Door County Redesign: A Homeowner’s Perspective

While most of our business is in southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois, Steinhafels is happy to help customers across the Badger State.  One popular area for out of town business is Door County–a place where people go to escape the worries of everyday life, and enjoy time with friends, family, and the great outdoors.

One of our goals with ALL customers is to help create the homes of their dreams–from apartments, to condos, to family homes, to lake houses, vacation homes, and everything in between!  Our Decorating Solutions interior designers log thousands of miles driving across the region to help clients in all geographic areas.

So I decided to tag along with designer Dawn Adamec for a 200-mile jaunt to Door County, to help with the install of furniture for a Cedarburg family’s summer home.  The condo is nestled into a cozy spot on a picturesque Door County golf course.  David is a husband and father simply hoping to have the place feel a little more like a true home away from home.  He explains, “The whole space is supposed to feel comfortable and casual.”

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As you can see, the condo looked fine before, but didn’t really look like HOME.  It was somewhat stale and lacked character.  So the family came to Steinhafels for help.  Since Door County is a hike, Dawn did all of her preliminary designs based on measurements and pictures of the condo.  She never stepped inside the condo before delivery day!  Sounds intimidating right?  Dawn says she was up to the challenge.  “It’s a fun challenge, not a scary challenge.  It’s like a puzzle, and figuring out how the puzzle pieces are gonna look together.”

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The challenge:  To create a comfortable space that isn’t too beachy, or too overdone.  Dawn also got some input from David and his wife, which was key.  “They really just showed me a couple of pictures of things that they’d seen and they liked, and I just kinda figured out how to link everything, and that’s what this is,” she explains.

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Contractors came in beforehand to make some structural changes to the space.  Then, it was time to add the furniture and accessories!  Here are some pictures of the step by step transformation.

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As you can see–the design colors are pretty mellow.  It’s all about textures and creating depth.  David was happy with the progress.  “All the different color combinations, and textures and styles, and materials–that’s what I like.  And I think blending that all together, and seeing it all come together–we couldn’t have seen that without Dawn.”

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Dawn admits it’s a pretty neat feeling to be on the scene when clients see their new spaces for the first time.  “It’s cool to see physically what I had in my head.”

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David has a demanding job, and says it will be nice to get away to his ‘new’ Door County abode!  He laughs, “Having Dawn’s help has been huge in making it feel like home… I mean it feels more like home than our home home!”

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David also raved about the Decorating Solutions design program.  He explains, “Dawn was easy to work with, communicated well with us, and kept it super simple and painless.  We didn’t spend a lot of time at the store.  We identified what we wanted so we didn’t have to hang around for hours with our kids in the store, trying to figure out what we wanted.  And it’s really a great value.”

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Dawn also helped pick some of the structural elements the family didn’t buy at Steinhafels–like light fixtures, hardware, and paint colors.  That’s the beauty of working with a Steinhafels designer–they have experience in ALL areas of design, not just furnishings.

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Well, after writing this entry I feel like it’s time to book a getaway to Door County.  If you have a summer home, or beach house that needs some love–let us know!  Our designers love to expand their horizons.  Now get outside and enjoy this weather.  We only have it for a few months!!

LINK TO PHOTO AND VIDEO GALLERY:  Hear from the designer about the process!!

DS Tip Of The Week: Refresh Your Bedding

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

This week we look at ways you can give your bedding some extra character and substance, without spending hundreds of dollars.  Our Decorating Solutions Interior Designers are constantly using simple techniques to make dramatic changes that will help your space seem new again.  This week’s tip comes from Interior Decorator Hannah Peller.

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Hannah has some advice for ‘refreshing’ your bedding.  She suggests, “Layer in the same color with various patterns and textures for a transformed look.  This will appear inviting and luxurious.  Bedding should be relaxing and uncomplicated, so make sure whatever you pick is practical.  An easy way to achieve this is by getting different colored duvet covers for your quilt, and using various shams.”

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Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek, and sweet dreams!!

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!

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.

2015 Year in Review: A Year of Giving and Growing!

2015 has been a big year for our company.  From continuing long-standing partnerships with local organizations, to making new friends in the community, to breaking ground on a multi-million dollar warehouse expansion… there’s never a dull moment here at Steinhafels.  We’d like to now briefly share a few of our favorite moments with you — as we look back at the year that was, and look forward to the new adventures 2016 has in store.

March 2015:  House of Hope Donation with the Kuhn Family

A home.  It’s something most of us take for granted.  For some people, finding a place to call home is a daily struggle.  The ‘House of Hope’ in Green Bay is hoping to change that.  Steinhafels is still new to the Fox Valley market, and we are excited to partner with The Green Bay Press Gazette, and help House of Hope in its fight against homelessness.  On this particular day we donated various pieces of furniture to help update the House, and make it more of a welcoming environment for those who need it most.  Packers Fullback John Kuhn and his wife Lindsey were also on hand for the event!

WATCH VIDEO FROM THIS SPECIAL DAY

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April 2015:  “Five Words on Freedom” documentary premiere

Steinhafels is proud to partner with the Journal Sentinel and Pick ‘n Save in supporting the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.  The Flight honors all vets by flying World War Two, Korean War, and terminally ill vets to D.C. to visit their memorials.  A documentary crew followed the vets and special guest, Brewers star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, on a recent flight.  The documentary premiered at Steinhafels’ Corporate Center in Waukesha.  Here’s a behind the scenes look at the big event!

WATCH VIDEO OF THE PREMIERE!

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May 2015:  “Keeping Tradition Alive in Pewaukee”

Fireworks on Pewaukee Lake have been a tradition for more than 25 years. However, due to the strained economy and funding challenges many communities are facing, the city’s hands were tied and leaders weren’t sure they could fund the annual event.  Steinhafels joined in Pewaukee’s ‘GoFundMe’ project to help save the fireworks.  Steinhafels pledged to match the final donation amount, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000.

Boaters on Pewaukee Lake watch a distant fireworks display to the west while waiting for the annual July 4th fireworks at Pewaukee's Lakefront Park on Thursday, July 4, 2013.

July 2015:  Groundbreaking for New Warehouse

As business continues to grow, Steinhafels is expanding its headquarters to match.  This July we broke ground on a more than 100,000-square-foot expansion at our Pewaukee facility.  An increased demand for quality furniture has led to this need for more space.  We’re constantly looking for more hard-working, dedicated people to join our team!  The expansion will take place in two phases, and ultimately add hundreds of employees to our company’s workforce.

“We’re breaking ground to accommodate the growth we’ve experienced, both with same-store sales with the economy picking up, and with the stores we’ve opened through the purchase from American (TV and Appliance),” president Gary Steinhafel told a local media outlet covering the event.

WATCH VIDEO OF THE GROUNDBREAKING!

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October 2015:  Design for a Difference

We can’t forget our community neighbors to the West!  This was our first year taking part in ‘Design For a Difference’.  Steinhafels was one of many local companies to help with this Extreme Makeover-style redesign at the ‘Center For Families’ in Madison, which helps families in crisis.  Thank you Floor 360 for inviting us to take part in this wonderful event.

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October 2015:  Kathy’s House Donation

We were excited to partner with Kathy’s House in Milwaukee for the first time this Fall.  Kathy’s House provides rooms for families who come from out of town and have a loved one in the hospital.  Thanks to some help from Tempur-Pedic, we were able to supply Kathy’s House with new mattresses and frames… so family members have a comfortable place to sleep during a traumatic time in their lives.

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October and December 2015:  Condella’s Coats for Kids

Steinhafels, Fox 6, and the Salvation Army team up every year for ‘Condella’s Coats for Kids’.  This year we held two coat drives at our Corporate store.  The community’s generosity was overwhelming, as volunteers collected hundreds of coats that will cleaned and distributed to children who need them throughout Milwaukee.  Those who donated also got 2 free tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters on New Years Eve!!

WATCH VIDEO OF FOX 6 NEWS COVERING THE EVENT!

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December 2015:  CBS 58 Toy Shop

Families in Milwaukee continue to struggle during these difficult economic times.  This is especially evident during the Christmas Holiday Season.  The Salvation Army ‘Toy Shop’ provides an opportunity for parents to choose from donated new toys so their children will have presents on Christmas Day, even if the family cannot afford to buy toys.  Barrels to accept toys were set up at all Steinhafels stores in southeast Wisconsin.

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As we look ahead to the next year, we are constantly working to update our retail stores and our online services, to make your shopping experience as easy and enjoyable as possible.  We want to hear from you!  Please, feel free to comment on our blog at any time, or give one of our friendly customer service agents a call.  We wish you and yours a wonderful New Year, and we look forward to seeing you in 2016!