DS Tip of The Week: Holiday Accessory Consistency

Thanksgiving is in a few days, and then Christmas is just around the corner. Do you have a huge box of decorations, with no idea how to display them stylishly?

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You are not alone! This holiday-inspired Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from one of our newer designers, John Newell, who’s based in our Kenosha store. His suggestion: When decorating for the holidays, try to use the same style of decorations room to room.

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John explains, “For example try placing all the soft plush decoration in the family room.  Then place the glass and fragile items in the dining room. In the kitchen and living room you can place all the wood and hand crafted items–either store bought or made by your children. By keeping this consistency, it creates flow from room to room, and gives each room its own distinction and unity.”

Here are just some examples of the vast array of holiday decor you can find at Steinhafels! As you can see we have it all–from delicate pieces to plush pillows you can throw on your sofas and recliners.

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So don’t let that big box of holiday decor stress you out! Organize the accessories by style, and try to give each room its own personality.

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

You can email John at johnn@steinhafels.com if you live in the Kenosha/Racine area and are interested in exploring a new design project!

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DS Tip Of The Week: Chandeliers as a focal point, and how to hang them properly

When it comes to design, we often stick with what we know. Chandeliers as we traditionally know them are a necessity in dining rooms for most of the lighting. However, you don’t have to stop at this room alone. Chandeliers can also be a great focal point in living rooms, master bedrooms and bathrooms.

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This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from Interior Designer Patti Stindt. Patti works at our beautiful new Madison East store, one of only 2 stores currently to have our beautiful new selection of chandeliers on display!

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Patti explains how versatile chandeliers can be. “Chandeliers give us an opportunity to create a beautiful focal point in spaces besides the dining room. Gone are the days of your ordinary light fixture that only provides us light. There are hundreds of options in many different styles that can make a statement in your room. Think of a chandelier as the piece of jewelry that pulls your whole outfit together!”

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Ooooh.. Jewelry! That’s a fun comparison.

There are some logistical issues to consider as well. Patti adds, “When choosing a chandelier, consider style of the space, how much light is needed for the space, and the scale of the light fixture compared to area it is suspended above. Typically we multiply the square footage by 1.5 to get the wattage needed for the room. Also, if it is hung above a dining room table, the bottom of the chandelier should be hung between 30-36″ above the table top. Lastly, put these fixtures on dimmers to create mood lighting!”

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Thanks for explaining that Patti! Our designers are hard at work on many more insightful tips for you. Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Steinhafels Employee Takes the “Honor” Flight of His Life

The nation will take time out to honor the brave men and women who served our country this Veterans Day, Saturday, November 11. It’s a proud day for our country, but also a day that brings back difficult memories for many of our nation’s finest.

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Organizations like the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight are working to help ease the pain of those memories. The Honor Flight happens several times a year, and takes veterans (World War II, Korea, and Vietnam) to see their monuments in Washington D.C.

The day ends with a huge welcome home event at Mitchell International Airport. Steinhafels has partnered with the Honor Flight for years, through various donation drives, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Mail Call” program.

But this Steinhafels blog looks at the Honor Flight from an even more personal angle–through the eyes of a veteran who works for our company. Theron Kramer has been part of the Steinhafels work family for 5 years, and has a skilled role in our Corporate Warehouse.

Before his time with Steinhafels though, Theron served our country as an Army Sergeant–deploying to both Kuwait and Iraq during his time in the service. Theron is one of many veterans we are proud to call part of the Steinhafels family.

Theron had the chance to be a Guardian on this past weekend’s Honor Flight. He was kind enough to share little bit about the experience with us.

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Steinhafels: Thank you for your service! When did you serve?

Theron: I served with Bravo Company 2/128th Air Assault Infantry in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in August 2003. I was honorably discharged as a sergeant in Aug 2011 with Alfa Troop 1/105th Calvary.

How about the gentleman you escorted on the flight?

Theron: Mr. John Tilch served with 1st Infantry as a combat medic in Phuoc Pinh, Vietnam in 1967. Mr. Tilch was given a spot on the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight and needed a guardian for the trip. I was very honored that he had asked me to go with him.

Why did you decide to join the service?

I joined the army because of the September 11th attacks. I felt like I needed to do something to help.

What is it like to be on a Stars and Stripes Honor Flight?

The flight to Washington was filled with excitement and anticipation. The flight back, however, was filled with many emotions. Every veteran on the flight received “mail call” letters from back home.

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I had never been to Washington D.C. before, and didn’t know what to expect while touring the memorials. Each memorial left you with a different emotion. The World War II memorial felt a bit cheerful and triumphant while the Vietnam wall was very mournful. The Korean War memorial was more dark and eerie.

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What was the most emotional part of the journey?

In my opinion the welcome home at General Mitchell International Airport was the most emotional part of the trip. To see the large volumes of strangers, service members and family was so inspiring. Especially for Mr. Tilch, a Vietnam veteran, who didn’t get that ‘welcome home.’ This trip was for him, and I am filled with pride that he finally received the welcome home he deserves.

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Why is the Honor Flight so important?

I think events like the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight are so important because it’s necessary to remind veterans that their selfless acts were appreciated, and that their call to duty did not go unnoticed.

I want to express my extreme gratitude to the staff at St. Paul School and Parish for their generous contributions. I also wanted to acknowledge the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight for the outstanding job that they do. Thank you!

And thank you Theron, for being a wonderful employee, and an example to other young men and women who want to take that extra step to protect the freedoms we are so lucky to enjoy here in the United States.

Help Steinhafels continue its support for veterans during our Veterans Day Sale, which runs through the end of business on Friday, November 10. Steinhafels will donate 5% of all sales to Fisher House Wisconsin. The Fisher House Foundation provides a network of comfort homes, where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment at the local VA.  

Also, Steinhafels is a proud Presenter of the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight “Mail Call” again this year. You can send a letter to a veteran on a 2018 flight! The Journal Sentinel will make a $10 donation for each letter received.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

attn: Mail Call

333 W. State St.

Milwaukee, WI 53203

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DS Tip Of The Week: The Fabulous Functionality of the Ottoman

When it comes to design, we want it to look great, but also be functional. Especially as the winter months approach, anything that makes life easier, including increased storage space, is a plus!

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week explores the fabulous functionality of the ottoman. Rachel Chairez is a new designer at our Kenosha store, and she’s excited to share some of her expertise with us.

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Rachel explains, “Most people like to put their feet up when they relax– even on coffee tables. Why not ditch the coffee table and bring in a patterned, upholstered ottoman? You can also bring varied textures into the room by mixing an upholstered sofa with a leather ottoman. Blending texture and colors can create contrasts that are fun to the eye. Worried about losing your storage capabilities that you had in the coffee table? Storage ottomans exist and come in multiple types and styles.”

As you can see in Rachel’s example, you can bring in a fun, ceramic tiled ottoman tray to place on top of the ottoman–that way guests have a solid surface to set their drinks down on! Or looking for a more rustic look? You can also bring in a wood ottoman tray that pairs well with the space. The combinations are endless!

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So put those feet up in style, especially after a long Monday! Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

You can email Rachel at rachelc@steinhafels.com if you live in the Kenosha/Racine area and are interested in exploring a new design project!

UPDATE: Fisher House Wisconsin 1,000+ Strong!

From the Fisher House to the Honor Flight, Steinhafels is proud to support our local veterans.

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As we celebrate our 6th year supporting Fisher House Wisconsin, we are incredibly proud to have donated more than $250,000–towards providing a ‘home away from home’ for military families that have a loved one receiving treatment at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.

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We are excited to report that since the ribbon cutting of the new Milwaukee Fisher House in Spring 2016, more than 1,000 families have been helped!! 

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Help us continue our support during our Veterans Day Sale this week, from Tuesday, November 7-Friday, November 10. Steinhafels will donate 5% of all sales to Fisher House Wisconsin.

Check out our original Fisher House Blog HERE.

And thanks to all of our generous customers for your continued support of all of our community efforts!

Steinhafels Goes MAD… About Modern!

At Steinhafels, we are all about keeping up with the latest trends and styles when it comes to interior design and furniture.

As you probably know, what’s old is new…what’s new is old…and the cycle continues over and over again! It’s been a phenomenon since the beginning of time–updated versions of old trends reappear years after first hitting the popular scene.

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That’s the idea behind Steinhafels’ new “Mad About Modern” initiative. You have likely seen the signs gracing our lobbies across the area. MAM is all about, “Creating an exciting living space. It’s a classic vintage look with sweeping organic curves, geometric shapes, and clean, simple lines.”

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Our buyers and display teams work hard to make sure that when customers enter our stores, they are instantly greeted by images and vignettes that are on-trend and a little edgy, but still comfortable and relatable to any home.

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Many of these ideas come from “Market,” where furniture buyers from across the nation gather to learn firsthand about the hottest items on the market, and various vendors vie for their business.  

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Teri Hayden-Kalis is our Accessories buyer. She is a big fan of this Mid-Century Modern design emphasis. “It’s just really fun and cool to tie all together with new, unique product. I mean, look how funky this stuff is! We get to step out of the box and try new things.”

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There are several design techniques that fall into the “Mad About Modern” Style. Here’s just a few:

-Mixing metal and glass, in addition to wood and natural elements

-Geometric designs in gold, silver, antique brass and bronze

-Understated Earth tones with pops of crisp, clear color

-Cylindrical shapes

-Low to the ground

Modern not your thing? No worries–we have every other style to choose from as well. Terry explains, “There’s still the other styles out there that are popular right now–reclaimed, glitz and glamour, boho chic– this is just one of the trends we’re seeing from our manufacturers, so we’re going with it!”

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So come check out our new Mid-Century Modern selection, and experience the timeless appeal and comfort these items can bring into your home.

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DS Tip Of The Week: Dressing Up Your End Tables and Nightstands

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 end tables, and some simple techniques for dressing them up! Your tip comes from Interior Decorator Cecily Gaitan, who is based at our Kenosha store.  

Cecily explains, “Do you already have too many lamps in your space? That’s okay! Instead of the standard table lamps, you can use accessories to dress up end tables and even night stands. Add a couple vases and a real or fake plant to bring in a pop of color. If you’re on a budget, go to your nearby thrift store and pick up some vases. You can leave them as-is, depending on the condition, or spray paint them to bring them back to life! You can also do this with picture frames so you can add some photos into the mix too.”

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One word of warning–only add a few items so the space doesn’t get cluttered. No one wants more clutter…plus, that’s more to dust!” Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Steinhafels and Randall Cobb team up to “Go Gold,” and fight childhood cancer

Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is known for his slick moves and poise on the football field, but it’s what he’s doing off the field that truly has some families in Wisconsin proud to call him their favorite Packer.

Cobb and his wife Aiyda are involved with “Gold in September,” a childhood cancer non-profit dedicated to increasing funding for childhood cancer research.

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Gold In September (G9) was created by Annie Bartosz of Hartland. Annie’s twin brother Jack was diagnosed with cancer when they were just 4 years old. Jack died after battling for almost 7 years, and Annie became determined to turn the world “Gold” In September for every child.

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G9 partners with Centers of Excellence Hospitals across the country–which can offer Phase 1 Clinical Trials. G9 also works with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for these various hospitals in just a few short years. You can learn more about how to donate to G9 HERE.

Cobb recently joined in the fight, and Annie actually first got to meet him at a recent event at our Appleton store!! To see her reaction when she first met one of her football idols was just priceless.

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Annie recalls that special moment. “It was really cool. I was obviously blown away, since he’s one of my favorite football players. I was also blown away by the fact that he’s just so humble and down to earth despite being a Wisconsin celebrity and NFL celebrity. And just…he’s not trying to take credit for anything. He just wants to do his part in helping the world be a better place, and I think that’s really cool.”

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The event was a special appearance by Cobb and fundraiser for G9. Cobb, Annie, and her mother Sarah all took a few minutes to speak to the crowd, and Cobb was gracious enough to take pictures with guests. The event was produced by the USA TODAY NETWORK – Wisconsin. Check out this video we produced to hear Cobb’s special message for all of us.

We spoke with Sarah and Annie briefly after the event–about their struggles with losing a brother, son, father, and husband to cancer (Annie’s father John died a couple years ago after succumbing to the long term effects of cancer treatments he had years ago). Their story truly is heartbreaking and inspiring one that we can all learn from.

Steinhafels: What is the G9 message?

Sarah: Gold in September is a very simple concept. Gold (G) is the color for childhood cancer, and September (9) is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I think awareness will drive action, and what we really want people to do is think about Gold in September, in the month of September, as awareness month. But now we have 11 months of action. It is every day–there are children diagnosed every day, there are children dying…every day. That cannot be our reality. We want to make sure kids not only survive, but thrive, following a cancer diagnosis. And when the community comes together, not only are we supplying funding for new research and  clinical trials, but really, that’s the hope that families need to be able to put one foot in front of the other, day after day, in the face of something that is so incredibly unbelievable, and difficult to handle.

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Steinhafels: How do you do it, after all you’ve been through?

Sarah: I don’t know. There are days I’d like to just lay in bed. I miss my son Jack tremendously, I can’t even put into words. He should be turning 16 and taking Drivers Ed classes. My husband John was diagnosed in his early 20’s, and survived another 20 years, but died in his 40’s. When you ask how do I do this…I don’t want anyone else to feel like this. I don’t want anyone else to feel the sadness and despair that our family feels. We have more laughter in our house than tears, I’m proud to say that. We know that’s what Jack and John would want, and we’re just trying to fulfill the hope and enthusiasm they brought towards life. We can do that for ourselves and help people along the way as we go.

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Steinhafels: Annie, you’re just a kid, but you’ve been through alot. What do you want to tell other kids who are struggling?

Annie: I want to let other kids know they’re not alone, and they can do their part in making a difference in the world, whether it’s helping one kid have a smile on their face today, or helping many kids hopefully have the chance to survive cancer. And I just think you can do anything you put your mind to. I never thought Gold in September would be this big–so let your dreams run wild, cuz you never know what will come from them.

Well put Annie–LET YOUR DREAMS RUN WILD! It’s events like these that truly bring us all together as a community, and we at Steinhafels hope this is just the beginning of a long partnership with Annie, Sarah, Cobb, and Gold in September.

Check out a full photo gallery of the event HERE!

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DS Tip Of The Week: Experimenting With Faux Fur

Well Fall, it’s been nice knowing you, but according to weather reports we could be seeing our first flurries this week. That means it’s time to bring out all those throws you’ve been storing for the summer, and cuddle up on the couch with a good book or Netflix, your dog or cat, and a glass of wine.

Just because you are cozy doesn’t mean you have to be sloppy. You can snuggle in style! That’s right.. the cold weather offers a whole array of style options, including faux fur.

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That brings us to this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week, from none other than one of our Menomonee Falls-based interior design gurus–Aaron Keller!

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Aaron explains, “Faux fur can add a unique and elegant texture to any room.  Don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with faux fur pillows or rugs. These are examples of faux fur in homes I completed for clients. Remember as with any throw blanket it should not be folded, but rather tastefully draped on furniture.”

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So go ahead.. drape that throw blanket wherever you like. Like Aaron said, have fun with it! We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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DS Tip of the Week Fall Design: Bringing Warmth Into the Home

We continue our fall-themed #DecoratingSolutions Tips of the Week! This week we focus on bringing some extra warmth into the home as the mercury drops outside in the coming weeks.

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This week’s tip comes from Lori Green, a seasoned designer based at our Greenfield store. Lori says, “We feel the air and temperature changing now, so why not bring a little warmth into your home with the colors of fall, and cozy up to a book and relax by the fire! Create a comfortable setting for your family to relax in. Enjoy your days and evenings inside now by bringing a little of the sunroom furniture in, and incorporate a cozy sofa with some rust colors… adding a beautiful flare of fall in the air.”

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Lori adds that you can also get creative and have fun decorating your yard with fall items of various colors and sizes–that you may have thought would never go together! Check out some of these fun pictures she took during a recent trip to Door County. See… even designers can even be inspired sometimes!

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