Fisher House & Steinhafels: Helping Military Families Find a Home Away From Home

It’s a project more than 5 years in the making, but the Fisher House Wisconsin is now officially open for business!  Steinhafels is proud to have played a part in making that happen.

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The Fisher House Foundation provides a network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.  There are currently 70 locations on the grounds of military and VA medical facilities throughout the United States, as well as Germany and the United Kingdom.  The program began in 1990.

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Steinhafels knew right away that this was a project we wanted to be a part of.  As Marketing Director Dirk Stallmann explains, “The Fisher House is such a wonderful way to give back to the men and women serving our country, particularly those who are recovering from injury or illness.  Providing a convenient place for their families to stay during their time of need provides countless benefits.”

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Wisconsin’s new Fisher House sits on the picturesque campus of the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee.  Steinhafels was honored to be invited to take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, April 23.

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It was a gorgeous day for the ceremony, and hundreds came out to recognize our brave heroes.  The program began with a Presentation of the Colors and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.  Distinguished guests included retired military, medical professionals, and Ken Fisher–CEO and Chairman of the Fisher House Foundation.

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However, the most touching part of the morning was definitely an emotional speech by Michael Halula.  Michael’s son David sustained a traumatic brain injury in 2007 during a car crash.  It happened just before he was scheduled to deploy.  After receiving acute care at the Milwaukee VA, David was transferred to the Minneapolis VA for rehab.  He remained there for 11 months.  During that time, Michael and his wife visited David on the weekends, and stayed at the Minneapolis VA Fisher House.  Their story is just one example of the 277,000 families served by Fisher Houses since 1990.

Steinhafels takes part in many community events, but this one is extra special.  As Stallmann notes, “We are in the business to help create the home of our customers’ dreams, and the Fisher House Wisconsin was a perfect tie.”

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But we are just one small piece of this amazing puzzle.  This project truly shows how generous the people of Milwaukee are, and how much we support our veterans.  We are the first community ever to raise enough funds for a Fisher House before construction even began!  This wasn’t all that surprising to those who live here in Wisconsin.  As Stallmann explains, “When seeing the house, my heart swelled with pride for our entire state.  This house was built with the love and generosity of so many donors, and serves as another example of why Wisconsin is so special.”

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The home has a cozy feeling, but measures a roomy 13,000 square feet.  It includes 16 private suites and a communal kitchen and living area for people traveling at least 50 miles to be with family members getting treatment at the VA medical center.  Those who attended Saturday’s ceremony got a chance to get a first glimpse inside the home!

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If the house is at capacity, the Fisher House will pay for those families to stay in a nearby hotel.  This truly shows the foundation’s commitment to our community, our veterans, and their families.  We are so proud to be a part of this fantastic mission!

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Click HERE for a full gallery of photos from the ceremony and house tour.

Click HERE for video of the ribbon-cutting.

Click HERE for behind-the-scenes video from the house tour!

 

DS Tip of the Week: “Love Lamp” Lighting Do’s & Don’ts

Do you love your room’s decor, but feel the lighting doesn’t quite ‘work’?  A fix may be easier than you think.  As the character Brick Tamland exclaimed in the movie Anchorman, “I love lamp.  I love lamp.”

Wise words indeed.

Brian Mueller is an interior designer based in our Vernon Hills store.  He has this week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week!

Brian explains, “No room is complete without good lighting.  No matter how many ceiling lights you have in a room, you always need lamps to soften the mood.  Feel free to mix and match different table and floor lamps so they are not all ‘matchy matchy’, and to add character to a room.  It’s also another way to bring different finishes and textures into a room.  Steinhafels has so many different types of lighting to offer!  Also, swap out that ceiling fan in any room for a chandelier to instantly add character to a room.  You can even add a crystal chandelier to a room without making it formal, and without defining a particular design style.”

Check out some stylish and simple examples below.

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Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek!

The new look of “Corporate” healthcare at Steinhafels

Steinhafels is proud to be a family-owned business known for providing quality home furnishings, mattresses, and home decor to families in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.  However, did you know Steinhafels is also at the forefront of new trends in Corporate Health and Wellness–thanks to our new on-site contracted physician!

Let’s take a step back for a minute and look at how the company’s healthcare plan has evolved through the years.  Steinhafels has had a Wellness Program for almost a decade–well before many other companies.  The Wellness Program includes perks like an on-site gym, in-house fitness programs, an on-site nurse, and group fitness challenges.

While the main focus is on the well-being of employees, Human Resources Manager Andrea Kokott explains having a Wellness Program also makes good business sense.  “If we can give really good quality care, and catch issues early, and have good preventative and wellness, we can maintain a really good benefit-level plan, without increasing cost to the employees.”

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With today’s sky-rocketing healthcare costs, everyone is feeling the pinch–both employers and their employees.  As patients, it can be frustrating when we have to wait days for a basic care appointment, and weeks to months for specialized care.  It makes you stop and think… there has to be a DIFFERENT way!

Steinhafels was determined to find that different way.  We contracted a Family Practice Physician who can see our medical plan participants and their dependents on-site.  We’re not saying this is necessarily better for everyone.  Some employees have specialized doctors, and we understand that.  But for many employees, it just makes sense!  We cut out the middle-man.  No more searching for a doctor in your healthcare plan.  No more waiting weeks to months for an appointment.

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As we mentioned, employees can see the doctor on-site in her consultation room, at our Corporate Center in Waukesha.  Patients can schedule an appointment and see a doctor right away… with no co-pay!!

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Sounds too good to be true, right?  As Kokott explains, it’s all about supplying the quality of care that our workers deserve.  “When people are ill and they just go to a walk-in urgent care, you have no history there, that person has never seen you before.  They don’t know you, you don’t know them.  You have no idea how much time they’re going to spend with you, if they are really going to do a thorough evaluation, or if it will be in and out.”

Steinhafels contracts with Dr. Jean Ibric.  Dr. Ibric is not a Steinhafels employee, but she says being here feels like she’s part of the family.  She also admits it’s a nice departure from the hustle and bustle of the mainstream medical business.  “It really lets me practice medicine the way I was trained to.  It lets doctors practice medicine the way they want to and the way they were trained to.”

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Dr. Ibric says she has wanted to be a doctor since she was in high school.  She explains, “I like to listen.  I can blend the love I have of science and biology and the human side of the science.  I’ve always loved both of those.”

Dr. Ibric has lived in the Milwaukee area for 25 years, and is married with 4 boys, ranging in age from 15 to 22!  She grew up in the Chicago area, and went to college and medical school at the University of Arizona.  She was an OB/GYN  for 7 years, did Family Practice for 10 years, and has been practicing corporate medicine for about 2 1/2 years.  She says she took the Steinhafels contract because she believes in the model.  “The dedication to the Wellness and concern for employees.  The care they show for the employees.  It’s a step beyond the money savings.”

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Dr. Ibric’s consultation room is designed to be very comfortable, private, and efficient.  Whether an employee has a simple earache, or goes in for a full medical exam, Dr. Ibric says no issue is too big or too small.  She says she would rather see patients than have them delay treatment.  “It will make for people being more productive.  If we take care of the issue they’ll have quicker attention, be back to work sooner.  It’s more preventative than traditional medicine.”

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At the end of the day, let’s admit it–no one LOVES going to the doctor.  We have been programmed to dread the office visit, dread the exam, and especially dread the co-pay or extra charges resulting from the visit.  Having an on-site doctor as part of our company’s medical plan takes away some of that anxiety, and hopefully makes employees feel even more comfortable coming to work.

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We encourage any employees who haven’t checked out Dr. Ibric’s office yet to come in and say hello!  To contact Dr. Ibric for an appointment, please call 262-278-4980 (Monday-Friday between 8:00am -5:00pm.)  She is also working on an online scheduling system.

Click HERE for an online gallery of pictures!

 

 

DS Tip of The Week: Elegant Updates for Empty Nesters

The school year is winding down, and that means many new grads will be starting new careers… and leaving the nest for good.  Some parents will leave the child’s bedroom untouched–with teddy bears still on the bed and band posters on the walls!  However, less nostalgic parents will likely look at that vacant bedroom, and be ready to make a change.

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from Menomonee Falls Designer Beth Kealy.  Beth says you don’t have to completely change your child’s old bedroom, but like your child, it’s time for that old room to “grow up.”

How do you do that?  Beth explains, “Empty nesters can reclaim use of a child’s old room with elegant updates that cut the cluttered look of the past.  Take a room from ‘Catch All’ to ‘Wow’!”

Here are a couple Before and Afters of a daughter’s bedroom turned guest room:

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Your child may miss the old room at first, but after awhile, he or she will be happy to come home and be treated like an adult.  And guests don’t have to feel awkward staring at a poster of NSYNC on the wall!

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

DS Tip of the Week: Steampunk at Steinhafels

When it comes to interior design, there is often a relation to trends in pop culture and fashion.  This is the case with “Steampunk,” which is making a comeback.  Steampunk is defined as a style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction:  The essence of Steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern twist.

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week takes a closer look at this subgenre of science fiction, and how it has influenced design.  Jim Mallon is an interior designer at our Vernon Hills store.  He explains, “My design client was looking for a design that would incorporate the repurposed pieces of old barn timbers as a platform bed, pulleys as a accent lighting, and an 18th century style chair.  We designed the room to create a comfortable, anachronistic space that expressed the design aesthetic of the client.”

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Here are some examples of Steampunk items available at Steinhafels.

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Mallon says Steampunk can be a great design concept for a budget driven 21st century client.  So quit playing it safe, get out your old copies of “War of the Worlds” and “A Wrinkle In Time” for inspiration, and give your home a sci-fi, architectural flair.

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

“Ladies’ Night” at Steinhafels: Redesign Your Health and Your Home!

Steinhafels Corporate in Waukesha recently hosted ProHealth Care’s “Ladies’ Night,” but it’s not the kind of Ladies’ Night you are probably used to.  This event focused on womens’ health.  As women, we often overlook our health in order to take care of our children, husbands, friends, relatives, and co-workers.   Steinhafels was very pleased to take part in ProHealth’s fresh and unique way to celebrate women and wellness.

The night included panel discussions on issues that don’t always get talked about:  Emotional Baggage, Menopause, Weight Management, and Sexual Health Concerns.

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In addition to hosting the event in our Community Room, Steinhafels actively took part in the evening.  Decorating Solutions design team members Dawn Adamec and Rhonda Vivoda did demonstrations to showcase how simple decor changes can brighten not only a room’s appearance, but a person’s mood!

Dawn’s redesign had a contemporary flare, and Rhonda’s was more traditional.  Check them out!

DAWN’S DESIGN:

Wicker, glass and, a fresh color pallet.  I focused on mixing textures.  One common misconception is that we have to be matchy matchy all the time–like coordinating occasional tables.  Mix it up!  It adds interest.  In this vignette, we have a standard end table, a wicker ottoman instead of a coffee table, and a garden stool instead of a standard end table.  I also used glass to add another element of texture and to add color–with the vases on the ottoman and the base of the lamp.  The color pallet I used is a great color scheme to transform a room from a dark, warm winter feel to a light, fresh, and airy summery feel.

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RHONDA’S REDO:

I achieved a traditional feel by working with a warmer, classical color palette.  I worked in different textures and patterns with the rug and throw pillows.  I also used a traditional style leather recliner to add another material and some warmth.  I did keep my tables matching–a very classic look.  The color scheme I used gives you such a warm and inviting feeling.

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Steinhafels is dedicated to giving back to the community—from donations, to volunteering, to offering our Community Room for various events. We hope this event both empowered women to focus on their health, and freshen up the “health” of their homes with some quick and easy touches.

DS Tip Of The Week: Tying It All Together

Are you looking to rearrange your room, but are worried you’ll be stuck with a layout you’ll be sick of in a few weeks… or a layout that looks nice, but isn’t functional?

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip Of The Week is a little different than most.  Instead of just one simple tip, our designer is sharing some of her step by step, insider knowledge from a recent project!

Lori Green is an interior designer at our Greenfield store.  She explains, “I have one of my client’s photos of the room before doing a remodel.  I suggested he take out the bookshelves by his fireplace in order to make his room look larger and brighter.  We put in new flooring, kitchen counters, and lighting.  We selected everything together, from the flooring to the furniture, and the balance of the space is beautiful because the colors all tie together.  You can see how the fireplace is so beautifully framed with the tables, lamps, and the rug tying the pieces together, along with the leather and counter stools.  The colorful lighting fixture and accessories are also very pleasing to the eye.  Keep in mind it’s not always easy to have a room look attractive when working around a television.”

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AFTER:

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Even if these steps don’t directly apply to your project, hopefully this post gives you some insight into what will work best for you!  If you need any help, feel free to call your local Steinhafels or stop in–one of our designers would love to help you out.

Take some of the guesswork out of interior design!  We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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!