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Function, art and classic hardwood floors, give rooms personality

June 14, 2013

Hand-Scraped Hickory Hardwood FloorsIn many families, everyone has their own idea about how to decorate the home they share. Whether the topic is installing hardwood floors like Anderson's Hickory Forge collection or finding the best spot to locate the TV, giving each person their say will go a long way to preserving family unity.

San Francisco interior designers Carolyn Einstein Dewar and Diane Einstein should know how well that works. They're a mother-and-daughter design team who came to their careers from different perspectives but find a middle ground that's keeping a lot of their clients happy. Dewar left a career in advertising and marketing to join her mother, a longtime decorator, in the Einstein Design Group and a buying service called Access Decor.

Different strengths
The two women have distinct ideas about what will turn a room into a space that's unique and will reflect its owners' personalities. For Einstein, art work is the key; for her daughter, trying new fabrics, such as versatile outdoor materials, is a sound functional choice.

"For clients looking to protect their furniture from sticky fingers or careless guests, we love to incorporate outdoor fabrics. The industry has really come a long way from the typical outdoor stripes," Dewar told the San Francisco Chronicle. "With so many new wonderful patterns and textures made for indoor/outdoor use, now you don't have to compromise or sacrifice beauty for durability."

Pulling it together
Einstein calls art the part of decorating that brings a room design to life. It can be a focal point, or a piece that pulls the entire decor together. For those with a budget and an art dealer that allows it, she recommends that homeowners take home art works on loan, so they can see how it feels in the space. But Einstein also reminds clients that some of their most memorable accessories may be those they happened upon and didn't cost a lot.

House Beautiful magazine recommends that homeowners experiment with art in a variety of ways. Wall art can be three-dimentional, large works can be hung above the headboard in a bedroom and smaller pieces can be incorporated into bookshelves in a den.

"You don't have to be rich to accessorize your home well," said Einstein.

For Dewar, the decorative touch should be have element of surprise. Something that's unexpected, whether it's an unusual color or an interesting fabric, is her choice for a final touch. Bringing functionality and style together is the ultimate goal.