Page 1


style & substance

Hot Products

p. 2

Bathrooms, Exposed p. 4

making the most of it:

Maximizing Space p. 5

A Chambers Publication


We’ve come a long way, baby. p. 6

a n ot e f r o m c h a mbers

hot products

I N S I D E this I S S U E

Dear Friends: “Club Road” conjures a bit of nostalgia for us. It’s where you’ll still find the first club we designed — the stately Baltimore Country Club — back in 1945. It’s a road we’ve loved to travel. And it’s why we’re introducing Club Road, this quarterly e-magazine dedicated solely to the design and evolution of private clubs. With each issue, Club Road will feature project stories and what we see as the latest trends and hot products. We’ll tell you how the industry is addressing change and competition and how clubs are maximizing revenue streams. We’ll welcome your input and look forward to addressing what’s most on your mind. And we plan to have a little fun along the way. Exceptional clubs strike an artful balance between tradition and evolution, existing to enhance the lives of their members. We hope Club Road will be a good companion guide for the journey. Enjoy — and let us hear from you!

Even the oft-traditional club world can get excited about these hot new products that work in traditional, transitional and contemporary spaces. Energy-Efficient LED Bulbs – Low Heat and, Finally, High Warmth Replace hot and energy-intense halogens with the Piraeus II LED light bulb by LED Waves. Extremely low heat with no UV or infrared radiation — and a life span of 30,000 hours — the 5-Watt Piraeus bulb can easily replace a 50-Watt halogen bulb. Take a dramatic turn with the Flight System by Bruck Lighting Systems. The Flight Spiral (225301 Leah) is 3 x 8 feet and is also available with attached spotlights.

2 4 5

Style & Substance: Hot Products Rock On

The latest in innovative wallcoverings features authentic honed slate on a flexible fabric mounting. Available in six unique colorations — from subdued grey and colorful variegated patterns to shimmering metallic tones — the Geology collection from Phillip-Jeffries makes a oneof-a-kind wall statement.

Bathrooms, Exposed

Making the Most of It: Maximizing Space

We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby Cozy Up Outdoors

Tone & Texture

This beautiful cerused finish highlights the wood grain and adds elegance to virtually any décor. Lynford Four Drawer Chest by Currey & Company.

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This sleek outdoor fireplace adds a unique glow and warmth to exterior gathering spaces. Constructed from durable stainless steel and porcelain materials, the Napoleon® Outdoor Torch™ (GSST8) requires no venting and stands up to the toughest outdoor environments.

Ask Chambers

Behind the Curtain

Make it Pop

“Pops” of color add bursts of light and energy.

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club road Rick Snellinger President & CEO

Bob Hickman Chairman of the Board

Visit our blog, Club View,

Chambers has come a long way, too. Take a look at our historic journey. 2]

Issue Nº 1 / Spring 2011

Club Road is a quarterly publication of Chambers.


For more information about these or any products you need for your club, contact Clubhouse Furnishings Associates at

Managing Editor: John Snellinger 410.727.4535 subscribe Clubhouse Furnishings Associates is a division of Chambers

planning / architecture interior design / purchasing



xEExposed “Faucets are now like jewelry.”

Bottom line, end product, back of the house. Laugh if you will (and we confess we did), but we’re taking a behind-the-scenes look at one of the hottest focal points of club renovations in recent years. The lounge, the loo, restroom, by any other name… the bathroom. Once nearly an afterthought — necessary to have but preferable not to think much about — clubs are finding members are exacting the same standards they do in their own homes. They want comfortable, serene and beautiful spaces. Members and managers alike are mandating water and energy efficiency. And we’re all looking at design and materials to ensure we’re making them sustainable — that is, that they last through years of heavy use while also exacting a light toll on the environment. Take a peek at what’s getting the most exposure these days. (And thus ends the lame bathroom puns.)

Loft 24 Proximity Faucet by Watermark Designs

• Quality finishes, large format and alternative surfaces in, laminates and 2”x2” ceramic tiles out. • Slip-resistant tiles, low counters and “comfort seating heights” for toilets

RWS Series White Marble-Look Tile by Hastings


t h e c lu b e x p e r i e n c e

Charlotte City Club More square footage without more square footage. Rather than breaking through the floor to add casual dining space on another level, Chambers added a “loft” above the formal dining room at the Charlotte City Club — maintaining 31st-story views from both spaces.

Maximizing Space making the most of it.

How smart planning proves bigger isn’t always better. “Right sizing” has taken on new meaning in the club world where there is often a myriad of spaces serving a myriad of purposes on any given day, week or month. After decades of simply adding square footage each time a new need was identified, clubs are taking a hard look at space utilization and recognizing that bigger isn’t always better. In fact, many are finding both greater member satisfaction and operational efficiencies can be gained by taking a smarter look at space allocation and prioritization. By rethinking the floor plan, clubs can: Reduce staffing levels. Kitchens that are football fields away from dining rooms require additional servers just to keep service timely. Cavernous locker rooms that sit empty still require daily cleaning. Gain utilization. Members are clamoring for more casual dining while formal dining rooms sit unwelcoming and, often, largely empty.

Increase energy and cost efficiency. Significant dollars can be spent heating, cooling and maintaining spaces that sit empty for hours if not days on end. Better space utilization can address a number of operational challenges: Adequate storage. More than simply a nuisance, the lack of storage space that is commonplace in many older clubs means clubs lose out on the benefits of volume discounts — often needing to receive multiple shipments every week simply because they don’t have the place to store adequate food and supplies. Multipurpose and flexible spaces. Rather than separate board rooms, meeting spaces and banquet facilities, we’re finding inventive ways to create flexible spaces that don’t succumb to the much maligned moveable partition feel.

read the full story


How do you

measure up?

We recently polled club leadership across the country about their space utilization.


feel the size of their club is “about right”

30% think their clubs are too small

63% say their clubs

do NOT make the most efficient use of that square footage

If they were to reallocate…

more than 45% would have more:

• child-friendly space • fitness areas • employee areas

35%+ need more space for:

• ballroom/events • kitchen • patio/outdoor entertaining • casual dining

25%+ want more:

• bar space • pre-function space • spa amenities • storage

63% need less formal dining space Want to participate in our next survey? Email us your name, title and club.

read the full story subscribe

[ 5

on the road with

f e at u r e d

Damon DiOrio

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.

Still, competition is heating up, member needs are changing, and we’re all increasingly focused on the bottom line. And for many in the club world, old structures are showing signs of age and in too many cases, frankly, suffering from decades of poor and inefficient planning. In measured steps, clubs are finding ways to embrace what’s good about the past (the leather chairs can stay), while making sure the future embraces all that’s necessary to remain viable — successful — in the future.

The Charlotte Country Club (a Chambers project, pictured on the cover and here) is a case study in point. Much has been written already about its recent renovations and the infrastructure issues that, while nearly invisible to members, nearly threatened the future of the club. But one has only to walk through its warm, glowing halls to see the balance of tradition and new amenities that are characteristic of clubs’ evolution in recent years. Early 20th century Parisian tapestries were lovingly restored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Italian crystal chandeliers were painstakingly cleaned and refurbished. The old oak plank floors truly glisten. Look a little closer and you’ll now see a small trap in the ballroom floor that hides “enough electrical to power a 30-piece band,” says club CEO Damon DiOrio. “No more ugly extension cords run from every outlet we could find within 50 feet,” he adds. Cell phones and smart phones still aren’t allowed Continued on page 7



in the dining rooms, but open an inlaid panel door nearby and you’ll find a fully wired “phone room” with soundproof walls and an exceptionally comfortable chair.

We recently sat with Charlotte Country Club CEO Damon DiOrio to get his take on the future of the club business.

The Charlotte Country Club

Change can come slowly to the club world. Members are lovingly wedded to tradition — comfortable in their deep leather chairs — and can be reticent to fix what hasn’t been obviously, glaringly broken.

p e r s p ec t i v e s Continued from page 6

What are the biggest changes you see coming to clubs in the next 10 years? Among them, we’re going to continue to see the evolution of management to more true leadership roles. The volunteer leadership doesn’t want to feel that governance of the club is work — they need to know they’ve got capable, competent, transparent leadership.

Meeting and banquet rooms still maintain old world charm while plaster relief moldings and appliques have been stripped of dozens of layers of old paint to reveal their former glory. Still, peek beneath the table in one of those meeting rooms and you’ll find Ethernet, phone and electrical connections carefully tucked away.


Working with the Charlotte Country Club, we heard members talk in glowing terms about their experiences there. What’s your driving philosophy of ensuring member satisfaction? We’re in the happiness business — we do extraordinary things.

Greater efficiencies won out too. From grand scale — a hallway was added to adjoin the women’s locker room to a dining room they could previously reach only by going up and then down stairs again, and 10,000 square feet of new storage space was gained with some reconfigurations and a slight addition — to smaller ticket items, like the addition of a door off a banquet room that saves service staff valuable time by creating a straight path to the service bar.

read the full story

Chambers’ Architects & Designers Q.

Women are very often the family arbiter of discretionary spending — and have been highly influential in the evolution of clubs in recent decades. We’ve seen their influence on everything from foodservice and décor to creating broader family activities.

As women’s club use and influence continues to grow, where will clubs focus to cater to their needs?

read the full interview

Join Chambers for a one-day workshop presented by Club & Resort Business: “Inside Charlotte Country Club’s Historic Clubhouse Restoration,” April 18, 2011. Click here for more information.

Congratulations, Damon, on recently being named

C l u b E x ec u t i v e

Prepared meal take-out and healthier dining choices — with vegan and glutenfree selections. Bob Hickman Chairman Interior Designer

Less intimidating golf. Beginners’ clinics and 3-holers’ groups that let women enjoy the social aspect — on a busy schedule. John Snellinger Director of Planning

Putting more women in member leadership and professional management positions. Dick Heise Director of Club Studio

Varied activities for kids of every age and interest level. Patricia Sampson Managing Director

More cutting edge interior design. Steven Sutor Senior Interior Design Associate

Sophisticated swimming facilities and programs. Kenneth Hart Director of Architecture

Well designed restrooms that accommodate baby changing stations. Rick Snellinger President & CEO Master Planner

of the Year by Club Managers Association of America

have a question for chambers’ architects & designers? email us at

[ 7

i n s p i r at i o n

Curtain behind the

Kenneth Hart Director of Architecture

When you conjure a marathon runner, you tend to think focus, myopic determination and a constant quest to shave a few seconds off your best time. Unless you’re Ken. Ken marches to the beat of a different… runner. First, he’s run 85 marathons in the last five years — he’ll stop at 100 in 2012, having beaten paths through cities in all 50 states (twice). But more, it’s his focus on place — not time — that distinguishes his approach. “I used to think you could get a good enough sense of a place’s history and architecture by reading about it in a book,” says Ken, “but it’s not until you stand on the Acropolis at the Parthenon that you can see what they see and get that same perspective.”

Ken’s marathons are studies of architecture, culture, light and perspective. He carries an iPhone so he can stop to take photos. He brings these perspectives to bear in projects across the country. “Every city has its own language,” he says.

the inspiration behind the creative minds at chambers Chris Smith Vice President, Architect Chris is probably more comfortable outside than in. A native Californian turned East Coaster, Chris and his wife, Jackie, spend much of their time tending to their three-acre garden — an ever-evolving landscape with thousands of flowers, an orchard, a pergola, two ponds and a handful of ducks. It surrounds the couple’s pink (yep…pink) house, along with the studios of Goose Neck Designs, where the pair craft high relief custom ceramic tiles and sculptures, mostly nature-focused in theme.

Chris spends his days as master planner and architect at Chambers. One might question the juxtaposition of the precision and practicality of his day job and his creative external pursuits. “For me,” Chris says, “well designed clubs artfully connect inside and out. When I’m inside, I’m always aware of what’s going on out there. I create spaces that blend the two.”

Patricia Sampson Managing Director “I love to study different cultural customs,” says Patricia who, as the daughter of an Army general, has lived among many — in places as geographically and culturally disparate as Saudi Arabia and Pasadena, California. “I appreciate the variations,” she says. Ever intrigued by those “variations” and nuances, Patricia talks of walking into a room and immediately noticing the furniture arrangement and flow. At Chambers, as client liaison and, by trade, interior designer, Patricia studies the cultural nuances of a club environment — the city, its people, traditions and preferences. She’s then able to help craft solutions that will be unique to the people of the individual club. “I love the mix,” she says, “and being able to draw from my experiences all over the world.”

“But I do add about 40 minutes to my time, probably,” he admits.

e g C hallen

, e to reconfigure ects lik d u’ yo e ac sp chit ,a b ers e to freshen up we’ ll put our designers and ar lik d u’ yo ub Cham cl in your to and rst! Have a roomyour hands around? Send us a phdoon our blog, Club View. o w r o — st e b t Give us your gn challenge you can’ t quite gesolutions will be featured here an a particular desi issue of Club Road. Select ad@chambersu ro b u cl at e ng xt alle on it for the ne Send us your ch 8]

CLUB ROAD: Spring 2011  
CLUB ROAD: Spring 2011