DS Tip Of The Week: Getting Personal With Pictures

Spring is here!  Are you looking to refresh your room, but don’t want to spend money on a new set of furniture? Maybe it’s time to get your artistic juices flowing!

This week’s tip is a little different than usual. It doesn’t show a furniture example, but instead how you can use your own artistic eye to compliment your furniture pieces. It comes from Lori Green, an interior decorator at our Greenfield store. Lori has been in our Decorating Solutions program for years, and always has unique and practical ideas.

Lori’s tip has a personal touch. She says, “I sometimes take personal photos that I have collected that are special to me, and will enlarge and frame them with black frames and put them side by side above my sofa for example. Photographs can help pull the bright colors out of furniture into a room. It is amazing what one can capture on film, and enlarged…it’s so sentimental to you after you see those images on a canvas. I have a lot of fun doing that.”

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The best part–bringing those images to life wasn’t difficult! Lori explains, “My daughter and I downloaded our photos to Shutterfly and selected the size we wanted for our canvas art to be made. They shipped them to us, and then we got them framed ourselves. It can be an easy way to create one of a kind wall art.”

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.

The Power of Employment: Justin’s Story

We often take our jobs for granted. We like our coworkers, we like what we do… but for many people, a job’s a job.

However, when you really think about it, our jobs are a big part of who we are. They consume about half of our waking life! It’s where we accomplish personal goals, make mistakes, learn how to communicate with others, make a living, and hopefully feel a sense of self worth.

Today, we want to spotlight one of our newer employees, who truly shows the empowerment of employment.  

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Justin’s story begins with Project SEARCH, an Employment & Training Program through Easterseals. Project SEARCH is a transition program that trains adults with disabilities for employment. It’s similar to an internship, and takes place entirely onsite at a host business from September through early June. Justin completed his Project SEARCH tenure at Waukesha Memorial Hospital–one of several local hospitals involved in the program. In addition to on the job training, participants also learn interpersonal skills, resume writing, and understanding company policies.  

Lori Stankiewicz is a Workforce Development Specialist with Easterseals Southeast Wisconsin. She explains, “The whole concept of Project SEARCH is to walk away with on the job training skills that can be applied to other jobs.”

Justin did very well during his time with Project SEARCH. Once that was completed, a job developer came on board, and Justin did a temporary work experience at our Steinhafels Dreams Mattress Factory in New Berlin. This temporary experience gives people like Justin the opportunity to work on the job, and can potentially lead to a hire.

The Dreams factory was not the best fit for Justin, but that’s OK. Our Human Resources Department saw Justin’s potential, and thought maybe the Distribution Center at our Corporate Store in Waukesha would be a better fit. Well…Justin took off running and never looked back! With the support of his job coaches, and the ‘natural supports’ of his coworkers and supervisors, Justin quickly learned the tasks in the recycling area.

Justin’s job is very important to warehouse productivity. He takes the trash bins from the  furniture assembly area, puts the contents in the trash compactor, and then returns the bins to their original spots so assemblers can continue working and not lose time emptying trash.

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Justin also works on balers for cardboard and plastic. These are very important to Steinhafels’ recycling efforts. Lori says she is proud Justin can be a part of this process.  “I think Steinhafels has done a really great job of recycling material. The team members throughout the warehouse are doing it, and that’s great.”

Lori explains that Justin has also learned how to ‘wire’ the cardboard bale, which basically secures the cardboard as it moves through the baler. In the end, a bale of cardboard weighs at least 1200 pounds! The bales are eventually loaded on a semi and shipped off to be recycled.

Justin is the picture of focus while at work. Lori gives a laugh and says, ”Justin just really loves to work. He doesn’t like to chit chat.. he’d rather just work.”

But it’s more than physical labor and collecting a paycheck. Justin’s mom Theresa explains,  “He now has a better attitude in general, and I think he has more self worth. I believe that Justin has worked hard to get where he is today, and is a true success story for a little boy that was diagnosed moderate to severe autism 22 years ago.”

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Justin learned the job so quickly that job coaches were able to step back early, and he now works independently. His first day on the job as an official employee was January 6. Talk about a great way to kickoff 2017!

We asked Lori how it makes her feel to see a success story like Justin. She says, “I gotta say the first time I saw him in his uniform was awesome, and I’ve also seen his level of confidence grow.  It’s just great. It just shows that everyone has the possibility of working in the community, and having a meaningful working experience.” She adds, “The biggest thing is you’re seeing people and their abilities…that’s really what we’re striving for.”

Justin is a man of few words (his favorite word is “Alright”), but there’s no denying he loves his job. Lori says, “He shows it by the big smile he has while working, especially while all the cardboard is being crushed!”

You can learn more about Project SEARCH by clicking HERE!

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DS Tip Of The Week: Bringing the Barn Indoors

It’s technically spring, but many of us are probably still suffering from a case of the winter doldrums. One way to catch the spring fever is to bring some of the life and vibrance of the outdoors, in!

It’s time for your Steinhafels Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week to give you some inspiration. This week’s tip is from Menomonee Falls Interior Decorator Beth Kealy.

Beth has some advice for adding some outdoor, rustic flair to your space. She exclaims, “What’s currently on trend?  Barn doors, they are showing up everywhere!”

You can hide your TV behind them

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Use them for office or spare bedroom doors

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They make great entertainment consoles

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Many accent pieces also feature barn doors 

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Beth adds, “These ideas can really ‘fun up’ any space!”

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Our designers are always on the lookout for the latest trends. Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip Of The Week: Don’t Be So Pushy!

It’s Monday AND the first day of Spring. Time for some #MondayMotivation!! Here’s your Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week to give you a burst of motivation!

This week we look at furniture arrangement. Samantha Price is an interior decorator based at our beautiful Oak Creek store. Samantha points out that many people have a tendency to think furniture needs to be pushed up against a wall. Instead, she says don’t be so “pushy!”

She explains, “In a lot of spaces, most commonly the long narrow room, furniture against a wall makes for a real awkward space, with no real definitions. An entertaining space should be more cozy and not spread out across a room. An area rug is a great way to help ground and define a specific space. After the main pieces are placed, sometimes the leftover space can be overwhelming and undefined? An accent chair and a table are always a great solution. It can create a visually pleasing area of interest, while offering extra seating when guests come over! Furniture pieces do not always need to create the look of everyday use. Sometimes the definition of a space within a space can be the eye catcher.”

Here’s a Before and After of one of Samantha’s recent projects:

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We post a new, quick and easy decor tip each and every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Steinhafels & The Pabst Theater: Showtime!

It’s the big night. The stage is set, the theater crew is working on last minute preps… and the band is relaxing, watching TV, and enjoying some fresh coffee and a home-cooked meal!

The Pabst Theater Group prides itself on making all performers feel at home once they enter the doors of the Pabst Theater, The Riverside, or Turner Hall Ballroom. From an on-site caterer, to personal barista, and an enviable vinyl collection… the Pabst staff does all it can to make sure performers are comfortable before they take the big stage.

This emphasis on hospitality and the comforts of home make Steinhafels a perfect fit as a partner for this Milwaukee institution!

Over the last few months we’ve been working together to redesign the backstage of the Group’s historic Pabst Theater. As you can see it’s a neat space, but needed a little TLC and modern touches.

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Steinhafels Decorating Solutions Interior Decorator Anne Sperry was basically given carte blanche to transform the space. The Pabst Theater staff admits it was a little daunting. “It’s always a little scary when you are changing something that is so personal and important to what we do. But it’s also very exciting since we know it will be a better, improved space.”

After the big Delivery Day, and a few finishing touches… check out the “NEW” digs! It still has that casual hangout vibe, but Anne added some color to make it pop, and also included some modern/rustic wood and metal pieces to hold all that vinyl!

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Channel 12 and CBS 58 even came by to check it out and talk to Anne!

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We love the new space, and so does the Pabst… but don’t take our word for it. Let’s see what the performers think!

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The first band to use the space was Wisconsin’s own Horseshoes and Hand Grenades. The band has been playing together for about 6 years, and they always love playing the Pabst theaters. Davey Lynch plays harmonica and accordion. He explains, “The hospitality is absolutely the best.  That’s not just a Milwaukee pride thing either, since I live in Milwaukee.  Of the entire lower 48, Pabst/Riverside/Turner has the best hospitality. That’s not just food and beverage, but the feeling you get with the hospitality and the staff too.”

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Lynch and his 4 bandmates spend an average of five hours a day together on a small bus, so he says having a place to call home away from home while touring is very important. “Getting that living room environment is wildly important, especially to feel comfortable before performing too, so it’s nice to have that. Just that good down home feeling, that’s just great.”

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We had him try out one of the new leather couches. He was impressed, and had some fun with it! “I definitely notice the leather furniture, absolutely, very comfortable couches… Oh yeah, I did the lay down, the sit down, the half laydown.”

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It’s good to see Davey and his buddies making themselves at home! We are so excited to continue our partnership with the Pabst, and help bring a touch of home to the men and women who work so hard to give audiences a great time.

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You can check out more pictures from the big “Reveal Day” by clicking HERE.

 

DS Tip Of The Week: Lose the TV

Despite this late season deluge of snow…spring IS coming! That means time to turn off the TV’s, open the windows, and enjoy the sounds and smells of the outdoors.

This week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week comes to us from one of our Oak Creek-based interior decorators, Jenii Kluver. She has a message for all of you hooked on Sports, Video Games, Netflix, Hulu, etc. Turn it off when you’re in the family room. In fact, lose the TV altogether. That’s right–no TV! Small family rooms were never meant to have TV’s.

Jenii explains, “Try eliminating the TV in your space and relocating it to a more closed off space such as a basement or bedroom. This will give you a lot more freedom to use your room to its fullest potential without having to designate one wall as a ‘TV wall.’ If you really cannot live without a TV in your living space, try mounting it above your fireplace to still give yourself freedom with furniture layout.”

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We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip Of The Week: Big Style–Decorating With Neutrals And Naturals

When it comes to interior design, many of us don’t want to push the envelope. We may think decorating with neutrals is the “safe” way to go, but the truth is, you can have BIG and BOLD style, all while decorating with neutrals and naturals! Our Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week asks you to think about neutrals in a new way.

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This week’s tip comes from Appleton Interior Decorator Julie Kanugh.  Julie says, “Don’t be afraid to go BIG. Neutral doesn’t need to be boring. You can make a neutral room interesting with patterns, textures, and materials. For example, leather is a natural and practical choice, and can have interesting textures. In addition, distressed or reclaimed wood adds texture and style, along with being family friendly (scratches on the coffee table won’t matter)!”

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Julie adds, don’t forget to protect your purchase with Guardsman! We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

You can check out Julie talking about Bold Neutrals on Fox 11’s “Living With Amy” by clicking HERE.

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Steinhafels & Pabst Theater: Delivery Day!

There’s nothing more exciting than DELIVERY DAY when it comes to an interior design project.  Delivery day takes on an even greater meaning when you are delivering to a Milwaukee institution… a place with a history dating back 122 years!!

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We first told you about our new partnership with the Pabst Theater Group a few weeks ago. The Pabst Theater team approached us a few months ago about a potential partnership.  The ideas started small, but when you get a bunch of creative people in a room the ideas get big fast.  Before you knew it, we were talking about an entire redesign of the Pabst Theater backstage!

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The Pabst Team explains, “We believe the partnership is not only a marketing opportunity, but a way to highlight Steinhafels as local business that supports other local organizations.  It’s a way to reach our communities with unique content, and provide an incentive for each of our fans with custom content and information that they may not be aware of otherwise.”

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Steinhafels Decorating Solutions Interior designer Anne Sperry is leading the project.  Anne has a theater background, and wanted to help create a comfortable yet trendy space for artists performing at the Pabst. She says this project is very special to her, and close to her heart. “Often talented artists and actors come from stress filled beginnings…they turn to their art for comfort and it’s something they can rely on. I have a mother’s heart for artists and giving them a soft nest to land in for awhile feels blessed on both ends.”

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Both the Pabst and Steinhafels teams worked for weeks to make sure DELIVERY DAY would go as smoothly as possible. The warehouse and delivery crews are the unsung heroes of a big delivery like this one.  Without them, the furniture wouldn’t be stocked, loaded, or delivered!!

Managers Kevin Riley and Erik Swamp took the lead on this project.  Kevin admits it was a little daunting. “Deliveries like this are always fun but are usually a challenge because of the unknown.  We try to prepare for every situation, but a delivery like this can be much different than your typical customer home delivery.  Thankfully the theater has a gigantic stage elevator that we were able to use to easily move everything into the lower lounge!  Overall, we enjoy moves like this because we get to see something outside the norm and get to work with some great people.”

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Every delivery is important, big or small.  As Kevin points out, “The most important detail when planning a delivery like this is that our customer is happy.  We double check our inventory list and make sure everything has been inspected before we load it onto the truck.”

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Erik enjoyed getting to see some of the ‘Behind the Scenes’ media activity.  He adds, “I would say that pace can be a challenge in deliveries like this. When our drivers are out on the road they are trained to move as efficiently as possible to service all of their customers for that day. When working with media teams such as film crews and journalists, it can be challenging to slow things down and make sure everyone is getting what they need, but very rewarding as well.”

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Carl Deffenbaugh of Fox 6 and Dan Shafer of the Milwaukee Business Journal graciously took the time to come out and cover the event. Media coverage of something like this is important–to not only let the community know what’s going on, but also show how local businesses and Arts organizations can work together and thrive.

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Dirk Stallmann is the Marketing Director at Steinhafels.  He tells the Business Journal, “It’s a lasting project, so it’s a substantial investment on our part. Hopefully it will last a long time, and hopefully it will help keep this theater and this venue as one of the top spots in the country. That’s really the goal. You want to have this experience. All we do is provide props for your life. What we do is really give you the props, and the experiences are up to you.”

When it comes to the actual logistics of the delivery, things couldn’t have gone smoother. As Kevin mentioned, having a gigantic stage elevator didn’t hurt! The crew unloaded the large items from the truck quickly, and Anne brought an array of accessories.  The room quickly transformed from an empty space to a flurry of activity as volunteers and staff worked to unwrap and arrange furniture. It was great to see so many people coming together to help. As Anne says, “Many hands make lite work! Great job by all.”

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Anne admits that a designer never truly knows how a space will look until the furniture arrives, but she had a good idea.  She explains why she made the choices she did with the Pabst space. “Shiny and new always look good… but the balance and scale of the new pieces give more free space, and the plants and pop of color in the lime and red just made the space buzz with excitement. The accessories added a little fun as well.”

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Everyone else was also impressed!  The Pabst team likes that the ‘Steinhafels Touch’ makes it feel a little more like home. “We want the artist to feel special, providing a space that is comfortable where they do not need to do anything extra. All they have to worry about is picking out which record to listen to. The redesign definitely helps by allowing for more mobility and an improved emphasis on our wide selection of vinyl, and keeping a unique and comfortable atmosphere (and maintaining a few key elements like the Colectivo Coffee barista station and food line).”

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As delivery operations managers, Kevin and Erik have seen a lot, but even they were impressed by the results! Kevin exclaims, “The space was really cool.  Our designer turned a boring basement lounge into a hip and comfortable relaxing space.  Hats off to Anne from Kenosha.”

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This is not a ‘one and done’ event.  As the Pabst Team explains, this is just the start of an exciting partnership.  “Providing unique content is just one way to maintain the relationship, but in order to take it to the next level there could be connections with specific shows at our venues.   Perhaps include ticket promotions, staff incentives, and again additional marketing exposure–with the ability to highlight the Steinhafels brand related to other events.

We look forward to the ‘official’ reveal in the next week or so, and to whatever else this new partnership of visual and recording artists brings! Be sure to stay tuned to this blog… we will keep our readers posted on any big developments.

Check out the Dropbox LINK to all pictures and videos!!

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