Behind the Scenes: Delafield Hotel Shoot

We love to feature the work of our talented designers.  This week in OnMilwaukee.com, you may have noticed a Sponsored Content article about Patti Stindt’s recent LARGE-scale redesign… The Delafield Hotel!

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It’s interesting to learn a little more about the project from the designer’s perspective.  In addition to designing the space, Patti also had to be a “project manager” of sorts. Think of yourself as the project manager any time you undergo a design project, no matter how big or small. It’s important to have everything tediously planned, so you avoid snafus during the actual project.

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We also got to see our photo team–Sarah, Austin, and Ryan–hard at work!  It takes some intricate lighting and perfect camera shots to get the “Before and After” images you see on our Decorating Solutions WEBPAGE.

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If you didn’t get a chance to read the article in OnMilwaukee, check it out HERE.  And if you ever have any fresh ideas for a blog, please let us know!!  You can post them right below in the COMMENTS section.

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A Job Well Done: Steinhafels Annual Sales Team Awards

A great store starts with a great sales team.  The sales staff are the first point of contact for customers.  The Steinhafels Sales Team prides itself on being friendly, efficient, and ready to help customers find the best deals to create the homes of their dreams.  Our Sales Team also works hard to make furniture shopping a FUN!

The Steinhafels family recognized the top sales performers at the Annual Sales Awards on Thursday, February 9, 2017.

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Our Sales Team is 246 people strong, and growing.  While we are proud of the entire group, we’d like to recognize some of the top winners.

Years of Service (30 plus!)

Rich Dwyer

Thomas Steinhafel

We also handed out awards for achievements including:

-One Million Dollars in Career Sales & Achievements

-Three Million, Five Million, Seven Million, Ten Million, Fifteen Million, & Twenty-Five Million Dollar Awards Clubs

-Rookies of the Year

-Lowest Returns Award

-Guardsman Award

-Decorating Solutions Hours

-Top Customer Experience

-Top Sales Per Hour

-Extra Mile Award

-Steinhafels President’s Leadership Award

-Top Store Mattress Sales Ratio

-Part-Time Top Sales

-Full-Time Top Sales

-Million Dollar Awards

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A few other standouts:

-Top Decorating Solutions Hours:

1. Dawn Adamec

2. Aaron Keller

3. Rhonda Vivoda

-Top Part-Time Sales Champion in the Company:  

Michael Strahlendorf Waukesha $1,293,780

-Top Full-Time Sales Champion in the Company:

Jeff Cole Waukesha $2,045,806

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Congrats everyone–a job well done!!

Meet Our New Guest Bloggers!

Here at Steinhafels, we love being a part of the blogosphere–sharing various design tips, furniture stories, and other fun and interesting posts with our readers.  We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoy posting them!

However, we know it’s nice to hear a different voice sometimes.  We recently decided to join forces with some local design bloggers–to build new partnerships, and reach new readers who aren’t as familiar with us yet.

Meet “Mommy in Milwaukee” (aka Keila) and “Green With Decor” (aka Meg)!  You may already follow their blogs and social media posts.  Both women are very active in the Blogosphere, and we are so excited to be working with each of them.

Keila is a mother of three, with a background in the medical field.  You may have caught her first blog with us around the holidays.  You can read it HERE.

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Keila is passionate about fashion for the busy momma, family, raising bilingual babies, and design.  Keila came to our Corporate store in December with all three children in tow, and did an awesome job picking a bench and some accessories to go along with her holiday table setting.  We can’t wait to work more with Keila, and see those cute kiddos in the store again!

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Meg has a background in Public Relations, and started her blog in 2015.  She and her husband have already completed two major home renovations–one in Cincinnati, and in Milwaukee, where they live now.  Meg loves the color green, and wanted to somehow include “green” in her blog name.  Her husband came up with “Green With Decor,” and the rest is history!  Meg came to our store just last week and picked up a couple nightstands for her blog, which is fresh off the presses right HERE.  We love how Meg tries to incorporate the color green in all of her posts!

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We wanted to ask each woman a little bit about why she blogs, and why she’s excited to work with Steinhafels.  Here’s what they each had to say:

-Why do you like to blog, and what got you started?

Keila:  I enjoy blogging because it’s a fun way to stay creative! I also believe it’s a great way to share our voices for advocacy for support for our local community and beyond. I started blogging after I decided to stay at home with our oldest son, Gabriel. It quickly became a creative outlet for me and I’m so glad I started!

Meg:  I’ve always loved writing and interior design, and blogging is the perfect mix of the two. Even as a kid, I enjoyed going to open houses to see the layouts of different spaces and how others decorated. My husband Kalen and I have renovated two houses, and after discovering that others were blogging about their home projects, I decided to start a blog of my own. It’s been such a fun journey so far!

-What’s the number one key to creating posts that readers will care about?

Keila:  I think the number one key is to be yourself. I know it’s something we hear about often but I truly believe that being genuine makes a difference.

Meg:  I love to share decorating ideas and DIY projects that inspire readers to take on their own project. Whether it’s how to renovate a space to use it better, tips for picking out flooring or furniture pieces, or how to turn an old thrift store frame into something pretty, it’s fun to share ideas that readers can use to transform their home. Pretty pictures of our finished projects are always key, too!

-Why are you excited for this new partnership with Steinhafels?

Keila:  I love being able to partner with amazing companies like Steinhafels, that not only carry great products, but are also at the forefront of community outreach.

Meg:  I grew up with my parents buying pieces from Steinhafels and have always liked the wide variety of furniture Steinhafels offers. It’s fun for me to partner with brands I believe in and would share with my readers anyway, even more so when the brand is local. I’m excited to partner with Steinhafels to share gorgeous furniture options with my readers and inspire them to keep decorating their homes.

We are so excited to see what Keila and Meg come up with in the months ahead!  We will continue to explore practical ways that everyone–young professionals, first-time homeowners, renters, moms, dads, etc. can apply design tips to their own homes.

Be sure to follow this blog, along with our Steinhafels’ Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for links to all of our latest blogs and design tips.  Thanks for reading!

DS Tip Of The Week: It’s All A Balancing Scale

As you get set to redecorate your living room or bedroom, you are likely focused on the sofa, the bed, and other large statement items.  We’re here to remind you–all pieces work together to create balance in a room!!

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from one of our newer designers.  Samantha Price works out of our Oak Creek store.  She says it’s important to select the right furniture to fit your space.

She goes on to explain, “Our clients sometimes do not realize that furniture also carries a visual weight that needs to be balanced. Even when the pieces selected fit to scale in a room–if  everything picked is visually heavy, it can still result in an over-crowded, cluttered, and uninviting room. On the other hand though, if everything is of lighter weight, it can lack definition, contrast, and interest and will feel as though everything is just floating about the room. Balance is KEY and an important aspect to work through in a design.”

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Tune in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek!

Lessons Learned in Riverwest Helped Steinhafels Grow

Steinhafels is proud to have its roots firmly planted in the Milwaukee area.  But did you know some of the company’s core values were first established in one of the city’s most eclectic and historic neighborhoods?

Today, Riverwest is known for its trendy shops, restaurants, and bars.  However, the neighborhood boasts a rich history of generations of families growing up in its homes, local parishes and corner stores, and lively parks for children to play.

As you’ll see in the article below… the neighborhood also helped bestow on John E. Steinhafel some of the core values the company continues to cherish today.

Check it out!  Click HERE for a higher resolution version.

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Behind the Scenes: Salvation Army’s “Toy Shop”

Steinhafels has been partnering with the Salvation Army for years to help collect donations for the organization’s annual “Toy Shop” holiday toy distribution event.  CBS 58 has also come onboard, and it’s been a great way for all of our organizations to band together to help kids in Milwaukee’s inner city have new toys for the holidays.

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We got the chance to actually walk through the Toy Shop at the Salvation Army’s Distribution Center on N. 60th Street in Milwaukee.  We got a behind the scenes look at what it’s like for local parents to walk through and pick out some truly awesome toys!

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The toy shop is a well-oiled machine:  “Sorters” organize the toys that come in, “Stockers” man the toy stations and keep them overflowing with items throughout the event, and personal “Shoppers” actually walk around with the parents and help them pick the best toys for their kids.

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The event runs three days:  Friday 12/16, Monday 12/19, and Tuesday 12/20.  Over the course of three days, about 3,000 families will walk through, getting toys for about 9,000 kids!!  Of course, this doesn’t happen without a massive staff of dedicated volunteers.  About 1,100 volunteers will work the event.  If you are interested, they are still seeking volunteers for the Tuesday morning shift.  You can find more information ONLINE.

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This was Berenice Aguayo’s first time at the Toy Shop.  She has three kids ages 6, 5, and 2.  She couldn’t believe the great selection at the Shop.  A little something for all kids.  She said, “My kids like everything.  My boy likes mathematics, and my little girl likes anything with bright colors.”

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Linda Chaplin was Berenice’s personal shopper.  This was her first time volunteering at the Shop.  The local mom explains, “I think it’s always good to step out of your comfort zone and help others.  The more you step out of your comfort zone and help others, the smaller your problems seem.”

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And the shopping experience wouldn’t be complete without dedicated Stockers like Ann Michaels.  This is her second year working the Toy Shop.  She learned about it through work, and says she’ll definitely do it again next year.  “It is fun.  It’s really great to see the faces of everybody, and the toys they get for their children.”

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Isn’t that truly what the holidays are all about?  While it’s great to receive gifts–it’s the smiles on kids’ faces and people giving of their time to help others that exemplifies the reason for the season.  Thank you so much to all of our Steinhafels shoppers who have donated toys and coats over the past few weeks, and all of our employees who make sure these various outreach projects go smoothly.

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Happy Holidays from our Steinhafels Family to Yours!

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Fun fact:  This is the 81st year for “Toy Shop.”  The Salvation Army has been doing a toy distribution since 1935!!

DS Tip Of The Week: Trade the Paint for Paste!

When it comes to design, we often go with what’s “safe” and easy.  This often applies to our walls and our automatic go-to:  Paint.

Our designer tip:  ”Stop being attached to paint and start considering WALLPAPER!”

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This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from Interior Designer Elena Moraru.  Elena works at our Madison Beltline store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.

We love how Elena likes to break some of the typical rules of design!  She suggests, “If you are bored with your Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore in your home, I highly recommend creating accent walls with some beautiful wallpaper.”

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Elena admits it requires a little more work than rolling some paint onto the wall, but as she explains, “The result is 10 times better looking than a boring painted accent wall.  Wallpaper right now comes in spectacular patterns and textures–there are a lot of options that are unbelievably beautiful.  You can create a very dramatic space with wallpaper, visually it can have a huge impact on how you perceive your space.”

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Our designers are hard at work on many more insightful tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Food and a Flag: Spreading the Holiday Spirit

Steinhafels has always valued the importance of the Holidays, and time with family.  That’s why we are always closed on Thanksgiving, and we are always proud of our employees who go above and beyond to help the community during this time.

This Thanksgiving, Steinhafels wants to recognize our employees and their holiday spirit on two different occasions.

GRAND CHUTE FIRE DEPARTMENT HONORS FALLEN FIREFIGHTER

On November 1, 2016, Town of Oneida Volunteer Firefighter John Brocker died in the line of duty.  The Grand Chute Fire Department was asked to take care of the funeral detail, including the fire service procession from the church to the final resting place.  As part of the procession, it is tradition to have a flag displayed over the procession route for each vehicle to pass under.

A local flag that is usually used for these processions was not available.  As the department was scrambling to finalize the details of the procession, Grand Chute Fire Assistant Chief of Operations Michael DeBruler took a chance and stopped by our Appleton store to see if our flag could be used.

Thanks to a proactive employee, use of the flag was quickly approved, and we were proud to have it displayed in honor of a local hero.  Thank you Grand Chute Fire and Rescue for thinking of us.

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ANNUAL HEBRON HOUSE FOOD DRIVE

Our employees work hard to give customers the best experience possible–so we are especially impressed when they take the extra time to give back to the community, in addition to their “regular” jobs.  That’s the case at our Corporate Store in Waukesha, where the Sales and Support staff banded together for the second year in a row for a food drive for Hebron House.

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For over 30 years, Hebron House of Hospitality has been the largest nonprofit provider of services to the homeless men, women, and children in Waukesha County.

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Steinhafels employees collected money and food, and made the special delivery the night before Thanksgiving.  Check out those colossal turkeys!!

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Thank you to all of our staff for not only being the best in the business, but being good-hearted people.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

DS Tip of The Week Celebrates One Year!

Wow, time DOES fly when you’re having fun–like blogging about interior design!

We’re excited to announce that our Steinhafels Decorating Solutions #TipOfTheWeek Blog posts have been running for exactly ONE YEAR.

That means more than 50 great interior design tips are available on our blog site–all at the click of a mouse!

To celebrate this blogging milestone, we’re going to look back at 5 of the Top Tips based on your page views.

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This tip comes from Laura Hoffman, one of our designers in Appleton.

Laura has some advice for organizing all those pesky pillows you have strewn all over your room.  Laura’s Tip:  “I love to stack and build out pillows on a bed or a couch, either with the same color palette, or with different patterns.”

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ELEGANT UPDATES FOR EMPTY NESTERS

It’s the day some parents dream of, and others dread–the day a child leaves the nest!  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 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!'”

BEFORE:

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NEUTRAL BASES

It’s time to look at neutrals in a whole new way.  Beige doesn’t have to equal boring.  Instead, look at it as a tool of versatility!

This is another design tip from Appleton Interior Decorator Laura Hoffman.

Laura suggests, “Design the base of your room in neutral color hues, then add your pops of color with pillows, throws, art, candles, etc.  That way when you get tired of a certain color, or want to add your seasonal color scheme you can give your room a whole new look in a few minutes!  Simply replace those candles, pillows, and other accessories with similar items of a different color.  Your room will look totally different and very put together, with little work involved.”

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BRINGING DESIGN TO LIFE WITH TEXTURES

Designer Rhonda Vivoda is based in our Corporate store in Waukesha.  Rhonda likes to bring her designs to life with rich textures.

Here are Rhonda’s Top Three Ways to add Texture to a design project:

*Use an area rug over carpeting.  It anchors the room, along with adding color and texture.

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*Throw Pillows.  These are an inexpensive way to change the look and feel of a room.  They add pops of color and different textures.

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*Gorgeous Greenery.  Real or artificial always adds softness to a room and can add a different texture.

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TANTALIZING TIFFANY LAMPS

One of the most important accessories in a room is a lamp.  The way light can alter the look of a room, or bring out the colors of paint or furniture truly is remarkable…all with the flip of a switch!

This one comes from Interior Designer Colleen Rome.  Colleen works at our Greenfield store, and helps customers across Milwaukee create the homes of their dreams.

As Colleen suggests, you can create patterns and colors simply with Tiffany lighting.  She goes on to explain, “Tiffany lighting can add nice warm ambiance to the room, and you can use them with other types of lighting to create a certain feeling for a nice dinner or special occasion.  Best of all–they never go out of style!  They can be used in all different settings from transitional to traditional.”

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As you see in the pictures, the colors of the lamp truly bring a sophisticated and artistic look to the room–while still remaining casual.

Thank you for making our first year of #DSTipOfTheWeek a success!  We look forward to bringing you many more Unique Tips and Trade Secrets in 2017.

 

Design for a Difference 2016: The Rainbow Project

Steinhafels has been taking part in Design For a Difference-Madison for a couple years now. Steinhafels is often thought of as a Milwaukee company, but we are proud to serve the Madison, Appleton, and Vernon Hills communities as well.

Design For a Difference is a national campaign focused on design makeovers for charities.  Thanks to organizers like FLOOR360 and BRAVA Magazine, Madison has been a staple city for the project for the past two years.  This year, the charity chosen was The Rainbow Project, which helps children and families in crisis.  Our designers oversaw a complete redesign of the center’s “Observation Room.”

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Steinhafels Decorating Solutions designers Mari Johnson and Patti Stindt were asked if they would like to donate their time, and take part in the project this year.  They hit the ground running!!  Designer Michelle Kahl, who is a newer addition to our design team, also helped out.  And of course, Steinhafels was so proud to donate a large portion of the facility’s new furniture.

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Sharyl Kato is a Child and Family Therapist, and Director of The Rainbow Project. Kato and her staff worked tirelessly to make sure this redesign was a success.

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We talked to Mari, Patti, and Sharyl about the overall experience.  Check out their reflections below!

MARI JOHNSON, Steinhafels Decorating Solutions Interior Designer

-What has been the best part about being involved in the DFAD redesign this year?

MARI:  The best thing about being part of the DFAD this year was working with a very talented group of designers.  We may be “competition,” but we came together and the result is unbelievable. Also, it took me completely by surprise that just by asking people in the community for help how many of them stepped up. In particular Tom Colby from the Elks, who connected me with The Carlson Company and the electrician, Jon Potter.  Target Corporation gave me a $100 gift card to buy a kid’s table and storage bins, and Cindy from Cindy’s Custom Interiors donated fabric and labor. In addition, when I went to purchase rope lighting at Menards, Becky Zahn, a Zone manager gave me her Menards card to make the purchase.  Just wow! Not to mention all the donations of toys which was the idea of our sales associate, Laurie Krueger.

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-Has this experience helped you use your design skills in a new way?

MARI:  This opportunity helped me use my design skills to make a different space than someone’s home, beautiful!  It’s very unfortunate that there is a need for a place like The Rainbow Project, but they do such a important job in our community. So if we can make it somewhat easier for the therapists to perform their jobs, how great is that.

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-Why is it important that businesses and employees give back to the communities they serve?

MARI:  It is important for everyone to give back to the community.  We all live here.

PATTI STINDT, Steinhafels Decorating Solutions Interior Designer

-What has been the best part about being involved in the DFAD redesign this year?

PATTI:  The best part Is to help provide a healthy and positive environment to encourage the feeling of safety, support, and healing for those that have been traumatized.

-Has this experience helped you use your design skills in a new way?

PATTI: It has been a great pleasure to partner with other designers that have different specialties to provide a cohesive space.

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-Why is it important that businesses and employees give back to the communities they serve?

PATTI:  We all should feel a sense of ownership to help those in our community that need it most.

Sharyl Kato, Director, The Rainbow Project

-How did you first feel when you found out Rainbow Project was chosen for this year’s Design for a Difference?

SHARYL:  I was shocked and elated and jumping up & down & hugging everyone & screaming!!  I was so elated because you have no idea how much our clinic needed repair.

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-Describe what The Rainbow Project does, and why it’s so vital to the Madison community.

SHARYL:  We offer a wide range of prevention, early intervention, treatment, & crisis services, specializing in trauma recovery for young children (infants through 10 years of age) and their families.  We work with families who have experienced child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, community violence, victims of crime such as break-ins, severe accidents, fires, natural disasters, grief/separation & loss, drug endangered children, child sex trafficking & victims of pornography as well as medical trauma.  We provide best-practice, evidence based approaches working with children, caregivers, families & other agencies, service providers including schools, early childhood programs, hospitals/physicians, homeless shelters, substance abuse programs, first offenders, substance abuse programs & other sources.  We have been providing effective,  innovative, state-of-the-art services for 36 years & were ahead of our time, doing work that research is finally validating as valid science.  We are proud of our service model involving play therapy, family therapy, parent education, in home work, children’s & parent groups, community networking  & collaboration as well as community education & consultation services.  We have served over 10,800 children and 10,500 adult caregivers.  We focus on younger children because they are at highest risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder increasing their risks for criminal behavior, poor academic performance, substance abuse, mental illness, violent behavior, unemployment & homelessness.  Trauma can negatively impact brain development & neuroscience, yet research indicates that specialized positive consistent interactions such that Rainbow staff provide & promote in the community, can reverse that damage.  And we observe these successes every day.

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What has the process been like watching the building be transformed over the last few months?

SHARYL:  The process has been so very amazing.  The Design 4 A Difference volunteer team embraced Rainbow so totally.  The focus, attention, & appreciation for our work, our environment, what we do, the caring for our mission and the population we are devoted to serving–was so deeply moving and appreciated.  We involved the children and families we serve early on to provide input on what they already liked about our space & what they would like to see added or changed so that they were a part of the planning process too.  The process and anticipation was building with every day!  The well-planned, thoughtful meetings & the caring and concern to get our input was so consistent throughout.  Over time, the initial exhilaration & excitement has transformed and actually deepened as we “live and work” in our new space!  We see clients both children and adults be so in awe of the space.  Squeals of laughter & delight, so many ‘Wows’ and ‘Ohhhs’ and ‘Ahhhs’  as they tour the new space & discover the changes.  A child who normally does not express himself kept repeating & exclaiming with amazement….’this is shocking, this is shocking!’  And another child jumped into the huge pillows exclaiming he wanted to stay in the room forever.  The children & families are careful & respectful of the awesome toys & furniture.  They are aware that this was done for them & they are grateful.  As victims of trauma, our clients may view the world as mostly not safe & caring so when folks do something so incredible voluntarily, it alters their view of the world and of themselves as valued.  Nothing can substitute that in their healing process.

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Describe the feeling you had when you first saw the project all finished?

SHARYL:  Shock, Excitement, Overwhelmed, but mostly Grateful. It is the intensity and magnitude of those feelings that were most meaningful.

Steinhafels was so honored to be a part of this project.  Can you tell us a little bit about the room our designers remodeled, and what you love about it most?  

SHARYL:  The room Steinhafels remodeled is one of the most important because after the waiting area,  it is the first room they come in for their initial consultation.  We are aware of how stressful it is to come to ask for help.  To make something private very public.  It takes courage to seek help when they are in such pain and stress from trauma.  So we want to be sure we are as sensitive as possible to that apprehension.  The lighting, the playhouse, the warmth and welcoming feeling is so perfect!  The interior designers truly understood.  We appreciate every item, object & thought that went behind everything.  It was so very touching and healing for all of us.  The gifts that will continue giving include the beautiful & irresistible toys that were given to the children here.

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Finally, how is this project going to help you serve families even better?

SHARYL:  For one thing, the magnitude of this magical transformation that was given to the Rainbow Project makes us more determined than ever to continue our work to make you all proud of your investment in time, energy, resources, labor, & heart.  The impact on staff is multi-fold.  When surrounded by creative stimulating environments, it makes us all more energetic, motivated, creative & definitely more positive, efficient, organized!!  The attention to self-care products in the break room & OUR ROOMS!!!!  The results way surpassed our expectations.  We do not feel alone in the tough work we do.  We are not used to the attention & appreciation as we do our work every day!  It was challenging to get used to that.  We feel we can conquer the world!!!  Thank you does not seem adequate enough.  We have all observed progress with our clients.  A child I work with has made more gains this month than in over a year.  The environment is peaceful, welcoming, inviting, nurturing.  It is their place, it is our place.

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