One way to promote relaxation and inspiration in the home is through art. Art is an expression of oneself – everyone sees something different when they view art.
This week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week comes to us from Devin Bagdassian, an interior decorator based in our Waukesha store. As Devin points out, art brings an added dimension to a room, and creates visual interest.
She explains, “I love to create focal walls and do the unexpected with a blank wall. Try layering art – people do not expect this look, and it’s a great conversation starter. Don’t be afraid to combine a big clock and art, or multiple pieces together. Design should be fun and playful and should speak to YOU. Have fun designing!”
Go ahead – express yourself through the art on your walls! We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday. Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.
Proper spacing is a HUGE part of interior design. While this sounds obvious, it can be tricky to pull off, especially if you have larger furniture you want to fit in a small space.
For this week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week, we answer the question, “Can a sectional work in a small space?”
Jim Mallon is an interior designer based in our Vernon Hills store, and his answer: “Yes!! When you hire a Steinhafel’s Designer and use Decorating Solutions to resolve your space, we can make it happen.”
Jim goes on to explain, “The most important thing is that the sectional will be the only seating in the space the majority of the time. Here’s a picture of my family room. It is 12×15″ with a fireplace and a sliding patio door. I placed the sectional on the only wall I could. I replaced a sofa and a chair with this Steinhafels piece. The seating now accommodates five people. The ottoman, which serves as a coffee table, also has seating when needed… so now we can sit 7 people as opposed to only four!”
Wow, thanks for that practical example from your own home Jim! Here’s another picture that illustrates Jim’s tip.
We post a new, quick and easy decor tip each and every Monday. Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.
As a family-owned, local business, Steinhafels is always excited to partner with fellow locals – whether it be non-profits, other businesses, and yes… bloggers!
Today we introduce you to our new guest blogger, Annie, the creator of the blog “DIY Decor Mom: DIYing Between Diaper Changes.”
Annie is a 30-year-old mom of three, who along with her husband, is working on completely renovating their builder-grade 1980’s home into the home of their dreams. She explains, “Our life is crazy but wonderful. I love sharing motherhood hacks and decorating tips for creating a beautiful life and home.”
We actually met Annie through our other fabulous guest blogger, Meg at Green with Decor (us bloggers stick together!)
We met with Annie recently at our Kenosha store, where she picked up her Clarity Sofa Table. It was awesome to meet her three adorable kids.
You can check out Annie’s #sponsored blog post about that Clarity Sofa Table HERE. She has some great tips for styling a console table. Who knew a simple console table could be so functional and stylish at the same time?!
Partnering with talented lifestyle writers like Meg and Annie has been great, and we look forward to seeing what they come up with for future posts.
At Steinhafels, we value all of our community partnerships. After all, at the end of the day, our surrounding communities are what make our stores so special.
Today, we invite you to learn more about our ongoing partnership with Best Buddies Wisconsin. Steinhafels is proud to sponsor six local high school chapters. Best Buddies works to promote friendship and inclusion for people of all abilities.
We could TELL you about all the cool things those chapters have been up to, but it’s way cooler for you to SEE IT in action! Check out this short video to learn a little more about Best Buddies, and why local students are so excited to be a part of this amazing program.
The six schools Steinhafels sponsors are Brookfield Central, Grafton, Nicolet, Bay View, Menomonee Falls, and Tosa West High Schools. This sponsorship allows each school’s Chapter President to go to Leadership Conference in July.
Each school was carefully selected to provide the greatest opportunity for our stores in each of those communities to interact and engage with the sponsor schools.
Do you sometimes need an escape within your own home? Do you have a random nook in your house that you’re not fully utilizing? Turn it into your own personal “shed” within the home!
This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from Interior Designer Beth Kealy of our Menomonee Falls Superstore.
Beth explains, “In case you don’t have a shed in your backyard, it’s possible to create a relaxing cozy space to unwind in any location within your home. For example, this space (pictured) was repurposed from random furniture that had been inherited or purchased at low cost…”
“…It was an office space barely being used, and was converted to a beautiful retreat for relaxing and watching TV.”
Seems easy enough right? However, sometimes it helps to have a little help from an expert. Beth adds, “If you have a room that needs a transformation, Steinhafels Decorating Solutions staff are ready to make the magic happen!”
We post a different quick and easy decor tip every Monday. Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.
Here at Steinhafels, our rich, local history is what makes us who we are today.
For this blog post, we want to share this video chronicling the demolition of our Greenfield store on the corner of 84th and Layton, late last year. Our beautiful, new Greenfield store sits just a few hundred feet behind it, but we feel it’s important to pay homage to one of our company’s original stores.
CHECK IT OUT!
Steve Steinhafel offered some reflections on the old Greenfield store, and why it’s such an important part of our company’s visionary history:
“The Steinhafel second generation owners purchased land at 84th and Layton in Greenfield and on East Moreland Blvd in Waukesha in the late 60’s – both with thoughts of future locations. At the time, our only location was 84th and Capitol in Milwaukee. The plan was to build the Layton Ave store first in 1970. The opening in 1970 of Southridge Mall had a lot to do with the decision. The off ramp from 894 to 76-84th streets leads traffic past the store – making it a great location. The original Waukesha Steinhafels would open 10 years later in 1980.
Given that I was only 16 at the time, I wasn’t involved in the building of the Greenfield store. However, I do know that John A. Steinhafel was the Steinhafel owner who oversaw that location. He ran our Advertising operations from there.
The store was originally built as a 40,000 square foot showroom. In 1990, an addition was put on the west side of the building, adding another 20,000 sq ft. It was then not until 1995 that another Steinhafels store was built – the Todd Drive location on Madison’s west side.”
It’s time for another Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week. This week, it only makes sense with the Olympics in full swing that we talk GOLD!
Gold isn’t only for Olympic medals and jewelry. Gold accents can be a great way to update a space. It doesn’t matter if it’s traditional, casual or modern – gold is coming back!
Patti Stindt is one of the awesome designers based out of our new Madison East store on High Crossing Boulevard. Patti assures us that we’re not talking the gaudy, overbearing golds of yesteryear – these finishes are matte or brushed and very on-trend!
Patti explains, “This can be done through accessories like lamps, art, and pillows. Even occasional tables can join the fun! Also, don’t be afraid to mix metals. Just like woods, we can definitively have a mixture for some variety – just stick to two metal finishes if possible.”
Gold is also very versatile! Patti adds, “Gold is a warmer metal, but can be an excellent companion to cooler colors like blues and grays – creating high contrast and drama. And we can always pair it with the warmer colors like reds, yellows, and oranges to create a warm, cozy space.”
You could be the next one standing atop the medal podium – go for the GOLD in your home decor! Tune in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.
Here at Steinhafels, our Merchandising Team and Buyers are always looking for ways to bring you the best products, at the greatest value. We pride ourselves on carrying a vast array of styles, and staying on top of the latest trends, while still offering traditional pieces as well. As humans we are all unique, and our stores reflect that – offering something for everyone!
You may have noticed “Direct Designs” in our ads, and on signs across our stores. It’s not just a slogan – the title has true meaning to back it up. It’s a special branding we’ve had on many of our items for awhile, but we wanted to go more in depth into what it actually MEANS.
In a nutshell, “Direct Designs,” are a result of our buyers traveling across the nation, and the world, to find the best manufacturers. This eliminates the middleman and passes the savings directly to you, our customers.
One of the coolest things I’ve learned since starting to work here is that our buyers travel quite a bit – across North America, and even Asia, to develop relationships directly with the factories producing the beautiful goods we sell in our stores.
The two main furniture categories that highlight this aspect of our business are Upholstery and Case Goods (Dining and Bedroom). Elaine Haskey and Dawn Still are the lead buyers in each area, respectively. Thanks to these busy ladies for taking the time to explain just what we mean by “Direct Designs.”
The main idea behind “Direct Designs” is eliminating the middleman. Can you briefly talk about this, and why it’s such a good thing for us AND the customer?
“It’s good for the customer when we work directly with factories, because every dollar saved goes back into the quality, features and benefits of the product. In essence we pass the savings on to the customer, and that equates to more value. It’s also good for us because we have something that’s unique and available only at Steinhafels.”
Our buyers travel the U.S. and the world, finding some of the best deals and most unique items. Do you like that part of the job?
“Yes, traveling to the factories allows us to build relationships and tweak the product design, as well as communicate our quality standards.”
For Bedroom and Dining Room specifically, what makes these products special?
“The products reflect the latest trends and features, and we can bring these to the customer quickly.”
For Upholstered Furniture specifically, what makes these products special?
“The products feature higher quality materials: Better grade fabrics and leathers, generous padding around the frames, and the newest technology in reclining furniture.”
As a buyer, is it a rewarding feeling to be so involved in the design and creation process of these items?
“It is a great feeling to be involved in the creation of furniture that’s up to our quality standards – furniture that we would own personally.”
“Direct Designs” is selling well. Why do you think this is?
“When customers see our Direct Designs product, they quickly realize that they are getting a great product at a great price.”
I presume a lot of furniture stores have similar programs – what makes ours special?
“Actually, very few furniture stores in the nation have a similar program. For it to work, the company must be large enough to buy in quantity and negotiate great prices.”
Thanks Dawn and Elaine for giving us just a little peek into the process of picking the fabulous furniture we sell in our stores. Come check out our “Direct Designs” selection, today!
It’s the room in our home we all use several times a day, and most guests use at least once or twice a visit – yet it often gets overlooked from a design perspective. For this week’s Decorating Solutions “Tip of the Week” we’re showing some respect to bathrooms everywhere!
This week’s tip is from Oak Creek Interior Designer Jenii Kluver. Jenii is great at thinking outside the box, and bringing an eclectic flair to her designs.
Jenii points out that many people focus on their main entertainment spaces when decorating their homes, because it’s where their guests are going to be spending the most time. However, she adds, “Don’t forget that they will also most likely use your powder room! There are plenty of opportunities to spruce up that spare bathroom. I love using bright blues, grays, and whites for paint colors because it allows the most light to flow through the room. Try using a decorative mirror instead of your basic mirror for a quick update, add fun artwork to take up wall space, and install functional furniture pieces that also provide storage for toiletries.”
Our designers are always ready to share their expertise. Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.
We’ve already introduced you to Alexandria, the Wisconsin Rapids woman who won $17,500 in cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune – after taking part in the Wheelmobile at our Oak Creek Steinhafels this past fall. Wheel of Fortune is currently in its 35th season, and we’re so excited to be part of the action!
UPDATE: This Thursday Night, Matt Pitton of Whitefish Bay won big on the national stage! Matt won $48,850 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Costa Rica, which should help with his upcoming nuptials! Matt is a physical therapist and a huge college basketball fan – always rooting for his alma mater, Marquette University. Matt says he’s been watching America’s Game® for the majority of his life.
(photo: Carol Kaelson)
Besides Matt and Alexandria, there are several other local contestants who made it all the way to Los Angeles to compete with Vanna and Pat on the big wheel in the last few weeks.
Eric and Kari are a couple from Racine.
Lynelle lives in Waunakee, just north of Madison.
Check out this video highlighting these big winners, and some of our favorite moments from the Steinhafels and CBS 58 Wheelmobile event:
Wheel Winners Kari and Lynelle took the time to answer some questions about the “Wheel of Fortune Experience.” It’s fun to see how their wheel journeys differ, and to learn a little more about what inspired them to throw caution to the wind and try out. One of the women didn’t even plan on attending Wheelmobile, and another sees her whirlwind win as just another sign that we all need to live life to the fullest – following a scary family illness.
Read on for their inspiring stories!!!
STEINHAFELS: First off, tell me briefly about yourself, and if you are a big Wheel fan.
LYNELLE: I was born in the Philippines and my family moved to Green Bay when I was 5 years old. I grew up in Green Bay, about a mile from Lambeau Field, but have never been to a Packers game! I currently live in Waunakee. I’ve been married to my husband Torben for 21 years, and have two smart and beautiful daughters. I am a part time para-educator at Waunakee High School – I supervise Junior/Senior study halls. In my free time, I Crossfit and volunteer for the Philippine-American Association of Madison and Neighboring Areas (PAMANA). I have watched Wheel of Fortune since I was young girl. It was always fun to try to solve the puzzles, but I never thought I would get on the show.
KARI: Eric is from Racine and I’m from Belgium, WI. We were married two years ago and have a six month old son named Magnus. I am currently a stay-at-home mom and Eric works in Sales. We have both watched Wheel of Fortune since we can remember. I recall even as a very young girl having it on TV. Eric’s first crush as a young boy was Vanna White! We watch the show now as a couple whenever we can. We enjoy trying to solve the puzzles before the contestants.
STEINHAFELS: What made you come out to the auditions at Steinhafels Oak Creek?
LYNELLE: I receive emails from the Wheel Watchers Club. In October 2017, I received an email saying that the Wheelmobile was coming to Oak Creek Steinhafels, and they were looking for contestants. They said that was the first time in 10 years they would be in the area. My family strongly encouraged I go, but I only wanted to go if my husband drove. I hate driving long distances, especially at night. On the day of the Friday, Oct. 27th Wheelmobile event, my husband was too busy at work to be able to leave at noon as planned. I told my younger daughter Ebba, who was coming with, that I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to drive home from Oak Creek at night. She strongly urged that we still go and reassured it would be OK driving back at night since she would be with me. After some thought, we ventured to Oak Creek. We allowed plenty of time to drive there in case of traffic. We arrived at 1:30 and found four other women waiting in line already. It was nice that it was at Steinhafels because we had couches to sit on while waiting!
KARI: We had heard about the Wheelmobile being so close in Oak Creek and decided last minute to attend. We thought it would be an amazing opportunity, although unlikely we would get picked. We went in blind, not knowing what the process was going to entail. It was very fun and the hosts really tried to energize the crowd and keep it high-energy. When Eric’s name was pulled from the drum, I was just shocked. It was totally random out of hundreds of applications.
STEINHAFELS: When did you find out you got on the big show? What was your reaction?
LYNELLE: A few days after the Wheelmobile event in Oak Creek, I got an email inviting me to the second auditions in downtown Milwaukee, which was scheduled for a few weeks later. At that audition, we played quick versions of the game, but this time they called your name, you stood up enthusiastically, smiled and called out some letters. I only called out two letters. Next, we took a written test, which consisted of partially filled in puzzles. We had to solve as many as we could in five minutes. I may have completed half of them. After the coordinators reviewed the tests and did some consulting, they came back in the room and asked some contestants to stay. I was not one of them and the rest of us went home. We were told that if we got on the show, we would get a letter in exactly two weeks. Well, that same evening, I got a call, but since I didn’t recognize the number, I didn’t answer it. They immediately called back and my husband told me to answer it, just in case it was Wheel of Fortune. So I answered the phone call and it was! They told me that my auditions were great and they wanted me in Los Angeles on December 1st to be on the show. I was ecstatic!
KARI: The second audition was intense, lots of playing a mock version of the ‘Wheel,’ taking a quiz on our puzzle skills, sharing about ourselves with the group, etc. We spent about four hours at the audition and had a lot of fun. We thought we did well and let our personalities shine. They commented on our great teamwork while playing the game. It was just a matter of waiting to see if we got into the contestant pool. Well, the waiting wasn’t long. We received a call that evening asking us to be in L.A. in 13 days! I think I squealed when Eric got off the phone. I heard his conversation and knew he was talking to the ‘Wheel’ folks. We were beyond excited and booked our flights that night.
STEINHAFELS: What was the show-taping process like? What were Pat and Vanna like? Were you nervous?
LYNELLE: The day of the taping, 20 contestants arrived at the studio at 7:45 a.m. (18 guaranteed on the show and 2 were alternates from the LA area). They were taping 6 shows that day. Immediately in the morning, we signed legal paperwork, mostly saying that we were not to let anyone know of the outcome of the show. After that, we had rehearsals. We got to be on the game platform and practiced spinning the wheel and calling out letters. We also did a promo video for our local station. The contestant coordinators were so helpful that day! They told us everything we needed to know. They really made it comfortable for us to play the game.
Pat and Vanna were really nice, pretty chill people. Pat really knows his stuff. He knows exactly what to say during the show, like when he makes his small comments during the game. He is pretty smooth. They are in person what they portray on TV. I was fortunate I got to chat with them at the end of the show.
STEINHAFELS: Tell me how the show went down… were you nervous at all?
KARI:By the time the show was about to start, I was so nervous. We both promised each other to just have fun no matter the outcome, although we said we were going to win.
We had studied a bit about letter frequency and some other game strategy so we had our ‘game-plan’ per say. We planned to rotate spinning the wheel but after the practice spin, I popped a blood vessel in my finger and was all swollen. This happened right before we were on so that’s why Eric spun every time. He did well I might add!
STEINHAFELS: Were the puzzles hard? How is being ON the show different than solving puzzles at home?
LYNELLE: The puzzles on the show didn’t seem too hard, after the fact. I played on the Wheel of Fortune app for 2-3 hours a day for two weeks before being on the show. I played on the app to help me strategize and try to solve the puzzles with minimal letters. I practiced a lot with the bonus round puzzles, to see what additional letters I should call. The puzzles in the app seemed harder.
Being on the show is much more difficult than playing at home. There were so many things to remember – such as smile, clap, be clear on your letter calling, focus on solving the puzzle, look at the used letter board, etc. What was comforting is that, between each puzzle, we stepped down, took a breather and met with the contestant coordinators. They gave us water and advice, fanned us (because it was hot), and the makeup person powdered us. The contestant coordinators really did help us in so many ways that day of the show! STEINHAFELS: Lynelle, you won it ALL, correct? What was that like? What was your final puzzle?
LYNELLE: Yes I won it all. I’ve watched my show many times already! I recently realized that I solved 5 of the 8 puzzles in the main game and also solved the bonus round puzzle which was ‘Family Physician.’ During the taping of the show, I didn’t realize I had solved that many puzzles!! I took it round by round. I didn’t know that Rei, the other female contestant, hit so many bankrupts – I was so lucky with that. I was just focused on solving the puzzles and didn’t really pay attention to much except for when Pat told me it was my turn. I was in a zone.
STEINHAFELS: What were your total winnings? Have you been to St. Lucia before?
LYNELLE: My total winnings were $60,300 in cash and prizes. $50,800 in cash and $9,500 is the value of the St. Lucia trip. I’ve never been to St. Lucia before but had been to Aruba. I love the Caribbean and we are excited to bring our kids with us.
STEINHAFELS: Kari, this must be such a whirlwind for you and Eric. Besides the trip to Hawaii, any plans for what you’d like to do with your winnings?
KARI: What a fun, whirlwind of a time. We can’t wait to go to Hawaii to create even more memories as a family. It was really surreal and truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. All of the staff – Pat, Vanna, everyone along the way, were amazing and great to work with. We were very surprised to get asked to be on Wheel of Fortune and to have been blessed with this opportunity and our winnings. In a way we are not surprised at the unraveling of events. We tend to live life in the fast-lane so this is very typical of us. Eric had a very serious brain injury at the end of 2016. That accident really has changed our outlook on life and motivates us to live a life of spontaneity, adventure, and fun! Trying out for Wheel of Fortune was just that.
STEINHAFELS: Lynelle, any other big plans for what you’d like to do with your winnings?
LYNELLE: When I won the bonus round and saw the $35,000, the first thing that popped in my head was, ‘Yes – College tuition! Seriously!’ Majority of the winnings will go to college tuition/funds and house maintenance/landscaping. We are going to let our younger daughter pick out the tile for our kitchen backsplash. She’s a big HGTV fan! STEINHAFELS: What was it like watching yourselves on TV?
KARI: It was entertaining to watch the show with family when it aired. Only a few knew we were going to be on the show, and nobody knew the outcome which made it so fun to witness their true reactions. It was so hard to keep it a secret for the six weeks between filming it and the show airing. Our friends and family were so happy for us. We felt privileged to represent Wisconsin and our town, Racine, in a positive way.
STEINHAFELS: Final question – are you going to check out a Steinhafels store again sometime?
LYNELLE: Well, I would love some new furniture! I think that after reading about both of these women’s journeys, most of us can agree that life is short, and we need to take a leap of faith sometimes. Congrats Lynelle, Kari, and Eric – you showed the nation how awesome Wisconsinites are, and made us proud.
Have a fabulous time on your trips to much warmer climates, and stay in touch.
And good luck to Matt on Thursday! Let’s get another big win for a Wisconsinite!