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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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: Furniture and Windows

It doesn’t feel like it, but winter is just around the corner.  Even though it’s cold outside, it’s still nice to have some natural light in the home, and use our windows to accent our decor.

This week’s window-themed Tip of the Week comes from Decorating Solutions Designer Linda Patti.  Linda has been with Steinhafels for more than 25 years, and has decorated more than 700 homes!

Linda’s tip focuses on the correct way to place furniture in front of a window.  She explains, “When placing furniture in front of a window avoid obstructing the window.  Keep the back of the furniture low, especially if it is a focal point.”

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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.

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.

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.