Purple Survivor Couch: One Woman’s Story

Steinhafels is constantly looking for new and unique ways to partner with the community for various projects and events.  While we donate money to a variety of causes, we also like when our wonderful furniture can serve a higher purpose.  After all, furniture helps to bring families together, and a good piece of furniture can last for generations!

That was the case with the American Cancer Society of Southeast Wisconsin.  They approached us and asked if we could help with their Relay For Life events this summer.  Steinhafels and ACS brainstormed, and we came up with the “Purple Survivor Couch” idea.  The purple couch traveled to several relays, and served as a symbol of survival and hope.

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Check out our PURPLE COUCH SURVIVOR STORIES if you haven’t seen it!

In addition to being a comfy place to pop a squat during relays, the purple couch was also part of a Giveaway to help raise money for Relay.  Many survivors and other relayers entered the contest.

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The lucky winner was announced at the big Kenosha Relay for Life event.  Cancer survivor Nancy Brey is now the proud owner of the purple couch!

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Nancy lives in Twin Lakes and is a retired nurse.  As you will learn, her cancer journey is a very unique one.

NANCY’S STORY

Nancy is 65 years old.  She’s a wife to husband Steve for 45 years, a loving mother to 3 sons, and doting grandma to 13 grandkids!  She’s a retired nurse, and says she has lived a very blessed life… but things could have been very different for Nancy.  You see, she is also a 54-year cancer survivor!!!

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The oldest of 6 children, Nancy grew up on a dairy farm in Paris Township in Kenosha County.  She was a typical kid…until she turned 11, and everything changed.

”This was towards the end of my school year.  Everything I ate came back up, and I knew something was wrong,” Nancy recalls.

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A tumor had formed in Nancy’s small intestine.  She was diagnosed with sarcoma of the small intestine, now commonly known as colon cancer.  Nancy admits, ”It was scary.  I didn’t find out I had the cancer until I was older.  You didn’t say the ‘C word’ to people back in that day.”

Nancy’s parents chose surgery only, and no cobalt therapy.  Although Nancy doesn’t remember much about that time, she is thankful to her parents and the medical staff that took care of her.

In fact, Nancy was so thankful, she decided to pursue a career in the medical field.  She started as a medical assistant, and eventually became a Registered Nurse.  Nancy’s primary role was managing the Hospice House in Kenosha.  ”To see all those people go what they go through, and being able to be there… the greatest reward is being able to help the families and patients go through this journey they are going through.  That has been the most rewarding of all my career,” she says.

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Nancy has also taken part in the Kenosha Relay For Life for many years.  She wants to support fellow cancer survivors, and honor those who have lost their battle, like her cousin’s son who died of leukemia.  She is honored to see the thousands of people who come out for Relay events.  “This is out here, we have to cure this.  That’s why it’s so important.”

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She is excited to be the new owner of the Steinhafels Purple Couch!  She says it’ll be helpful when the family comes over.  Nancy and her husband recently hosted a big sleepover for the grandkids, and the purple couch came in handy!  ”Steve said this is very cozy, and the grandkids think it’s cool.  We had a ball–had a good time.”

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The local chapter of the American Cancer Society is proud to share stories like Nancy’s…and there are so many more amazing stories to tell!

“If you’ve ever heard the words, ‘You have cancer,’ you are a cancer survivor. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life movement celebrates every cancer survivor in every community,” said Kelly Candotti, Corporate Relations for the American Cancer Society. “We’re grateful to Steinhafels for joining with the American Cancer Society to celebrate 1,325 survivors at 40 Relay For Life events this year in southeast Wisconsin.”

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Nancy knows we still have a long way to go in the fight against cancer, but she hopes as her grandchildren get older we get closer and closer to finding a cure, thanks to events like American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Nancy gets a little emotional as we finish our conversation, and says simply, ”I’m just blessed I’m here.  That’s all I can say.”

Relay For Life events in Southeastern Wisconsin raised $1,715,299 this year.

See more inspiring Relay For Life pictures HERE!

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DS Tip of The Week: Perk Up Your Porch!

You can give your spaces a fresh, fall-like feel as we enter these autumn months–both inside and outside your home!

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 Laura Hoffman.  Laura works at our Appleton store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.  She has some easy suggestions for transforming your front porch with some fall flair.

Laura says, “Mix old distressed items such as lanterns with some natural birch logs and white pumpkins, along with a traditional orange gourd.  Fresh flowers and pops of color with fun seasonal pillows are the perfect finishing touch!”

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You likely have some of these items in storage, and you can check out a local Farmer’s Market for gourds and other fall-inspired plants!  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 FLASHBACK: Dark and Daring

Here’s a #DSTipOfTheWeek FLASHBACK… just in time for Halloween decorating season!

Are you sick of the typical off-white, beige, and pale blue walls found in most homes?  While these light colors tend to open up a room, some people like to ‘mix it up’ with darker shades like black, deep blue, or red.  There is a way to use dark paint, without giving your room a somber feel.  

It’s time for another Steinhafels’ “Decorating Solutions” Tip of the Week.  This week’s tip comes from Waukesha store based Interior Designer Rhonda Vivoda.

Rhonda assures us, “It’s okay to go dark with paint in a small room, it will give it a very dramatic feel.”

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So maybe it’s not a great idea to transform your living room into a deep blue sea… but go ahead and be a little daring in a bathroom, guest room, or den!

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 BRAVA Night Out Style: Mixing Patterns

For this week’s Tip of the Week we go on the scene to our Madison Beltline Store.

That’s where we recently hosted a BRAVA Magazine Night Out called #WineAndDesign.  One of the design sessions taught attendees how to mix patterns.  Decorating with patterns can be tricky.  You don’t want to overdo it, but you also want to highlight your unique style.  

Decorating Solutions designers Patti Stindt and Mari Johnson did an interactive “Before and After” demo, demonstrating how you can transform a boring and blah room just by adding a few different patterns and textures.

BEFORE:

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Patti explains that you don’t want to be matchy-matchy, and Mari says that bringing in different textures is a great way to mix patterns.  The ladies do add that you want to stay within the same color tones when you mix patterns… but overall just have fun with it, and don’t be scared to get creative!

AFTER:

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You can check out some video of Mari and Patti’s demo HERE.

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

 

DS Tip Of The Week: Monochromatic Color Schemes, and How to Make Them Work!

It’s time for another Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week!  This week we are talking color, and how to make a single color scheme visually appealing and robust.

Elena Moraru is new to our Madison store, and we’re excited to have her on board.  She loves to incorporate a client’s personality into her design projects.  Color is a great way to show personality, and Elena has an interesting tip for us!

She explains, “A way to bring interest and fun to your space is by going monochromatic with your decor.  I am not talking about a boring monochromatic scheme. You can use a color but in 3 different shades of it, like the green in this particular space. The trick is to use it in different textures. Every shade of this particular color should be in a different element with a different texture.”

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“As you see, there’s green paint on the walls, green pillow fabric, and the green tone of the plant is  used as an accessory in the tray over the ottoman. In order to accomplish success with such a concept it’s also necessary to support it with neutral textures surrounding space.  Don’t be afraid to use texture!  Most of the time texture screams louder than color, and creates a more visually interesting space–plus it softens and warms it up more than any other element.”

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Tune in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek!

 

 

DS Tip of the Week: Tantalizing Tiffany Tinting

Sometimes design has very little to do with the big-ticket items, and more to do with the accessories.  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!

Get out the notepad and jot down this helpful hint.  That’s right… it’s time for another Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week!  This week’s tip 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.  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: Balancing It Out With Built-Ins

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

The great thing about home decor is that most of it is easily changeable.  You get sick of it, change it up!  However, that’s not so easy to do when it comes to built-ins.  Built-ins are permanent decorative or storage items–like cabinets, shelving, or window seats.  Since they are permanent, it’s crucial they are done with as much precision and imagination as possible.

Julie Thompson is a designer at our Corporate store in Waukesha.  She has a simple but important tip when it comes to built-ins.  Julie explains, “Add built-ins on the end of a long narrow room to help square it up.  Often a long narrow room is hard to set up if it isn’t long enough to set up two separate areas, or has a central focal point like a fireplace on the long wall.  A built-in can help even things out.”

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Don’t be scared to try something new!!  Form and function come together with gorgeous built-in shelving… as long as it’s done properly.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

 

DS Tip of the Week: Showcasing Tall Fireplaces

I hate to say it, but yes… it’s already time to think about fireplaces if you plan on making any fireplace-focused design changes for the fall/winter season.  After all, it IS Wisconsin… it could snow tomorrow!!  (Yes, I said the “S” word)

For this week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week we look at Tall Stone Fireplaces.  Our Decorating Solutions Interior Designers are constantly using simple techniques to make dramatic changes that will help your space come to life.  This week’s tip comes from Waukesha-based designer Dawn Adamec.

Dawn is using one of her design projects to illustrate her tip.  She explains, “In this home the focal point is the big stone fireplace in the living room, and the insets surrounding it.  I wanted it to be tone on tone (basically monochromatic, with a lot of neutrals).  Everyone always asks what to do with a big stone fireplace that extends all the way to the ceiling.  I love using metal wall sculptures to break up the stone, but make sure you can still see through the metal to the stone.  People spend a lot of money on these majestic fireplaces, so they want to show them off, but they have to put something on the structure to break up the space a bit and make it interesting.”

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Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek… and hopefully we don’t have to use those fireplaces for another couple months!

DS Tip Of The Week: Sofa Tables–Oh the Possibilities!

As you get set to redecorate the living room, you are likely focused on the sofa, and other large statement items.  We’re here to remind you–don’t overlook the sofa tables!!

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This week’s tip comes from one of our Vernon Hills Decorating Solutions experts.  Brian Mueller is known for his ability to help his clients see the possibilities that they may not be able to envision themselves.

As Brian explains, “A sofa table has endless possibilities.  If your sofa or sectional are just floating in a room, and you’re tired of looking at all the fabric or leather, break it up with a table behind it.  Not only can a table break up the sea of fabric or leather, it also acts as another surface for lamps lamps, or a space to display accessories!  For instance, if your room doesn’t allow for an end table for extra lighting, and you have room for a table behind your sofa or sectional, use that instead.  It doesn’t even necessarily have to be floating to use one either, and you can move it forward off the wall to make for a more intimate seating area as well.”

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Brian adds, “Sofa tables come in all shapes and sizes.  Some even allow for ottomans or stools underneath, which adds extra seating as well when you need it.  Don’t be afraid to even put a chest or cabinet behind it, as long as it doesn’t go higher than the back of the sofa cushion. You can also use open bookshelves to divide a room visually behind a sofa.”

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

UPDATE: Generosity Overflowing!!!

UPDATE:  The Back 2 School Bash was a great success!! Thanks to the generosity of Steinhafels employees and other community members, more than 200 kids received grade-appropriate backpacks, and had fun-filled weekend including music, roller skating, and games. Two kids also won bikes donated by Dreambikes!

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Wow… Steinhafels employees are super awesome :)

A few weeks ago some employees on the Waukesha Sales Team started their annual Back to School Drive.  The supplies will be distributed to inner city children at the 4th Annual Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash.  What started as a grassroots effort has grown into a yearly event.

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As usual, employees have stepped up and donated pencils, markers, backpacks, etc.  Our employees have always been compassionate about the community, and are always willing to give back.

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But this year feels extra special.  In light of the recent events in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park Neighborhood, it seems more important than ever that we come together and support the children and families in our city.

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As you can see in these pictures, the backpacks are starting to overflow!!  Just imagine the looks on these kids’ faces when they open up their new bookbags full of awesome supplies (some of the big kids even get earbuds for their computers!)

The best part–it’s not too late to give!!  Katie and Cheri have more backpacks to fill, and if anyone wants to give money they can put it in the envelope on Katie’s desk in the store office.

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You can also show your support by coming out to the event!!  Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash is Saturday August 27 from 11am-7pm, in the 2500 block of North 38th Street in Milwaukee.

Check out the original blog HERE