The design duo behind Goldfield Home & Art want to make you smile with their broad selection of playful artwork and chic furnishings fit for modern spaces.
Story by Emily Chavous Foster
Photography courtesy of Goldfield Home & Art
The east end of El Paseo has blossomed into a veritable design hub over the last decade thanks to its growing community of art galleries, antique and furnishing showrooms, and high-end interior design boutiques. Among them is Goldfield Home & Art, a 5,000-square-foot space filled with cheerful displays of artwork, furniture, and home accessories — a little bit of everything — with vibrant themes and color palettes that aim to make patrons and passersby smile.
“We think we’re unlike anything in town,” says Randy Roy, who co-founded the design showroom in October 2021 with his business/life partner, Shawn Ewell, and a real estate investor/friend from Los Angeles. Roy oversees back-end logistics, like accounting and property upkeep, while Ewell is the face of the store and the creative mind behind Goldfield’s playful product selections and the regularly rotating vignettes that compel customers to stay a while and explore the entire store.
“I didn’t want it to be just an art gallery or just furniture,” Ewell explains. “We wanted to combine them both so the customer could see the art in a setting. We do little niches throughout the store — actual rooms, so people can get a feel for what it would look like in their home.”
Roy, a Realtor originally from Ohio, and Ewell, a self-taught interior designer and curator from Indiana, met in Los Angeles 20 years ago. The pair moved together to the Coachella Valley about five years later, after Ewell had obtained his real estate license. “We’ve been working together ever since,” Ewell says.
“We went back and forth [from Los Angeles] for a couple years,” Roy recalls. “We bought a condo to run away and relax in the desert. And the weekends kept getting longer and longer, and L.A. kept getting more and more crowded. We made a lifestyle choice to move to the desert.”
The design-minded duo took a break from their busy day-to-day to dish on their shared passion for well-curated, joyful spaces and to elaborate on what inspired them to establish their business on Palm Desert’s tony El Paseo shopping boulevard.
Where did the Goldfield Home & Art concept begin?
Randy: About a year and a half ago, I sold the [El Paseo storefront] building to a client who’s been a friend for 25 years. He’s an art collector and a world traveler, and he loves buying real estate, furnishing houses, selling them, flipping them, renting them out. He buys and sells real estate all over the country. We talked about all the stuff that goes into houses and comes out of houses on a constant basis, and how and where you get things to fill a house for renting or selling.
He said, “You guys are really good at this, and you have great taste. We should open a store.” So that’s what started the dialogue. We worked on the building for almost six months — it was kind of a mess. We did all the lighting and the floors and the walls and the bathrooms and the landscaping, and then we put out word to friends and clients that we were taking some consignments on a limited basis. Our partner knows gallery owners and artists all over the country.
So, between consignment possibilities and art contacts and furniture contacts, we thought we could piece together a store that’s new and used, from fine art to home accessories. We even have plants in the store.
You have a little bit of everything.
Randy: We even have a white baby grand piano in the store. One of the guys who works for us is very talented, has played the piano for years. It’s super fun, and it creates a nice mood in the store for people to walk in off El Paseo. It’s for sale, but a couple people have made offers, and we have turned them down because by the time you move a piano, get it all tuned, get used to playing it and having access to it in the store all the time … If we sell it, I’ve got to go out and do it all over again. I don’t want to be without a piano at the store.
How do you describe the Goldfield aesthetic?
Shawn: When you come in, it’s like walking into a loft, someone’s house. We even have V&G, a clothing line of handmade leather goods. Steven Nash creates all the clothing in store, and handbags. We have a workroom, and …
Randy: They create custom pieces in the store and take orders.
What we have found in just six months is people want fun art. When you’re in the desert, broadly speaking, the biggest appeal is fun art — color, desert retreat, resort, vacation kind of art that makes you smile and makes you happy and makes you feel relaxed. So we’ve really tried to focus on that and stay away from super serious pieces.
You represent artists who live in the desert and in the Los Angeles area. Why is it important to you to uplift the local art community?
Shawn: We have a lot of talent in the desert that doesn’t necessarily get recognized by the main galleries on El Paseo, so I think it’s important to highlight that. We have Hank Hudson, who creates the Dot Series; Jan Katz, who paints acrylic abstracts; Sammy Zelcer, who uses cloth in his paintings; and others.
What led you to launch your shop on El Paseo?
Randy: Well, the building was for sale, and there’s almost nothing for sale on El Paseo normally. We liked the east end of El Paseo — the west end is high-end fashion and a lot of restaurants. The east end has furniture stores, art galleries, consignment stores. It’s a little less congested. We’ve got a gigantic parking lot in the back of the building, which was a huge renovation project by the city of Palm Desert.
It’s open and clear and not congested, and we think it’s an art and furniture and accessory destination. You go to the east end of El Paseo for that. I mean, Tuverson & Co has been there for 40 years. It’s a brilliant store, and they’ve got a great clientele.
Shawn: We’re right next to Interior Illusions, which opened a few months before we did.
How has the reception been since you opened in October 2021
Shawn: The biggest surprise is the overwhelming positivity. People come in, and sometimes their reaction is, “Wow, I feel at home,” or, “Wow, this is the best store I’ve ever been in.”
Randy: They say, “Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Shawn: It’s that positive reinforcement. I guess we’re onto something, which is very exciting.
Does your shared background in real estate shape your approach when it comes to curating products for the store?
Randy: I think it’s helped a lot. I mean, I’ve seen thousands of houses in L.A. and Beverly Hills, and I’ve been coming to the desert since 1980. I’ve sold a lot of real estate in the desert in the last 15 years. I’ve seen houses that are completely done by a designer, top to bottom. And then I see how people mix things — how they might buy a house that’s furnished, and half of the stuff they don’t really like, so they churn out that stuff and bring in new stuff that really appeals to them. I see all these transactions happening, and I thought if I can incorporate that into this Goldfield concept, there’s got to be a lot of built-in business.
And Shawn’s amazing at it. He’s really, really good at it spatially. He can go into a room and leave the room five minutes later and draw it and tell you which pieces of art go where and where the furniture goes. It’s crazy. He has no formal training for that, but I’m telling you, he was born with it.
Where does that creativity come from, Shawn?
Shawn: I was the kid that would go to the doctor’s office and put all the toys back in a way that I thought looked neat and tidy instead of playing with them. I’ve done that my whole life, just rearranging rooms. I’d rearrange my parents’ home, my sister’s home. In my head, I can just see a way to make [a space] look better than the way it presently looks. It just comes natural. From the time I was little, I’ve always loved decorating and designing, and now I get to work with artists — local artists and L.A. artists — and it’s very fun to combine both [fields].
What appeals to you most about the desert?
Randy: I love the wide-open spaces. I love the mountains. I love plants. I’ve been doing landscaping for years, and it’s just so open and relaxing and so much less traffic [than Los Angeles]. And the real estate’s fascinating. There’s midcentury modern and old, classic Spanish in L.A. for sure. But the desert’s got a little bit of everything, and it’s very inspiring.
Shawn: Oh, just the Zen feeling. Every time we came out to the desert from L.A., it was like a breath of fresh air. It was just relaxing, and the people are friendly, and we both loved it out here.
What does the future hold for Goldfield?
Randy: We’ve learned a lot in the months since we opened about what art and what pieces appeal to people, and how often people come back. So [in the coming years,] I expect our sales will be much higher than they are now because we’ll know what people want, and we’ll have a hot zone of, “This is the stuff that sells in the desert.” Good and bad, we learn that every day.
We hope to design and create for people more and more. I think that’s what the traffic and the clients will ask for. And I think we’ll have more and more opportunities, where somebody buys a 2,000- or a 5,000-square-foot house and thinks, “I want Goldfield to do the house. This is fantastic.” We would do that on a contract basis. All of their Round 1 shopping is in the store, and then whatever’s missing, we would go and curate for them and decorate the house. I think there will be a fair amount of that business, and Shawn’s fantastic at it.
For more information about Goldfield Home & Art, visit goldfieldhome.com or stop by the showroom and gallery on El Paseo.