of the owner. He wanted a mission feel, and what is more mission than the Alamo? When he first told me about it I was a tiny bit skeptical (sorry Beau), but he did an amazing job of honoring the iconic design while creating a gorgeous, liveable home.
Other projects that have been inspired by iconic architecture include a beach house in Galveston that hearkens to the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, and a house in Nederland inspired by the Oak Alley Plantation.
The facade of the Del Rio project.
Galveston beach house inspired by the Hotel Del Coronado.
Santa Fe home overlooking the mountains.
A sampling of Beau's recent projects.
Part of his penchant for historical sources is the emphasis on craftsmanship and quality. Current homeowners often see more classic pieces as belonging in a museum, leaning towards things that are fashionable (or “hep” as Beau says). He refuses to bow to the pressure (admittedly something more easily done when you’ve been in the business for 38 years and are a multi-millionaire) and continues to encourage his clients to consider quality and durability over the latest trends. That doesn’t mean everything he sources for a client is 100 years old; the blend of old and new is what creates depth and character in a home.
His vision is on full display at his furniture and décor store, The Treasury, at the entrance to the Oasis complex. When you visit, plan to spend a few hours in the store, there are truly treasures in every corner, almost every piece picked lovingly by Beau himself. Beau's own self-designed home is also curated blend of European character together with architecture from around the world. It is truly a fabulous masterpiece overlooking Lake Travis near his restaurant.
I asked what questions he uses to tease out the preferences of his clients before he begins work. He asks:
How long ( or, how often if it’s a vacation home) do you plan to stay here?
Are you a minimalist or a collector?
How much privacy and personal space do you need?
What is paramount, comfort or style?
Do you prefer lots of colors or calming neutrals?
These questions help him begin to create a space that is perfect for his clients. But he credits his success in design to his core philosophy “Don’t be afraid to do your own thing, follow your vision.”