Christopher Boutlier designed a custom headboard in Donghia linen for a master bedroom.
Designer Christopher Boutlier.
In the kitchen of a Shaw row house, dark gray-painted cabinets reflect an updated palette.
Hot-rolled steel cabinets lend the dining room a
Boutlier enlivened a monochromatic master bedroom with rust accents and an abstract painting.

Hot Talent: Christopher Boutlier

A renovation project opened doors to a new career

After earning a finance degree and working briefly in the corporate world, Christopher Boutlier was ready for a change. So he took a year off to renovate his condo. “I started with the bathroom, which turned out to be a nightmare,” he recalls. The frustrated homeowner enrolled in a drafting class so he could sketch out ideas for his contractor—and the rest is history.

“I loved it,” says Boutlier. “By the end of the semester, I had enrolled in GW’s interior design school.” During the three-year MFA program, he landed an internship with one of his professors, DC-based designer Lisa Adams, which led to a full-time job. “Lisa is an amazing person and taught me a lot,” he says. 

Now principal of his own firm, Boutlier distills what he calls “the tools of design” and applies them to each client’s unique requirements. “I’m constantly challenged to move outside my comfort zone,” he explains, “but in the end, it’s so worth it. There’s a real sense of accomplishment when a project is done and the owners are happy.”

INTERIOR DESIGN: Christopher Boutlier, Boutlier Design, Washington, DC.