DS Tip Of The Week: Wonderful Window Treatments

It’s Spring, which means sunny skies… and time to open those windows and blinds.

Are you torn on whether to use blinds or curtains? How about both!

Designer Jenii Kluver is an interior designer on our “Decorating Solutions” team.  She works at our Steinhafels store in Oak Creek.  She has some practical advice when it comes to window treatments.

Jenii explains, “Use both blinds and panel curtains for window treatments in rooms that are frequently used. Your blinds will function to give you privacy and block out light, while the curtain panels will simply be decorative. This works especially well for very long sets of windows where it’s difficult to find curtains with a longer width to cover the entire window.”

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Not too tough, right?  We post a different quick, easy, and practical decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip Of The Week: Staging Your House For Sale

Tis the season… “For Sale” signs are popping up on every street corner, and eager home buyers are looking for their dream home! If you’re selling your home, how do you make your home stand out from the rest? How do you make it say, “Choose Me!”

There are some simple ways to stage your home for sale. A few are pretty obvious, but we have a few you probably haven’t thought of.

That brings us to this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week.

Here’s a few tips for staging your home, with the help of Steinhafels, and some simple DIY projects:

1. Boost curb appeal.

2. Welcome visitors with an inviting porch.

3. Get your house sparkling clean.

4. Clear away all clutter… closets too!

5. Strike a balance between clean and lived-in.

6. Style your dining room table.

7. Take a good look at your floors.

8. Rearrange your furniture.

9. Create a Gender Neutral Bedroom.

10. Clean up Toys…dads, that means you too!

11. Stage extra rooms for the demographics you’re selling to.

12. Look at every detail with a visitor’s eye.

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Call in a professional with a new pair of eyes to help make the job easier–especially with an empty home or if your mom and dad are downsizing from your family home. Any of our Steinhafels Decorating Solutions design staff can help you out!

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

DS Tip Of The Week: Getting Personal With Pictures

Spring is here!  Are you looking to refresh your room, but don’t want to spend money on a new set of furniture? Maybe it’s time to get your artistic juices flowing!

This week’s tip is a little different than usual. It doesn’t show a furniture example, but instead how you can use your own artistic eye to compliment your furniture pieces. It comes from Lori Green, an interior decorator at our Greenfield store. Lori has been in our Decorating Solutions program for years, and always has unique and practical ideas.

Lori’s tip has a personal touch. She says, “I sometimes take personal photos that I have collected that are special to me, and will enlarge and frame them with black frames and put them side by side above my sofa for example. Photographs can help pull the bright colors out of furniture into a room. It is amazing what one can capture on film, and enlarged…it’s so sentimental to you after you see those images on a canvas. I have a lot of fun doing that.”

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The best part–bringing those images to life wasn’t difficult! Lori explains, “My daughter and I downloaded our photos to Shutterfly and selected the size we wanted for our canvas art to be made. They shipped them to us, and then we got them framed ourselves. It can be an easy way to create one of a kind wall art.”

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: Don’t Be So Pushy!

It’s Monday AND the first day of Spring. Time for some #MondayMotivation!! Here’s your Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week to give you a burst of motivation!

This week we look at furniture arrangement. Samantha Price is an interior decorator based at our beautiful Oak Creek store. Samantha points out that many people have a tendency to think furniture needs to be pushed up against a wall. Instead, she says don’t be so “pushy!”

She explains, “In a lot of spaces, most commonly the long narrow room, furniture against a wall makes for a real awkward space, with no real definitions. An entertaining space should be more cozy and not spread out across a room. An area rug is a great way to help ground and define a specific space. After the main pieces are placed, sometimes the leftover space can be overwhelming and undefined? An accent chair and a table are always a great solution. It can create a visually pleasing area of interest, while offering extra seating when guests come over! Furniture pieces do not always need to create the look of everyday use. Sometimes the definition of a space within a space can be the eye catcher.”

Here’s a Before and After of one of Samantha’s recent projects:

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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: Lose the TV

Despite this late season deluge of snow…spring IS coming! That means time to turn off the TV’s, open the windows, and enjoy the sounds and smells of the outdoors.

This week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week comes to us from one of our Oak Creek-based interior decorators, Jenii Kluver. She has a message for all of you hooked on Sports, Video Games, Netflix, Hulu, etc. Turn it off when you’re in the family room. In fact, lose the TV altogether. That’s right–no TV! Small family rooms were never meant to have TV’s.

Jenii explains, “Try eliminating the TV in your space and relocating it to a more closed off space such as a basement or bedroom. This will give you a lot more freedom to use your room to its fullest potential without having to designate one wall as a ‘TV wall.’ If you really cannot live without a TV in your living space, try mounting it above your fireplace to still give yourself freedom with furniture layout.”

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

DS Tip Of The Week: Big Style–Decorating With Neutrals And Naturals

When it comes to interior design, many of us don’t want to push the envelope. We may think decorating with neutrals is the “safe” way to go, but the truth is, you can have BIG and BOLD style, all while decorating with neutrals and naturals! Our Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week asks you to think about neutrals in a new way.

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This week’s tip comes from Appleton Interior Decorator Julie Kanugh.  Julie says, “Don’t be afraid to go BIG. Neutral doesn’t need to be boring. You can make a neutral room interesting with patterns, textures, and materials. For example, leather is a natural and practical choice, and can have interesting textures. In addition, distressed or reclaimed wood adds texture and style, along with being family friendly (scratches on the coffee table won’t matter)!”

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Julie adds, don’t forget to protect your purchase with Guardsman! We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

You can check out Julie talking about Bold Neutrals on Fox 11’s “Living With Amy” by clicking HERE.

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DS Tip Of The Week: Belly Up to the Bar–At Home!

Are you looking to use your space in a whole new way?  Do you have a formal living area and a family room adjacent, and you’re just not sure how the space will best be  utilized?

How about a Bar?  After all–this IS Wisconsin!

Our Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week is perfect for the cocktail connoisseur, or someone who’s looking for new ways to enjoy their home–along with family and friends.

This week’s design tip comes from Menomonee Falls Interior Decorator Beth Kealy.

Beth uses a past project to illustrate her point.  Here is the room BEFORE:

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She explains, “This client chose to add a bar and seating area–making the room cozy and useful versus a stuffy and rarely used space. Steinhafels has many beautiful bars which could bring the guests back to the formal room with great conversation and a reason to return.”

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So take Beth’s advice, and be the host with the most!

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

 

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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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: Creating a Conversation Area

Do you love to entertain guests in your home?  Then this week’s #DSTipOfTheWeek is for you!

One of the common mistakes people make is under-utilizing a large room, or having a focal point that’s off-center, leaving extra floor space.  These mistakes often happen in Great Rooms or basements.

Decorating Solutions Interior Designer Michelle Micolta is to the rescue!  She suggests turning that extra space into a conversation area.  She explains, “Conversation areas can be very versatile and useful when you’re entertaining.  You can have two loveseats or settees facing each other.  Another option is placing four swivel or stationary lounge chairs around an ottoman or table.  Finally, if you want to keep it simple, just a pair of accent chairs with a statement table between them would do the trick as well!”

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As you can see from the picture, these little vignettes are a great way to promote conversation, and give your large room a more intimate feel.  Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.