DS Tip Of The Week: Decorating Ideas for Your Wall Niche

A wall niche can be a lovely way to display collectibles, or other unique accessories.  However, if not utilized properly, a niche can also be an eyesore.

Get out the notepad and jot down these pointers.  That’s right… it’s time for another Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week!  This week’s tip comes from Interior Designer Dawn Adamec.  Dawn works at our Corporate store, and helps customers in the Milwaukee and Waukesha area create the homes of their dreams.

Dawn explains, “When using niches, use round objects versus square objects, in order to emphasize the curvature of the niche.  A lot of times I see people put angular items inside a rounded niche and it just looks harsh and out of place.  A rounded item placed inside the nook gives a softer look.  On the other hand, if you have a square niche, hang a square object inside.  To put it simply, EMPHASIZE THE NICHE!!”

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As you see in these pictures, the rounded objects compliment the niche perfectly!  Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip Of The Week: A Room With A View

Do you have a beautiful view that you’re trying to incorporate into your interior design, but have no idea how to utilize it?  Have no fear–Steinhafels is here to help!!

This week’s Decorating Solutions’ #TipOfTheWeek is all about designing to compliment a view.  Aaron Keller is an interior decorator at our Menomonee Falls store.  He has some simple tips to keep in mind when designing a room with a view.

1) The space should reflect what you see outside, without distracting from the view.

2) Keep the color pallet simple.  This lake condo is calm and relaxing like a day at the beach!

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3) Don’t clutter the space.  Add interest with texture, and stylish shapes in accents and furniture versus adding more.

4) Artwork should be a continuation of the view in color and feel.  Don’t use busy or vibrant artwork.  Again, the view is the main focal point!

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5) Don’t be afraid to bring the outdoors in with twigs or other natural elements to help connect with the view.

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6) Use reflective elements to reflect light to add interest.  Like these vases and art, mirrors are also a great way to reflect light.

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7) Finishes and quality are important–like this dining table set from Canadel!  When decorating with fewer items the items you choose to use are more noticeable.

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8) Always take advantage of the view when placing furniture.  The chair in this photo is a swivel, so you can turn to face the view.

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Again, Aaron emphasizes that less is more!!  The worst thing you can do is to clutter the space.  We post quick and practical decor tips every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip of the Week: Starting Points

Everything needs a starting point–even design.  While this sounds obvious, actually CHOOSING that starting point can be tricky, and the point you pick could affect the overall project more than you think!

For this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week we look at ways to make sure you start off on the right foot.  Julie Thompson is an interior designer based in our Waukesha store.  She stresses the importance of choosing a starting point, and then making all of your follow-up decisions based on that item.

She explains, “A starting point can be as small as dishes in a dining room, a piece of artwork in an office, bed linens in a bedroom, or a rug in a living room.  Select that starting point, like a piece of artwork, and build off of that piece.  This helps you figure out the best way to arrange the rest of your wall hangings, or how to set up the furniture in the entire room.”

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

DS Tip Of The Week: Bold Bathrooms

Creating the home of your dreams can be overwhelming.  We often put most of our focus on common areas like the living room, dining room, and kitchen… but don’t overlook the bathroom.  That’s right–the bathroom!  Don’t be afraid to have some fun and give your bathroom a bold new look.

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week focuses on that little room we all use, but don’t always think about at design time.  It comes from interior designer Beth Kealy, who works with the fine customers at our Menomonee Falls store.

When it comes to bathrooms, Beth suggests, “Ditch the wallpaper and create a bold look with a wide stripe paint application.  Update a cozy bathroom into a fun new look that is not concerned with humidity.”

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We know humidity can be a concern during these wet, hot Wisconsin summers!  Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip of the Week: Fabulous Fabric

One of the keys to design is not skimping on the details.  We often think about things like color and pattern when choosing a piece… but don’t forget to think about the fabric!

Our Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week asks you to think about fabric in a new way.  Fabric is one of the most important factors when selecting upholstered furniture.  Steinhafels’ custom furniture program gives you the option to select the fabric color, texture, and style that’s right for you.

This week’s tip comes from Appleton Interior Decorator Laurie Hoffman.  Laurie suggests, “When selecting fabric, look at the fiber contents.  Polyester is very strong and has excellent abrasion resistance.  It is also one of the easiest fibers to clean.  Olefin is another strong manufactured fiber.  Cotton is a strong, natural fiber.  In addition, it has a soft hand and takes dye very well, resulting in luxuriously deep colors.”

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Also, don’t forget blends!  They can give you the best qualities of multiple fiber types.  We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Donating Life: All in a Day’s Work!

Steinhafels wants to say a big THANK YOU to all of our employees who took the time to give blood yesterday during our BloodCenter of Wisconsin Bus Blood Drive!  Did you know that every 3 seconds someone needs blood?  YOU are the reason some of those people in our area will receive the life-saving treatments they need.  What a cool feeling!!

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We have been holding the blood drive for a few years now, and we are always thinking about ways to improve it, and increase participation.  While we are so happy several of our employees took part, we still need more volunteers in order to truly make the event a success.  If you have any suggestions, please let us know.  We are looking at ways to make it bigger and better next year, and maybe get family, friends, and the community involved as well.  One startling statistic:  60% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but less than 5% do.

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If you are nervous, or want to know more about it, just ask your colleagues about the process.  We talked to two Steinhafels team members about their experiences–one a long-time donor, one a first-timer.  Here’s what they had to say.

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Jimmy Eagle, Human Resources

-Is this your first time donating?

Yes

-Why did you decide to donate?

I donated because it was a great cause, & a little push from my HR counterpart. 😉

-Why is blood donation important?

Blood donation is important because there are a lot of good people out there who need some extra blood when an emergency or an unthinkable moment happens.  It’s cool to think that your blood could have saved someone’s life!

-What do you think of the blood bus?

The blood bus is an awesome idea.  It is a way to get more people involved donating, who normally wouldn’t have time to make it to a blood center.

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-Do you think it’s cool that Steinhafels works with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin and other community organizations on events like this?

The fact that Steinhafels participates and acts with the BloodCenter is just another amazing way this company tries to reach out and give back to the community.  They just set the precedent among organizations on being able to do the right thing.

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Justin Lyons, Web Production Coordinator

-Is this your first time donating?

No.  I’ve donated close to 10 times.

-Why did you decide to donate?

I donate because it’s an easy way to help others who need blood. My motivation is that my blood could really help someone in need.  Knowing people who have needed blood, it is very important to make sure that they have whatever is needed to better their health.  Also, there are usually good snacks after words and needles don’t scare me!

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-Why is blood donation important?

Blood donation is important because it’s a simple public service we can provide to help others in need.

-What do you think of the blood bus?

It’s a place to sit and get it done.  I would’ve donated sitting in the grass if I had to.  They also had Queen on the TV’s in there, and that was pretty sweet.

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-Do you think it’s cool that Steinhafels works with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin and other community organizations on events like this?

I think it says wonders that Steinhafels participates in events like this with the BCoW.  It shows the true values of the company, and how we like to help the community whenever possible.  It also makes it super easy to donate when the Blood Bus comes to you.

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We hope everyone has a safe and fun 4th of July Weekend with friends and family.  Thanks again for working together to make Steinhafels such a great place to work!

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DS Tip of the Week: Simple Soffits!

When it comes to design, we often want to to be creative, and… we get a little carried away.  Sometimes it’s best to keep it simple.

Get out the notepad and jot down these pointers.  That’s right… it’s time for another Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week!  This week’s tip comes from Interior Designer Dawn Adamec.  Dawn works at our Waukesha store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.  She has some suggestions when working with kitchen soffits.  Soffits are installed just above kitchen cabinets, and bridge the gap between the cabinets and the ceiling above.

Dawn explains, “The key to attractive-looking soffits above kitchen cabinets is repetition.  A lot of times people struggle with this one.  Instead of using similar items on top of cabinets, they just put any items up there, and they don’t match!  It looks haphazard and not put together.  Repetition makes it more cohesive and clean.  Also, mix up the textures–like a mix of greenery, metal, or glass decor.”

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As you see in these pictures from a recent home redesign… less is more!  Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip of the Week: Lovely Layering

Design is all about different dimensions, and creating illusions.  Whether it’s fashion, visual art, or interior design–one of the easiest ways to create some contrast and dimension is through layering.

Sounds easy enough right–but do you really understand WHY layering works so well?

It’s time for another Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week!  This week Vernon Hills-based Decorating Solutions interior designer Brian Mueller breaks down why layering is so important.

Brian explains, “Layering is key.  If you have light floors or carpet in a room and want a lighter sofa, you need to ground it with a darker area rug and then do a lighter sofa, darker pillows, and so on.  On the flip side, if you have darker floors you would want to do a lighter area rug and darker sofa, lighter pillows, etc.  This will create contrast and balance in a room.”

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

Steinhafels Blood Drive: Stuff That Bus!!

The majority of our time at Steinhafels is spent selling furniture–from Corporate, to Warehouse, to Sales, to Customer Service.  We all have one main goal, and that is to provide a quality product and quality service to our customers.

However, on Thursday, June 30 we all have the chance to team up for a different cause–saving lives!  Steinhafels is hosting a blood drive from 2-7 p.m. in partnership with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.  And we’re not talking a boring old clinic…The BloodCenter’s new Mobile Bus will be onsite at our Corporate Store in Waukesha.

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We know that donating blood can be intimidating, but if you are medically able, and are available that day, we would love to have you sign up.  You can make an appointment online, or contact Meg Cerwin in Human Resources at megc@steinhafels.com.

Here is some basic info about donating blood through the BloodCenter:

-BloodCenter of Wisconsin is a non-profit, Wisconsin based independent blood center.

-Blood is used by a variety of patients including adults and children fighting cancer, those undergoing surgery, premature babies, and victims of trauma.

-Donating blood is a safe, simple process that takes about an hour.

-One blood donation may save up to 3 lives.

-One in every 7 people will need blood sometime in their life, but only 1 in 20 people will give.  One in 5 we know will need a transfusion.

-BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the only supplier of blood to over 57 community hospitals, representing 62% of the state’s population in 29 counties!

There are just 40 slots available, and with our recent growth, there’s really no excuse why Steinhafels can’t ‘Stuff that Bus’.  Have a friend or family member who wants to come donate?  The blood drive is open to the public, so feel free to sign them up!!

Blood donation means something different to everyone.  For some, it’s a duty, and a way to help the community.  For others, blood donation has had a deep impact on their lives–either through a family member or a close friend.  Here are some words from Steinhafels employees who have given in the past, and plan to donate again this year.

Dawn Hinz:  Mickey’s Story

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It’s hard to convey the unbelievable difference your donation can make.  But I’ll try.

On February 21, 2008, my nephew Mickey passed away of AML – acute myelogenous leukemia.  He was 13.

He battled his cancer for 20 months with more courage and grace than you can even imagine.  The cancer didn’t win, Mickey triumphed over it.  He was an absolutely amazing kid, very funny and very kind.  He kept his focus on others around him, not on all the terrible suffering he was going through.

After the first round of chemo (five months in the hospital), the cancer came back.  His only hope at that point was a bone marrow transplant.  Even though a donor was found, getting the transplant still required many months of preparation and an unbelievable amount of blood transfusions.

Thankfully, the blood was there.  He got everything he needed to have the transplant done.

The transplant ultimately failed, and we lost him.  But the fact that the blood was there and the transfusions were given gave Mickey and our family the priceless gift of a little more time:  Time to fly out and visit in the precious few months he was in remission.  Time for him to go back to school for half a semester and be with his friends.  And, at the very end, a little more time to be there together as a family in time to say goodbye.

Please consider donating blood on June 30th.  You have no way of knowing the miracles your gift will bring.  But I can promise you that your gift will be utterly priceless to some family, somewhere.

Meg Cerwin

When my now-grown children were young, their pediatrician was a regular donor as well as a bone marrow donor, and he was my initial inspiration for donating blood and joining the bone marrow registry.  As a young mom, it seemed I was constantly aware of struggling families.  Families facing life-threatening illnesses or serious accidents, parents dealing with terrifying futures that I couldn’t even imagine.  My husband Steve and I were blessed with three healthy children, and I knew that donating blood was the least I could do to ‘pay it forward’ and perhaps help one of those struggling families to breathe easier.

There is no substitute for human blood.  No ‘reasonable facsimile’ can be administered during a crisis.  I pray that if my children, or now grandchildren, should ever be in need of

blood, the supply will be there, donated by some unseen stranger also ‘paying it forward’.

Ben Schrader

I’m AB+, so lot’s of people can use it.  Needles and blood don’t freak me out, and I have an excessive iron disease that runs in my family, but so long as I give blood, I don’t need to worry about it.  I also want to set a good example for others, and I understand the importance my blood can be to another person in need.

Andrew Steinhafel

Apparently my blood type is the most common type, so it is in high demand and there’s a good chance it will be put to use and help someone!  Personally, I wish I could donate more often, but the Steinhafel’s blood drive ensures that I will donate at least once a year. I see it as a way of paying it forward, just in case I’m even in need of a transfusion, hopefully others donate as well and I’ll be set.

Do you have a story you’d like to share?  Email Stephanie at stephanieg@steinhafels.com.  We’d love to share your story on this blog!!

Now, a little more about that big bus!

The bus features the latest touch screen technology and comfortable standing room for even our 6’5 donors.  It is equipped with two interview rooms and four donor beds, televisions, a cage, and a waiting area for donors.  It also offers a lighted canopy to protect you from the rain and snow as you enter the bus.  You can’t miss it, as it features patients who remind all of us why blood donation is so very important.

DS Tip of the Week: Ditch the Coffee Table for an Ottoman!

When it comes to interior design, sometimes it’s best to go the unconventional route.

For example–the coffee table.  It’s been a living room staple for years.  But who just sits around and sips coffee or tea anymore?

That brings us to this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week.  It comes from Waukesha Interior Decorator Rhonda Vivoda.

Rhonda’s words of wisdom:  “Instead of a coffee table use a big ottoman or a couple smaller ottomans.  Ottomans are great because they can act as additional seating, footrests, or you can put trays on top and still use them as coffee tables.  Sometimes an ottoman can be a storage unit as well!”

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So put your feet up and relax, or sip your tea from a tray.  The all-purpose ottoman is ready for you!  We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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