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.

Design For a Difference: Prepping For the Big Reveal!

The big weekend is here for our Decorating Solutions interior designers who have been working on “Design For a Difference–Madison.” DFAD is a national campaign focused on design makeovers for non-profit charities. Madison-based FLOOR360 is the local ambassador of this national movement!

This year’s makeover is at Centro Hispano, which provides crucial services to Madison’s Hispanic community. Local design pros, including our designers Patti, Michelle, and Debbie have volunteered their own time since April 2017 to help plan this makeover. Patti, Debbie, and Michelle are based at our new store on High Crossing Boulevard on Madison’s East Side.

Our designers are re-creating the “Dream Room”– a place where teenagers can hang out, do homework, work on art projects, and just relax.

Check out this video featuring our designers in the final stretch. Steinhafels also donated several pieces of furniture to this awesome community project.

Stay tuned to our Steinhafels blog and Social Media pages–the big reveal is this weekend, and we’ll be tracking it and will bring you the latest!

 

Milwaukee Film Fest Lounge Redesign: The Big Reveal!

Over the past week you’ve hopefully had the chance to check out the Milwaukee Film Festival. The fest is one of the largest in the entire COUNTRY, and Steinhafels is excited to be a Producing Sponsor this year!

Along with the sponsorship, we are proud to have our name on the “Steinhafels Stage” in the Film Fest Lounge, which was redesigned by our Decorating Solutions Interior Designer Lori Green.

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Kristen Heller is Operations Director of the Film Festival. While the actual movies the number one focus of the fest, the Film Fest Lounge is also a key component of the experience–especially for the filmmakers who attend the fest.

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Heller explains, “Our filmmakers come from all over the world, some have interpreters, and most of them it’s their first time to Milwaukee, so this is a main base for them. It’s kind of like their own little escape if they wanna do work and just relax, or if they have a screening coming up and they want to relax–this is a place we can take care of them.”

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The Lounge is also open to the public during select hours. As you can see in these BEFORE pictures, the space has an industrial, modern look. Lori says she wanted to build on that. “We wanted a little more modern twist to it, so we did the grays, the metals and some of the vases. And obviously some of the fill-ins with the boxes for the books and things like that. So it was really enjoyable, it was easy–that’s what we wanted, simple and real clean lines.”

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THE RESULT!

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Check out this short video of the redesign process!!

Heller says working with Lori and Steinhafels was a seamless process. “Like even just me working with Lori in the store–everything came together organically, and it just felt like a good fit all around.”

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Lori admits this is her first time at the Film Fest. She says she’s excited to be a part of it, and to see some movies that will inspire. “I just like the overall feeling of being uplifted. I don’t like anything scary and that kind of thing, but something I can equate myself to, and my life, and my family.”

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You still have the weekend, and most of next week to check out the fest and be inspired! Closing night is Thursday, October 12.

The Film Fest is also Supporting Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Check out Lori’s Walk and Talk Video about the space!

And Click HERE for a full gallery of pictures!

Steinhafels also helped with the design of the fest’s new VR Gallery, which features several virtual reality exhibits.

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DS Tip Of The Week: Getting Creative With Open Shelving

Last week we looked at filling an open wall space with large artwork. Today, let’s explore open shelving!

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from Interior Designer Jenii Kluver. Jenii works at our Oak Creek store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.  

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We love how creative Jenii is with her designs! She suggests, “If you have a larger wall that you are unsure how to fill up, use open shelving. I love to use this with my clients because it gives them an option to display more items at a time, while also giving them the freedom to switch it up much more often with seasons and holidays. Plus if they get sick of something displayed, they can take it off the shelf and replace it with something else they love!”

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

Employee Profile: Sleep Expert And American Idol Hopeful!

Talk about talented! We know our Steinhafels employees are pretty awesome, but check out our newest Employee Profile: Julica Kelly.

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Julica is a Sales Associate at our Madison West Store. We are so excited that she is embarking on an American Idol journey… and it’s not her first time! Julica took the time to tell us a little bit more about her journey as a singer/songwriter, and how her musical background has also helped her in her role at Steinhafels

How long have you worked for Steinhafels, and what do you do? What do you like most about it?

I’ve worked for Steinhafels going on 5 months now, and I’m a Sleep/Bedroom Specialist. (The best title ever haha!) This is one of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had apart from taking care of people with disabilities. Most people don’t understand how important the correct pillow and mattress is for a great night’s sleep. We sometimes have customers come in with MS or Severe Osteoporosis. We are able to literally change their lives with a TempurPedic and adjustable base. That’s my favorite part of my job–helping people!

How long have you been singing? What do you love about it?

I was singing before I was talking!! In first grade, I used to ask my teacher if I could sing a song for the class everyday at the podium. A little embarrassing when I look back on it, but it’s also made me realize that being an entertainer is truly always something I’ve wanted to do. There aren’t enough words to explain my love for music and singing.  If I could explain it at all, I love the feeling/healing music brings. It’s the best form of release and expression of emotion for me.

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What first got you into music?

My passion for music started at a very young age and has always came very naturally to me.  Michael Jackson was my first musical inspiration aside from my parents/grandparents. I used to put in a Michael Jackson VHS my father taped for me every morning as my brothers left for school. I remember the first time I watched “Man In The Mirror” by MJ I cried and cried. I was only 4 years old.  

What’s your favorite kind of music to perform?

I would consider myself a very open and diverse musician.  I love all genres and styles of music, but the music I write is more funk/blues/soul and some alternative.

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How can people hear you… do you play in any local bands, at local bars, etc?

You can go to YouTube or Facebook and search “Julica Rose Kelly Videos.” There you can find a lot of my performances new and old. I currently play in two different classic rock bands. One is called “River Rockers” and the other is “Hammer Down.” I sing anything from Gunpowder and Lead to ACDC in these current bands and we have so much fun jammin together! I also play solo gigs as well. I’m originally a musician out of LaCrosse, WI. I have performed at local bars such as Popcorn Tavern, Dells Bar, and many more in the LaCrosse area. Currently I’ve been performing at local bars in the Dodgeville/Blanchardville area such as Jeffery’s House of Foolishness and Rachel N’ Rays. I’m looking to expand and start performing at more local venues in the Madison area.

What is the hardest thing about being a musician?

Being a singer/musician can be a rough road. Some of the most talented musicians go their whole life without being discovered in the music industry.  I think the hardest part is having drive and keeping faith. When you work hard year after year perfecting your skill and chasing your dreams with nothing to show for it, it can become discouraging. I’ve realized over the years that no matter what, I’ve accomplished a lot as a musician and I will never give up doing what I love most regardless of any fortune or fame.

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How has being a singer and performing helped you be a better worker and salesperson?

People and communication skills are super important as a singer/musician. I think being a singer has helped me to accommodate to different types and styles of people. Then you are able to kind of mold to their personalities–for a better customer experience.

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I know you can’t tell us too much about the American Idol journey so far.. but what has it been like? What’s been the coolest and most nerve-wracking parts? (And what’s the next step?)

This experience so far with Idol has been exciting, emotional, rewarding and so much more. I made it to Hollywood (Top 70) when I was 19, and many of those feeling rush back that I had then.

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A lot has changed since I was 19. I’m a mother now, and I have a whole new outlook on life.  I’ve also had more time to work on my skills. I’m feeling more confident, and I’m ready to give this all I’ve got. As far as the next steps, I can’t say too much but there is a link to my Story on WKOW with more info on the next steps.

Thanks so much Julica for taking us along on your journey, and all the best to you as it continues!

Julica also has a GoFundMe Page to raise money for travel, hotel, and expenses to get to the next round.  

DS Tip Of The Week: Don’t Make this Picture-Hanging Mistake!

Hanging Pictures seems to be a constant debate depending on how tall you are. The good news is–your height makes no difference in appropriately hung pictures!

This week’s Tip of the Week comes from Decorating Solutions Designer Tina Dopf. Tina works at our Madison Beltline store, and her experience includes 25 years of combined commercial and residential design work.

Tina says the biggest culprit is ‘hanging high.’ She explains, “Hanging high is the worst offense when it comes to wall decor. Keep away from the ceiling as much as possible.”

Tina adds, “When you are in a home or office space, remember that you are not only standing but also sitting, and probably pay more attention to things at a more comfortable vantage point. Also, artwork should be hung in orientation to a piece of furniture. It should be hung within 6 inches or less, to anchor the art to the furniture or visa versa.”

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And don’t be afraid to go big–really big! Tina says, “An entire blank wall can be hung from floor to ceiling gallery style.”

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: Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Out in the Crowd!

Are you the type of person who likes to stand out in a crowd, or blend in? Even if you are a little shy or timid, it doesn’t hurt to stand out a little bit–even in a subtle way. This idea can even translate to your design style.

Get out the notepad and jot down this helpful hint! That’s right… it’s time for another Steinhafels Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week. This week’s tip comes from Interior Designer Samantha Price.  Samantha works at our Oak Creek store, and helps customers across the Milwaukee area create the homes of their dreams.

Samantha points out that most people use their main furniture pieces–sofa, chairs, table, etc. as a guide when picking out the paint color for a room. When doing this, don’t be afraid to go a few shades lighter or darker than the main furniture pieces. She explains, “This will help the pieces be more visible, and stand out in the room. You spent a lot of time and money picking out the right sofa, don’t be afraid to showcase it!

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A common mistake people make is painting the walls too close of a color to the sofa, making the sofa blend in and not stand out. Samantha adds, “If you’re feeling really bold, pick a color in the accent pillows for an even stronger contrast! This will also help give the room dimension, which is another design tip to help keep the eye moving, by providing visual interest.”

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