DS Tip of the Week: Keep It In The Family!

Spring is here!  Are you looking to refresh your room, but don’t want to spend money on a new set of furniture?  It’s time to make a trip to the attic, and take a step back in time!

This week’s tip comes from one of our Menomonee Falls #DecoratingSolutions designers.  Aaron Keller is known for his ability to take the old and make it new again.  He’s a master of the ‘Reclaimed’ look, and this week he’s talking about family heirlooms.

Aaron’s tip:  “Don’t be afraid to refresh a room with your antique pieces–turning your room from drab to fab!!  In the photo below, all of the furniture is the client’s.  By changing paint, floor, rug, accessories, lighting, seat upholstery, and wall color, you can really make your treasures shine.  Remember to use lemon oil to shine your antiques or new wood furniture.  I personally use Guardsman Lemon Oil on my wood pieces–sold at Steinhafels!”

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Interior design doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive!  We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip of the Week: Gallery Walls–Keep It Simple

You know you wait all week for this moment… it’s time for another Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week!

Gallery walls are all the rage right now.  A gallery wall is an area that showcases a displayed collection of either objects, photographs, or even both.  Some are very intricate, with many different items, while others are very simple–with one main piece to attract the eye.

Decorating Solutions Interior Designer Laura Hoffman works at our Appleton store.  Here’s her advice:  “Gallery walls have been in for a while.  It always looks so much better when you add that pop of color with a big oversized art piece, instead of many small scale items.  When you use one large piece of art versus several smaller ones, it makes the room look more dramatic, draws your eye over the piece, and it should compliment the space.”

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That’s all for now!  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Special Spaces & Steinhafels: A Shared Mission of Creating Dream Spaces

Here at Steinhafels we are of course very proud of our stores, products, and the high quality we offer our customers.  However, just as important is our commitment to the communities we serve.  So teaming up with Special Spaces was a no brainer.  They help make dreams come true through furniture, and so do we!!

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As Special Spaces explains on its website, the mission is simple but zealous:  “We create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening medical illnesses.  This is a place that only the child can dream or imagine while addressing his or her medical needs.  Our focus is answering one question; Where does a child go when battling a serious illness to find peace and comfort?”

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We had the pleasure of talking with Ann Swain of the local chapter of Special Spaces, to learn a little more about the program to share with you, our blog readers.  Special Spaces was actually founded in Tennessee in 2004.  The founder has family ties to Wisconsin, and the organization started working on projects here in 2012.  Nationally, they have redesigned about 600 rooms, including 50 here in the Badger state.

Swain is devoted to Special Spaces.  As she explains, “I’m passionate about making a difference in our community.  We have 4 healthy children, and we like to think that together we make a difference.  We couldn’t do what we do without the amazing directors.”

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Steinhafels is just one of many organizations that has donated to help create dream rooms for these special little boys and girls.  It means a lot to many of our employees, and it shows.  Swain says, “We love Steinhafels on so many different levels.  We love the people, and all of the workers we have dealt with.”

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Nothing is more powerful than hearing from the recipient families themselves. Here are just a couple testimonials:

“The boys just love it!  Brayden was Star of the Week at school and shared his whole Special Spaces experience.  They thought he was a celebrity.  Thank you!”

“Special Spaces is an amazing group of people that come together to bring smiles, laughter, and a positive outlook for families who are struggling.  It’s not a one time event; it’s a gift that stays with you for years to come.”

Steinhafels also had the honor of helping to “set the stage” for the Special Spaces Dream BIG Gala just a few weeks ago.  It’s a magical evening for everyone, and vital to keeping the mission going.

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If you’d like to learn more about Special Spaces, check out the group’s WEBSITE, FACEBOOK page, and video on YOUTUBE.  You can help make a child’s dream come true!

DS Tip Of The Week: Pattern Perfection

It’s time for another Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week!

Decorating with patterns can be tricky.  You don’t want to overdo it, but you also want to highlight your unique style.  Jenii Kluver is a #DecoratingSolutions Interior Decorator at our Oak Creek store.  Here’s her simple advice:

“Use different sized patterns to create interest without being too overwhelming.  Put larger patterns on larger pieces, and smaller patterns on smaller pieces.”

Sounds easy enough, right?  Tune in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek!

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Shut It Down and Get to Sleep!

The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week March 6-13.  We’ve been wanting to write a blog about the importance of sleep for awhile, and this seems like the perfect time.  Mattresses are a huge part of our business at Steinhafels, but we want to take a step back and really think about just how important a quality night’s sleep is to our overall health.

So we decided to go right to the experts.  Dr. Louella Amos is a Sleep Physician. She specializes in Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College.  She works with patients to make sure the entire family, especially children, are getting a good night’s sleep.

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Our first question for Dr. Amos was pretty simple:  What does sleep really do for our bodies?  We all know that if we don’t get enough sleep we tend to be drowsy, cranky, and lazy… but is there more to it than that?  The answer is yes!  Dr. Amos explains, “Nighttime sleep is really important for the body to recover from whatever happened during the day.  Another function of sleep is really going back to the information we obtain during the day, the learning that goes on during the day–you need to process that.  Certain stages of sleep are really important for memory, cognitive development, and processing information–that’s really important for children.”

Dr. Amos says the last main function of sleep is fighting off illness.  “When we’re sick, you’ll notice you might want to sleep more, and that’s a normal response, because your body is saying it needs to relax and recover, and when you don’t sleep you’ll find you’re not going to recover as quickly.”

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Now we know it’s not always realistic to get that glorious 8 hours of sleep (for adults) and 9+ hours for kids and adolescents.  Schedules these days are packed with work, school, extra curricular activities, sports, evening events, etc.  Often our kids are more busy than we are!!  However, there are some ways to practice good ‘Sleep Hygiene’ as Dr. Amos calls it. (Adults–these are for you too!!)

1.) Turn off all electronic devices one hour before bed.  This should give your mind time to wind down.  Our brains produce Melatonin as it gets dark outside, so if we are exposed to extra light in the evening, our brain may not think it’s dark out, and that can delay Melatonin production.

2.) Set a bedtime and stick to it.  Once you set a time, try to avoid caffeine 8 hours before that time.

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3.) Exercise at the peak time to promote Restorative Sleep.  Exercise is good in general for health, but we’re looking at timing.  After school or right after work is ideal.  Usually any time from 3 to 6 p.m. is a good time for moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.  This will help tire your body so you sleep better and longer come bedtime.  This is called ‘Restorative Sleep.’  But if you exercise too close to bedtime, it may take a little longer to fall asleep.  If you exercise in the morning that’s fine, but it won’t really have that extra calming effect on your sleep later.

4.) Don’t go to bed hungry!  This is especially important for kids.  Hunger at night may wake them from their sleep.  A small snack at night is fine, but clearly nothing with caffeine or too much sugar right before bedtime.

5.) Use the bed only for sleep.  If you read before bed do it the old fashioned way–with a paperback book, and sit in a chair near your bed.  This helps you only associate the bed with sleep.  This is especially important for kids.

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6.) Follow a Family Sleep Routine.  Even if the adults and older kids stay up a little later, it’s important to sort of ‘shut down’ the house when the young kiddos go to sleep–turn off the music, lower the volume on the TV, dim the lights, etc.

The mattress staff at Steinhafels is dedicated to making sure we provide the highest quality at the best value.  LeeJean Williams is the lead buyer for Mattresses and Bedding.  We asked Williams what her number one priority is when selecting the mattresses to sell at our stores.   She replied, “Comfort and to ensure a customer’s sleep system (pillow, mattress, and foundation) is providing the right support and spinal alignment.”

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The good news is that, like everything, sleep ‘technology’ has vastly improved over the years.  As Williams explains, “There is technology to help customers sleep cooler, provide the right amount of body support, and foundations that allow a customer to position the mattress to help reduce snoring, acid reflux, and pressure in the lower back.”

Sleep is such a personal thing.  We all have different routines and techniques.  That’s why there is such a wide variety of mattresses in the Steinhafels showroom and on our website.  Dr. Amos admits she is no expert when it comes to sleep products and mattresses, but acknowledges that a good mattress and overall sleep environment is very important for overall wellness.

Dr. Amos suggests involving your child in the mattress selection process.  She explains, “I’ve had children or adolescents who have developed a bad relationship with their current bed, or current surface.  I think the children should sort of play a role in determining what they’re going to sleep on, so I’ve told parents to kinda make a clean slate.  Try to take them when you buy a bed for them.  Have them play a role in that.  First of all, they’ll appreciate it and enjoy it, and then it’s kinda a new beginning.”

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Of course there are some serious sleep issues that require more than just a good mattress:  Sleep Apnea, Night Terrors, and Narcolepsy–just to name a few.  In these cases you may need to see a doctor for yourself or your child.

The big takeaways we hope you get from this post:  Sleep truly is important, shut down your technology at night, and try to follow a routine.  Even if you sleep like a baby, we hope you got something out of reading this.  Sleep is a vital component of overall health and wellness, and it’s a lot easier to have sweet dreams on a comfortable mattress.

Williams said it best when asked how she hopes customers react when they lie on their new Steinhafels mattresses for the first time.  She says, “I hope they sleep like they have never slept before, and they wake up feeling like they just had the best night’s sleep of their lives.”

So get off your computer or mobile device, get in bed, and enjoy #SleepAwarenessWeek!!

Do you have any Sleep Tips you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear them!!  Please post them in the Comments section below.

DS Tip of the Week: Dress Your Windows

Most of us love to have the beauty and warmth of natural light in our homes.  The one exception might be at 6 a.m. on a lazy Sunday morning in the middle of the summer, when the beaming sun wakes us from a restful slumber.  But as we Wisconsinites know all too well, we still have a few months until we have to worry about that.

In the meantime, the sun is a welcome sight during these late winter and early spring months.  However, you can’t count on the sun to do all the work.  You have to make sure you show your windows some love!  Windows are the topic of this week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week.

Patti Stindt is an Interior Designer at our Madison Beltline store.  Her recommendation to homeowners:  Don’t forget about dressing the windows!

Patti says, “No matter what the size of the window or how high the ceilings, a vertical line in your designed space adds interest and warmth.  It is also a great way to add color, texture, or introduce another pattern.”

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As you see in these pictures, some simple drapes add interest and depth to the room.  Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.