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: 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.

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: 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.

 

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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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.

PILLOW TALK

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.

 

DS Tip Of The Week: Thanksgiving–Embrace Your Imperfections!

Just in time for Thanksgiving… a Decorating Solutions’ Tip Of The Week with a holiday flare.

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family near and far.  There is the tendency to want everything perfect for their arrival, but sometimes imperfection is better. After all, it IS family time–we all know that can get a little messy anyways!

This week’s #DSTipOfTheWeek comes from interior designer Anne Sperry, who’s based at our Steinhafels in Kenosha.

Anne has some simple tips that can make a big difference.  She explains, “When you don’t have enough chairs that match to go around your dinner table, it is fun to mix and match all sizes and colors to represent all sizes and personalities in your family. Same goes for china, glass, and silverware as well. It is fun to have each guest bring a place setting that has family history and share the memories of each piece as you say your prayers of thanks. Also set a place at the dinner table for a family member that has passed and is greatly missed each year. Place their photo on the chair and have family tell their favorite stories throughout dinner.”

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So don’t settle for the perfect match at your Thanksgiving table. Welcome in the odd and mismatched pieces–like the imperfect souls we are.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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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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: Dress Your Windows

Most of us love to have the beauty and warmth of natural light in our homes.  The one exception might be at 6 a.m. on a lazy Sunday morning in the middle of the summer, when the beaming sun wakes us from a restful slumber.  But as we Wisconsinites know all too well, we still have a few months until we have to worry about that.

In the meantime, the sun is a welcome sight during these late winter and early spring months.  However, you can’t count on the sun to do all the work.  You have to make sure you show your windows some love!  Windows are the topic of this week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week.

Patti Stindt is an Interior Designer at our Madison Beltline store.  Her recommendation to homeowners:  Don’t forget about dressing the windows!

Patti says, “No matter what the size of the window or how high the ceilings, a vertical line in your designed space adds interest and warmth.  It is also a great way to add color, texture, or introduce another pattern.”

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As you see in these pictures, some simple drapes add interest and depth to the room.  Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.