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For decorators, style and function go hand in hand in room design

February 12, 2014

Hickory Hardwood FlooringA pair of San Francisco designers may have different ideas about home design, but they've managed to find a middle ground that's keeping a lot of their clients happy. They make recommendations on a broad range of decorating features that include new materials, artwork and flooring like those in Anderson's Cimarron collection.

The mother-and-daughter team of Carolyn Einstein Dewar and Diane Einstein address both aesthetics and function when they come up with a room design, because how things work is as important as how they look to the duo.

"For clients looking to protect their furniture from sticky fingers or careless guests, we love to incorporate outdoor fabrics," Dewar gave as a functional example to 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."

Creating unique spaces
Dewar, who started out in advertising and marketing, joined her mother, a longtime decorator, in the Einstein Design Group and a buying service called Access Decor. 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, artwork is the key; for her daughter, trying new fabrics, such as versatile outdoor materials, is a sound functional choice.

Einstein is the one who focuses on the decorative aspect of decor. For her, art can be a focal point, or a piece that pulls the entire room together. When clients have a strong interest in displaying art, Einstein recommends they work with an art dealer who allows them to take home artworks on loan so they can see how the pieces feel in their homes.

But Einstein also reminds her clients that some of their most memorable accessories may be those they just happened upon or some they may already own but haven't used in a while.

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

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

For Dewar, the decorative touch should have an 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.