Journal Sentinel and Steinhafels Project a Great Success For Our Vets

Steinhafels, along with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been a proud partner of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight for years. It’s so exciting to see this organization flourish through the years, and expand to include Korean War vets… and soon, Vietnam vets.

We wanted to share an update on what’s been going on with the Honor Flight. Have you ever wished you could personally tell a veteran “Thank You?”

That’s why the Journal Sentinel recently featured the Mail Call project, presented by Steinhafels!

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People across Wisconsin wrote letters to veterans, and sent them to the Journal Sentinel. The letters will be presented to vets on future Honor Flights. In addition, for each letter received, the Journal made a $10 donation to the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Mail Call ran from November to April, and yielded 4,835 letters to veterans–raising $35,000 for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight.

Steinhafels was honored to host the check presentation this week.

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Here are some pictures from the first batch of Mail Call letters, which were distributed on the most recent flight, Saturday, April 8.

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The letters received through Mail Call were presented in addition to letters that Honor Flight volunteers secretly collected from family and friends of the veterans several weeks before the flight.

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On the flight home from Washington DC, each veteran’s name is called out on the loudspeaker, and the packages are handed out. Many veterans get very teary as they read the letters.

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Korean War veterans also received a letter from a Korean citizen who lives in Seoul, South Korea… thanking the vets for saving their country. How cool is that!?!

The funds raised through Mail Call will go toward future Honor Flights. It’s important to add that the Honor Flight is an all-volunteer organization that dedicates $.98 of every dollar donated directly to its mission.

The next Stars and Stripes Honor Flight is Sunday, May 21.  There will be following flights on Friday June 9, Saturday September 16, Saturday October 14, and Saturday November 4.

If you are interested, they we are now accepting applications from Vietnam veterans, and they expect to fly large numbers of them this fall. Priority will still go to terminally ill veterans (from any conflict), then WWII and Korean War veterans because they’re the oldest.  After that, they will fly as many Vietnam veterans as possible!

You can apply HERE.

Also, check out this 5 Words on Freedom movie premiere footage, if you haven’t yet! Steinhafels was proud to host this event a couple years ago. We look forward to continuing this partnership with our heroes for many years to come.

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Life Without a Mattress… Steinhafels Teams Up With Meriter

It all started with a phone call… and has translated into a better night’s sleep for some of Madison’s poorest residents.

Steinhafels is proud to be a part of many community organizations across southeast and central Wisconsin, in addition to the Fox Valley. We especially love it when a cause we’re supporting also relates to our slogan: Relax. In this case, we look at some Madison residents who haven’t had a relaxing night’s sleep in years.

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Lisa Bell, Community Relations Manager at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, reached out to our Steinhafels West Superstore Zone Manager Joe Heins, who specializes in Mattresses. Meriter was looking to donate some mattresses to low income residents–some of whom are veterans. They asked us for a price quote… and we were able to offer them a very deep discount on mattresses and frames. 

Delivery Day was this Tuesday, May 9. The Steinhafels crew was ready to make some beds!

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Bell explains, “I am so pleased that Steinhafels has stepped in to help us make this project a reality. We are committed over the next couple of years to continuing to provide beds to the residents of the Triangle Neighborhood. This neighborhood houses some of our most vulnerable, medically and emotionally, fragile adults.”

The Triangle is a neighborhood of condos and apartments managed by the city, and houses some of Madison’s poorest, highest-risk residents (average yearly income is approximately $10,000).

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Heins says he likes to put an emphasis on helping local charities, and that it was bittersweet watching the residents receive their mattresses on Tuesday. “It was an amazing opportunity, but also heartbreaking. Listening to their personal stories, the challenges these people have faced and what they were sleeping on before, almost brought us to tears. It makes you take a look at the little things, that some of us often take for granted, and how it can be life changing.”  

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One of the recipients was an older woman, who was just released from the hospital a few weeks earlier after surgery.

THIS is what she was sleeping on before the delivery–a makeshift bed of pillows on the cold, hard floor:

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As you can imagine, Heins says she was so happy, almost in tears, when the Steinhafels delivery crew arrived with this bed, donated by Meriter!

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She’s not alone. Several of the resident were literally SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR. Heins admits that something like this truly brings to light just how important a good night’s sleep is.

“A good night’s sleep is so important for your health and quality of life. Things that we take for granted nightly are things they don’t have the luxury of. It’s a decision between food or rent, so buying a mattress isn’t even an option.”

We are so proud of our employees like Joe, who go the extra mile to help others… and we’re glad he appreciates us as well. Joe says, “I always love being able to talk about how great the company I work for is. Seeing the good that Steinhafels does for the community is why I am always trying to recruit my friends and family.”

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It’s just a small step to combat the nationwide issue of poverty and poor living conditions, but even if it brings just a tiny bit of awareness that we all may have a neighbor in need… that’s something.

You can learn more about this project, on various local media!

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL FRONT PAGE ARTICLE

CHANNEL 27 TV NEWS STORY

AWESOME Behind the Scenes VIDEO!

Also, check out a full photo gallery HERE!

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DS Tip Of The Week: Adding Color With Painted Wood Pieces

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

Our Decorating Solutions Interior Designers are constantly using simple techniques to make dramatic changes that will help your space seem bright and new again.  This week we’re talking wood! Your tip comes from Interior Decorator Jenii Kluver, who is based at our Oak Creek store.  

Jenii suggests, “Instead of using all of the matching pieces in your coffee table collection, try accenting with a painted wood piece such as an accent cabinet, end table, or storage piece. It’s an easy way to make your space feel like it’s not all full of heavy wood pieces, and it also adds color! It’s especially helpful if some of your wood pieces do not come with matching correlates.”

Painted Wood Pieces

We’ve said it before, the “matchy-matchy” look is out. Have some fun with your Spring decor! Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

To Market, To Market… Hot New Trends

As someone who is still relatively new to the retail furniture world, I can truly say that some aspects of the business still really fascinate me.

One of those aspects is how the heck we decide WHAT to put in our stores! I mean our superstores are huge, and we carry some of the top furniture lines in the business, but at the end of the day, there is still a ton of furniture out there that we don’t carry.

What I’ve learned is that it’s a VERY precise business. Our buyers do a ton of research to determine the best fits for our store.

All of that research culminates in Market, which is held several times a year–in North Carolina and Las Vegas.

For this blog, we’re going to take a look at the most recent Market–the Spring High Point Market in beautiful NC. According to the Market’s website, more than 75,000 people flock to this small Carolina town every six months to take part in one of the furniture industry’s biggest trade shows. The “Market” is made up of 180 buildings, 11.5 million square feet of showspace, and 2,000+ exhibitors from more than 100 different countries.

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Upon their return from the Tar Heel State, I asked our buyers to give me a little sneak peek into what’s hot this season, and what it’s like to be at Market.

Elaine Haskey, Upholstery

“In the world of Upholstery we were really excited to see Boho, or ‘nuevo hippie.’ It’s very colorful, almost Middle Eastern looking…like items you would find in a bazaar. The pieces are made from very thick fabrics full of color.”

-Modern looks that span all price ranges, both in fabric and in leather. That modern look is also coming into motion furniture.

-Power lumbar continues to be big in motion. Power recline, power headrest, and power lumbar allow the lower back to be supported.

-BOLD colors: Like chartreuse, yellow, and burgundy

-BLUE is still really big, which confirms what we’ve been doing as a company

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Dawn Still, Case Goods

“Being in Case Goods, what we’re looking at is new wood finishes, distressing of the wood, and the wire brush look. It literally looks like someone beat up the piece of wood. Grays are hot. Also a dry finish, and tons of wood species: Acacia, walnut, bleached white oak, and mango to name a few. We are also seeing more multi-functional pieces.”

Jenny Kordus, Accent Furniture

“Accent Furniture vendors are really focusing on multi-purpose pieces–like bookcase piers, cabinets that could be storage or wine racks, tables that can also be used for the office, and that’s just to name a few. Farmhouse is still a big trend, as well as whites and off-white. And barn doors are everywhere!”

Teri Hayden-Kalis, Rugs and Accessories

The trends I saw repeated the most in the showrooms:

-BLUE: All shades of blue accessories and rugs everywhere–Navy, Turquoise, Peacock   

-GOLD/ANTIQUE BRASS: Gold and brass are back, as you may have been noticing on all of your clothing lately (zippers, buttons, etc)… and showrooms are also filled with brass accents and accessories.

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-MONGOLIAN FUR PILLOWS: These are everywhere! They come in every color, go with anything, and add tons of texture.

This is some great insight into the hottest furniture trends for this spring and summer. But I also wanted to know a little bit more about the market itself. What is it REALLY like to attend, and what are some tips for those who may be checking out Market for the first time?

The biggest reaction from our buyers: Wear comfy shoes!! Buyers typically log about 6 miles a day, walking from appointment to appointment.

This spring, our buyers also had to compete with rain basically the entire time. When you compile that with 12-15 hour days, it takes some of the glamour out of the experience!

High Point Market Spring 2017 pic with courtesy

But all of our buyers agree Market is a great event for our industry, and a vital part of networking and developing relationships with vendors.

Jenny says it’s also a chance for the buyers to grow closer. “We don’t always get to hang out at work, so it’s nice to be together, have ‘family’ dinner.”

Teri adds, “My favorite thing about market is seeing all of the new products and designs displayed in gorgeous showrooms. Most showrooms are reset and redesigned for every market.”

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And believe it or not, Market is just the START of all the work for our Merchandising Team! Dawn explains, “You come back and you have to execute. The market is the easy part.. then you have to follow through with the vendors.”

As I’ve learned through my first couple years of working at Steinhafels, the world of furniture is beautiful to gaze at and enjoy, but there is sooooo much work that goes on behind the scenes to make it happen.

I will continue to share some of my discoveries in this blog… so stay tuned!

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DS Tip Of The Week: Don’t Rush on Picking Paint

Happy May 1st! It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another Tip of the Week.

Sometimes our tips elaborate on common sense design tips most of us already know. But other times, our tips help to dispel common design mistakes.

One of those is paint color. Many people want to pick their paint color first. Believe it or not, you should actually pick your paint color LAST!

This week’s tip comes from Decorating Solutions Interior Designer Dawn Adamec. Dawn works out of our Waukesha Corporate store.

Dawn explains, “It’s a good idea to have a general color scheme, but make life easier for yourself!! Figure out the furniture and/or area rugs and art first. Then you can select your paint colors from the colors you see in your fabrics, art work, and area rugs. It’s harder to match fabrics, a favorite piece of art or an area rug with existing paint colors.”

Here’s one of Dawn’s projects, brought to life by Steinhafels photographer Sarah Utech. Note how the pain color pulls everything together!

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Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Steinhafels & Best Buddies!

The Brewers may have crushed the Reds 9-1 Tuesday night… but the real win was OFF the field at Miller Park!

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Best Buddies Wisconsin hosted its annual Brewers Tailgate, and a couple Steinhafels employees had the chance to hang out with the Best Buddies gang. Steinhafels recently partnered with the organization to sponsor six different schools in the Milwaukee area. You can read about this exciting new friendship on our Community Giving page, and on the Best Buddies Blog.

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The Brewers donated 950 tickets for Best Buddies to give its students, and other participants. They were kind enough to offer some of the tickets to Steinhafels. We had a great time getting to meet some new people. It also didn’t hurt that the Brewers’ bats were on fire, and that Eric Thames hit his 11th homer of the season–setting a franchise record for most home runs in April.

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Bullpen coach and Racine native Marcus Hanel and Brewers pitcher Corey Knebel even dropped by the tailgate to say hi, and snag a couple hot dogs!

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We wanted to hear a little more about what the experience was like for both Steinhafels Bluemound Mattress Manager Chris Trollinger, and Best Buddies Deputy Director of Mission Advancement Lauren Peter. It’s interesting to see both perspectives.

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Chris’s Thoughts

Did you guys have fun at the tailgate and game?

We had a great time at the event. The hot dogs were great, and it was a nice opportunity to mingle with other Steinhafels folks as well as different members of the community.

You said you didn’t know about Best Buddies before this. What do you think about the organization, from what you know now?

I do believe it is so nice to do any type of mentoring. I believe this special group really benefits from just a little extra interaction.

Are you happy that Steinhafels sponsors and takes part in a variety of community organizations?

Yes, I believe that’s an important part of the family values that Steinhafels demonstrates.

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Lauren’s Turn

Why is the annual tailgate such an important event for Best Buddies?

Answer is two-fold: First, it is a great opportunity for the community to see our mission in action through volunteering and raising awareness with the surrounding tailgaters; secondly, this is a really incredible way to thank our students for a great year, as well as engage them with like-minded peers from other schools in the area and socialize with buddies.

Our Steinhafels employees really enjoyed it. Why is it so cool to get your community sponsors to events to get the true “Best Buddies” experience?

Reading about our programs doesn’t do justice to the impact the programs truly have on participants, volunteers, etc.  The reason our programs are so successful is because of the friendship aspect, which is a human connection, something very authentic that you have to experience first-hand and in-person to really get an understanding of how beneficial the programs are.

What would you like to say to Steinhafels employees who are thinking about coming out to the next Best Buddies event?

We would love to have you! There’s so many opportunities to engage with our organization whether that’s through volunteering at our events or participating with us. Give us a shot – you never know, you could make a new friend!

You can see all of our pictures, and some video from the tailgate HERE.

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.

Steinhafels and a play about a bed!

Steinhafels is excited to sponsor a unique theatrical experience playing at the Alchemist Theatre in Bay View over the next few weekends.

The show is called Strange Bedfellows–an evening of short film + theater. It includes 8 international short films, and the world premiere of the short play, The Bed. The play is an introspective look at a man’s existence from birth to death, and the significance his bed plays throughout his life.MAIN POSTER 11x 17 poster.jpg with RISHI TEA LOGO.jpg SAME ROW

When the show’s director and playwright, Jeff Ircink, approached us to be a possible sponsor, it surprisingly turned out to be a perfect fit!

At Steinhafels, we pride ourselves on selling high quality beds and mattresses that promote a good night’s sleep. Check out our past blog about the importance of sleep HERE.

As part of the sponsorship, Steinhafels donated and delivered this bed, which will sit in the center of the stage. Talk about a starring role!! Delivery Operations Manager Kevin Riley says it was a unique and fun delivery.

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We asked Jeff to tell us a little bit more about the play, and why he’s so inspired by beds and sleep.

STEINHAFELS:  Briefly tell us about The Bed, and why people should come out to see it?

JEFF:  I wrote this short play as an homage to my father, who loved to sleep. His entire life he loved to sleep. Sleeping is a universal condition. Everybody sleeps. The storyline is really the story of each of our lives. And – there are very few plays with no actor dialogue. We have a pre-recorded voiceover narration with a music bed and the actors play out the narration on stage. It’s quite lovely, I must say.

The Bed

They should also come because we’re giving away the bed from The Bed at the end of the run, as well as four other grand prizes. And we’re giving away stuff throughout the run. I mean when was the last time you left the theater with one of the set pieces?

STEINHAFELS:  Why did you approach Steinhafels? Why is this a community-based partnership that makes sense?

JEFF:  When I moved back to Wisconsin, I immediately went to Steinhafels and purchased a sleigh bed. I’ve been in a state of bliss ever since–I am not kidding! I know people who work and have worked for Steinhafels and the name is synonymous with quality furniture. It was the first place I thought of, and the first place I approached with our show concept. I think local business ties to the arts help enhance the retailer’s community spirit. It’s not just “come buy furniture from us,” but it’s “our customers also like to be educated, inspired and entertained and here’s how we can support that.”

STEINHAFELS:  You came out to the store to pick a bed for the play.  What did you think… and what do you think of the bed you chose?

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JEFF:  Huge selection! We were there for an hour, maybe? But we did find one bed that works with our set, is functional, and is a style that any patron would love to have in their home.

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STEINHAFELS:  A bed is something we often take for granted. Why is a bed and sleep so important?

JEFF:  My sleeping accommodations (as far as my bed) were horrendous while living in Los Angeles for 12 years. I promised myself that when I moved back to Wisconsin, if there wasn’t a stitch of furniture in my home, I’d splurge and treat myself to a quality bed – mattress, box spring, head & footboard. Which I did, thanks to Steinhafels. I wanted to write a play that paid tribute to a piece of furniture that is taken for granted in film, television, and theater. It’s set dressing – that’s all. I thought it needed its Cecile B. DeMille moment.

STEINHAFELS:  How do you want audience members to feel when you leave the show?

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JEFF:  Two questions are addressed in The Bed:  “What have I accomplished in my life?” and “What do I want to accomplish before I leave this earth?” Everyone asks themselves these two questions at some point in their lives. The play and eight films will strike a nerve with everyone. They’ll laugh and reminisce, and perhaps view their bed and sleeping in a different light. They may even become a bit introspective when it comes to their own lives.

Strange Bedfellows runs April 21-22, 28-29, May 5-6, 12-13 at the Alchemist. Two shows each night at 7 and 9:00 p.m. We hope to see you at the theater for this introspective and touching show!

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: Varying Scale to Create Interest

When it comes to interior design, do you feel like you are completely off balance when it comes to what you think looks good? Turns out you may not be wrong if you are trying to mix things up a bit!

In this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week, we look at why it’s good to vary the scale of furniture in your room. This week’s wise words come from Waukesha Interior Decorator Dawn Adamec.

Varying your scale means you have high and low pieces. First, we look at the kitchen. Dawn explains, “If you already have a kitchen counter or snack bar that is bar or counter height, don’t buy a kitchen table that is bar or counter height! Instead, choose a standard height set. This way your seating is at different levels, creating interest in the room.”

Scale Kitchen different heights

Moving over to the living room, Dawn has some advice if you already have a standard sofa and are in the market for a new accent chair. “If the sofa is a standard height, which is pretty typical, consider an accent chair that is taller in height. Wing chairs have come a long way since your grandmother’s old comfy chair. There are so many fun, even modern versions you can use as wing chairs nowadays!”

Scale Different Chairs

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help with your redesign!  We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.