NEWS & MEDIA
Ron Fields' thought leadership and projects are of such high quality they are often showcased in local and national design and luxury periodicals. Read on below to see some of the most notable press mentions and featured coverage.
COMMERCIAL INTERIORS — CELEBRITY OFFICES/CBS TELEVISION HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA
Published in Designers West
by Ron Fields, ASID
Project: Celebrity Offices/CBS Television
Location: Hollywood, California
When interior designer Ron Fields was retained by CBS television to create a dressing room/office for TV personality Dinah Shore, he was faced with an exciting challenge. The situation was made even more interesting by the fact that this was only the fourth time in the 25-year CBS history that the studio had designated a private, "lock and key" space for a celebrity. The other three personalities were Danny Kaye, Red Skelton and Carol Burnett.
According to Fields, after his first meeting with Ms. Shore he made a concentrated effort to perceive her in terms of her environment; establishing a one-to one relationship between her personality and a corresponding dressing room/office setting in physical terminology. His main thrust was through color translated into a comfortably appointed, home-like surrounding. The walls in one room of the suite are covered in a bright; crewel embroidery that acts as a perfect backdrop for an armless sofa upholstered in a brilliant vermilion fabric. In the second room, walls were left nearly neutral to set off the tri-colored fabric on the sectional sofa and the harmonizing wood tables.
While working on the space for Ms. Shore, Fields was introduced to Burt Reynolds. At Reynolds’s suggestion, Fields then met with Dick Clayton of Richard Clayton Enterprises, manager for Burt Reynolds. The result was an agreement for Fields to design a private office environment for Clayton’s Sunset Strip location. After the initial meeting, there was no communication between designer and client regarding the design plan; the final product was to be a complete and total surprise for Clayton.
The entrance to Richard Clayton Enterprises is a perfect study in understated elegance. The unmistakable touch of the professional hand is beautifully styled evidence; but the entire design package follows a superbly low-key outline. The reception desk, covered in a Spanish tile pattern, curves to meet a dark green wall with stark white trim. A built-in bookcase and storage cabinet flanks one side of the desk and offers easy access for the secretary. Furnishings and accessory pieces are trimmed in a dark colored wicker to enhance the mood of sleek mellowness.
The private office of the Clayton suite follows a pattern of uncomplicated drama, using color and texture as the basic guidelines. The overall space was built around a salt-water aquarium designed by Jan-Michael Vincent — another of Clayton’s clients. The upper portion of the walls is covered in a brick colored felt, lower portion off-white, with combining effect delineated in rich wood tones. Underscoring the simplicity of the office is a handsome white, rust and brown patterned area rug boldly pointing the way to the sofa covered in a highly complementary fabric. Two guest chairs and a high-back executive chair are upholstered in a deep rust suede with nail trim.
The third star in Fields’ celebrity trilogy is the dressing room/office of Cher. For her CBS space, Cher selected an old control room constructed on two levels. When asked for basic parameters for the overall design plan, she chose an American Indian theme. As it turned out, this selection presented Fields with one of his most intriguing and challenging projects. He set out researching American Indians in terms of color, environment and artifacts. He spent a great deal of time at the Southwest Museum, at American Indian trade shows, and even went so far as to subscribe to an American Indian newspaper.
The first step in the project was to transform the 11’ entry ceiling into a stunning teepee complete with a sheep’s horn and rope fixture. While standing in the teepee, it’s possible to look up through the top of the ceiling and see a painted blue sky.
One of the rooms features a rustic wood daybed backed by a colorful mural. The mural is actually a reproduction on rock textured vinyl of a painting found on the side of a big rock near Moab, Utah. Contributing to the final effect are pestels, baskets, Cher’s private collection of Kochina dolls, and one entire wall of woven plaques from a number of different American Indian tribes. There is also a large number of Navajo rugs – one of which is more than 80 years old.
Furniture: Waldo Designs, Michael Bolton, Ron Fields Designs, Harper’s of California, Tropi-Cal, London Cabinet Company, Quackenbush & Winkler, Rockwell—West, Hasi Hester, Marge Carson, Peter Lang, Jean of Topanga; paint: Robertson Color Center; accessories: Snyder-Brunet Cie., J.N. Bishop Gallery, J. Robert Scott, The Indian Trader, Pillowcraft, Hudson-Rissman; lighting: Kovacs, Bruce Eicher, Nessen, Lightolier, Chapman, Gerald Murray Designs, Wilshire House; mirror walls: Biltmore Glass; teepee: CBS Construction Shop: planting: Jimmie’s Plant Studio, La Cienega Nursery; flooring: Alison T. Seymour: carpet: Lees, Sewelson’s, Irish Carpets Inc.; wallpaper: Wolf-Gordon, Pindler & Pindler; rug: Norm Crosby; art/sculpture: mural by Marsha Silvers; Leo Duval, DeVille Galleries; fabric: S. Harris, Contemporary hides, Snyder-Brunet Cie., S.M. Hexter, Pindler & Pindler, Hasi Hester, Lee/Jofa, Brunschwig & Fils, Westgate, Stronheim & Romann, Clark & Burchfield. Photographs by Harold Davis.
THE FUNCTION OF A KITCHEN
Published in Kitchens by Professional Designers
by Ron Fields, ASID
From prehistoric times onward, the hearth has been the heart of the home. As we head for the 1990’s, the kitchen has become an increasingly complicated environment, but is still the hub of the house. The openness of the room invites everyone to share in the working pleasures of nurturing, and the open counters of a kitchen encourage sociability.
In this day of the two-paycheck family and the latch-key child, the kitchen has become even more important as a communication center, far beyond the old days when you tacked a note on the refrigerator.
As entire families spend days passing each other like ships in the night, often the preparation and consumption of the evening meal is the only time they have to communicate, to interact "en famille."
I even suggest the installation of a small office computer to facilitate further togetherness, encouraging a family member who might otherwise go on to another part of the house to do homework or other work to stay closer to the heart of the family. Incidentally, an extremely organized friend of mine has all their favorite recipes catalogued on computer disks for easy access!
The design or redesign of a kitchen is a significant step. Because of all the components it entails, this is probably the most expensive design job you will undertake in a lifetime, and therefore the one with which you will live the longest.
As a professional, I look to the household’s real eating habits to provide clues to kitchen planning.
Whatever your taste in food and the amount of cooking time you spend preparing it, tell the designer what kind of kitchen will fulfill your dream.
Minimal cooking, for example, requires plentiful storage for convenience food and efficient warming appliances.
Elaborate foods, made from fresh ingredients, dictate a plan with plentiful counterspace and extra sinks and electrical outlets.
The prime consideration for any kitchen of any size is function. Therefore any marriage of style and function must be approached by the pivotal question, "But does it work?"
A second important consideration is a personal taste. Stick to your guns. If you hate country kitsch, don’t listen to your neighbor or be swayed by your designer or magazine articles. You’re the one who will be living with and working in this kitchen. If you aren’t true to yourself and your instincts, your dream will eventually be your nightmare.
Triangulation simply means that the major appliances – stove, refrigerator, and sink – are set at distance from one another to form a perfect triangle. I see this as the most efficient set-up imaginable, with a work area at each major appliance where related tasks are performed: I place the refrigerator near the food preparation area, the range near pot & pan and spice storage, and the sink near preparation and clean-up areas as well as nearby storage.
Putting theory into practice, I recently had the opportunity of redesigning the kitchen area for the Pasadena Showcase house of Design for 1988, a Reginald Johnson showpiece built 60 years ago.
The sheer vastness of the space challenged my concepts of function and efficiency. It almost dared me!
I looked at it – huge, dark pedestrian – and I could envision what I wanted to do with it stylistically. I wanted to bring the modern style of the ‘30s into today and tomorrow — a modern for the ‘90s, giving the curves of the past a modern attitude.
I chose light colored streamlined cabinetry with gently rounded edges and installed floor to ceiling French windows to bring some natural light from the kitchen garden inside.
But my best inspiration was replacing the existing 10’ utility counter with two 4’ islands, one fitted with a cooktop, the other with a sink, creating scaled-down efficiency for snacks and casual meals so no one need run a marathon to make breakfast.
The restaurant range, the refrigerator, and the main sink area were triangulated for workability. In my kitchen within a kitchen, the cooktop and sink triangulated with the main refrigerator, making a triangle within a triangle, so no motion is wasted.
I was able to achieve a proper marriage between form and, so importantly, function, with a kitchen in which caterers could easily prepare a Saturday night dinner for 100 guests, but when the party was over, a family member could comfortably make toast or fry a couple of eggs.
It was efficient, airy, and its steamship curves made it regal, not simply vast, achieving the tribute I had in mind to the great ocean-going liners of a more gracious era.
Because it worked, the hearth was once again the core, the heartbeat of the home, even in a sprawling though stately mansion.
Ron Fields, ASID, is a graduate of the University of Southern California and has received national recognition as a designer of both home and commercial interiors. A past president of the Los Angeles chapter of ASID, he is a popular lecturer, has taught design courses at UCLA and sat on the guidance Committee of its Interior Design School.
NOWADAYS THE CHIC BATHROOM HAS A STEAM BATH, BAR AND TV
June 2, 1982
by Robert Guenther, Staff Reporter, The Wall Street Journal
Most chic kitchens these days have at least a butcher block and a microwave oven, and ideally a ceramic tile floor and indoor gas grill. Now the trendy set is turning its attention to bathrooms. The fashionable bathroom is no longer simply a room for personal hygiene but a "spa" or "leisure center," in the parlance of interior decorators.
The stylish bathroom features a whirlpool bath, bidet, pedestal lavatory and one-piece toilet. The truly memorable bath might have a Japanese soaking tub, a steam bath or even a bar, complete with a TV set and videocassette recorder.
Strong interest in such luxuries showed up in some 1980 market research done for American-Standard Inc., a maker of bath fixtures. Those interviewed were 25- to 50-year-old homeowners with incomes in excess of $35,000, and they said they preferred European-style bathrooms, especially those with sleek Italian lines.
Says Susan Weinthal, who markets New York City condominiums: "I think this all comes from our concerns about identity. One can put one’s statement in a bathroom. So people try to do something a little unique with them."
Mindful of this, builders are making bathrooms larger and are offering a wider choice of fixtures. Since buyers will spend about one-third of their day in the master suite, builders say that sales efforts shouldn’t neglect the master bathroom.
Luxury bath fixtures still account for only 5% of the U.S. market versus 10% to 20% in Western Europe. But American-Standard believes luxury products are going to be hot sellers. Richard Mather, a group vice president, expects luxury bath product sales to double in the next five years. In 1981, luxury products accounted for 10% of the company’s sales and 20% of its profits.
American-Standard expects to sell about 80,000 whirlpool baths this year, quadruple the number it was selling three years ago.
All these new fixtures require more money and more space than the traditional bathroom has needed. Some people are even moving walls to accommodate whirlpool baths, which can be as large as six feet by five feet and 20 inches deep.
Ron Fields, a Los Angeles interior designer, says, "A bathroom is by far the most costly room in a house to do on a dollar-per-square-foot basis." Mr. Fields says he’s talking with one client who wants a whirlpool, sauna and steam room. He adds, "On a 200 square foot bathroom, you could spend $40,000 to $50,000."