Special Spaces: Changing Lives One Bedroom at a Time

Here at Steinhafels, we are humbled to play a small role in so many wonderful community organizations. One of those groups is Special Spaces Wisconsin, which helps to create dream bedrooms for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

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We’ve partnered with Special Spaces for several years now. The Steinhafels mission is to help people create the homes of their dreams–so Special Spaces is a perfect fit. In a typical interior design project, the living room or family room is usually the focal point of the redesign. But in the case of Special Spaces, the bedroom is the crown jewel of the project! We get to help furnish bedrooms that are true escapes and safe spaces for kids who just want to be kids.

Today we’re going to take a closer look at a recent project in Milwaukee. KK is a 10-year-old who’s been through more in her short life than most of us can even imagine battling in a lifetime. She was in the hospital during her dream bedroom makeover, but when she finally made it home she was delighted to discover her very own “special space” to heal, find comfort and peace.

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KK’s story has been an inspiration to Steinhafels Waukesha Sales Manager Becky Morgan. Becky took some time to tell us more about the Special Spaces program, and why KK’s story has had such an impact on her.

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What inspires you about KK’s story?

Becky: “She’s a fighter! She beat leukemia, had a heart transplant, her body is fighting her new heart, and her leukemia came back. This little girl is just 10 years old. No one should ever have to experience this, let alone a child. Her focus should be on Pokemon and enjoying life, not fighting to live.”

You mentioned KK’s mom being an amazing woman. Tell us a little more about her.

“KK’s Mom. She is a single mother who works in a nursing home, and raises 10 children varying in age from 18-3. When I first visited the home, the children were all happy, there were wonderful notes from school on the fridge, extra curricular activities posted with pride on the fridge, thankful children (one of the youngest was so excited about the gallons of milk in the fridge, he kept saying thank you, thank you). I grew up with both parents and only one sibling, and I know that was not an easy task, so for one parent dealing with the amount of curve balls she has been given–she is truly an impressive mother!”

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What was the focus with KK’s bedroom redesign?

“KK really loves Pokemon and that was the focus for her space. Special Spaces meets with the family and child to make sure they get what they want. The most important part was making sure they had beds, and a bright space to retreat to when needed. The 2 other bedrooms were made to feel the same way–new beds, and space of their own.”

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The Steinhafels Waukesha Store Sales Team held a food and supply drive for KK and her family. Can you tell us more about this?

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“The supply drive came about as I was sitting with a coworker, talking about the needs for this family and how hard the mom works. I am about to be a mother myself, and hearing the heartache that this family is going through brought me to tears. My mother in law also has cancer and she is such a fighter, but I know the toll it takes on her each and every time she has chemo or a bad day. She needs comfort, space and basic necessities. As I was listening to the needs of the family I could not help but immediately want to dive in and get what I could. My parents also taught us to give when we can and to always help others, so to me this was top priority.”

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“We also have some amazing sales associates on our staff. Cheri (a Bedroom Specialist) overheard the needs and immediately said we need to help this family! I talked with our staff and they were all ready to help. They suggested a food drive. I was ecstatic that they were all so ready to jump in and help. They came everyday with food and daily necessities. We also had a great deal of cash donations. With the cash donations I went and got each child and mother a little caddy that I filled with shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, toothbrushes, hair brushes, nail polish (they needed something fun), hair ties, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, chapstick, etc. We made the mom a special basket filled with pampering products like face-masks, bubble bath, soothing lotion, etc. We were also able to fill a laundry basket with cleaning supplies, hand soaps, detergent, laundry needs, feminine products, kitchen products, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, cooking supplies, and extra soaps and toothbrushes. It was also very important for me to get a huge tub of animal crackers as this was part of the story on their initial visit (the little guy wanted some, and what kid should go without animal crackers??)”

“Renae Williams (Bedroom Specialist) also took it upon herself to make sure each child and their mother had brand new pillows. She came in like Santa Clause with a bag larger than her, filled with brand new pillows–because she said everyone needs a comfy pillow. Steinhafels donated some decorative pillows to jazz up the space too! Kas Oriental Rugs also donated four beautiful rugs for the family, one for each of the bedrooms, and a beautiful rug for their living room.”

How proud are you of your staff?

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“I couldn’t be more proud of them! All I did was tell them this family’s story. They took their own initiative to make such an impact on this. I said give what you can, bring a can good or a toothbrush. They went so far above and beyond, it brought tears to my eyes every single time I walked into our break room, and then watching the family’s faces as they walked into their home was one of the best feelings I have ever had. I am so proud to be a part of this team–I could not ask for better people to surround myself with. Steinhafels is so very lucky to have these wonderful people working for them!”

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We also want to give a shout-out to the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin, Majic Productions, and all of the other amazing volunteers for their work on this makeover. We are so glad we could play a part in bringing a smile to KK’s face!

DS Tip Of The Week: Tall Mirrors

You know you wait all week for this moment… it’s time for another Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week. This week’s tip is for those of you who want to give your bedroom a more stately, regal feel.

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Ray Buquet is an interior designer based at our Kenosha Superstore. She has a simple tip for adding a touch of class and elegance to your bedroom. “Place a couple of tall mirrors above your nightstands. This draws the eye upwards, and it can work with any decor. Mirrors are timeless and a wonderful investment–you can use them your whole life long. In addition to giving extra height to the room, it adds versatility to your decor.”

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Don’t be scared to try something new! Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

 

DS Tip Of The Week: Creating Your Bedroom Sanctuary

With all of the hustle and bustle of today’s world, sometimes we just need to take a step back and as Aaron Rodgers once said, R-E-L-A-X!

This week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week focuses on finding serenity… in our own home.

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Beth Kealy is a designer at our Menomonee Falls store.  She has a simple but important tip when it comes to creating a relaxing space. Beth explains, “Bedrooms are often our sanctuary. To make them that way consider adding interest–bright colors, pillows & beautiful bedding, an accented niche, or headboards made from non traditional items.”

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A variety of these elements are pictured, and show very different, yet eye-pleasing results. Be creative and group colors and styles that work with each other, and play off each other to create your perfect haven.

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So take the time to relax, and enjoy your bedroom as a place to relax, not just collapse after a long day! Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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DS Tip of The Week Celebrates One Year!

Wow, time DOES fly when you’re having fun–like blogging about interior design!

We’re excited to announce that our Steinhafels Decorating Solutions #TipOfTheWeek Blog posts have been running for exactly ONE YEAR.

That means more than 50 great interior design tips are available on our blog site–all at the click of a mouse!

To celebrate this blogging milestone, we’re going to look back at 5 of the Top Tips based on your page views.

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This tip comes from Laura Hoffman, one of our designers in Appleton.

Laura has some advice for organizing all those pesky pillows you have strewn all over your room.  Laura’s Tip:  “I love to stack and build out pillows on a bed or a couch, either with the same color palette, or with different patterns.”

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ELEGANT UPDATES FOR EMPTY NESTERS

It’s the day some parents dream of, and others dread–the day a child leaves the nest!  Some parents will leave the child’s bedroom untouched–with teddy bears still on the bed and band posters on the walls.  However, less nostalgic parents will likely look at that vacant bedroom, and be ready to make a change.

This Tip of the Week comes from Menomonee Falls Designer Beth Kealy.  Beth says you don’t have to completely change your child’s old bedroom, but like your child, it’s time for that old room to “grow up.”

How do you do that?  Beth explains, “Empty nesters can reclaim use of a child’s old room with elegant updates that cut the cluttered look of the past.  Take a room from ‘Catch All’ to ‘Wow!'”

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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NEUTRAL BASES

It’s time to look at neutrals in a whole new way.  Beige doesn’t have to equal boring.  Instead, look at it as a tool of versatility!

This is another design tip from Appleton Interior Decorator Laura Hoffman.

Laura suggests, “Design the base of your room in neutral color hues, then add your pops of color with pillows, throws, art, candles, etc.  That way when you get tired of a certain color, or want to add your seasonal color scheme you can give your room a whole new look in a few minutes!  Simply replace those candles, pillows, and other accessories with similar items of a different color.  Your room will look totally different and very put together, with little work involved.”

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BRINGING DESIGN TO LIFE WITH TEXTURES

Designer Rhonda Vivoda is based in our Corporate store in Waukesha.  Rhonda likes to bring her designs to life with rich textures.

Here are Rhonda’s Top Three Ways to add Texture to a design project:

*Use an area rug over carpeting.  It anchors the room, along with adding color and texture.

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*Throw Pillows.  These are an inexpensive way to change the look and feel of a room.  They add pops of color and different textures.

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*Gorgeous Greenery.  Real or artificial always adds softness to a room and can add a different texture.

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TANTALIZING TIFFANY LAMPS

One of the most important accessories in a room is a lamp.  The way light can alter the look of a room, or bring out the colors of paint or furniture truly is remarkable…all with the flip of a switch!

This one comes from Interior Designer Colleen Rome.  Colleen works at our Greenfield store, and helps customers across Milwaukee create the homes of their dreams.

As Colleen suggests, you can create patterns and colors simply with Tiffany lighting.  She goes on to explain, “Tiffany lighting can add nice warm ambiance to the room, and you can use them with other types of lighting to create a certain feeling for a nice dinner or special occasion.  Best of all–they never go out of style!  They can be used in all different settings from transitional to traditional.”

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As you see in the pictures, the colors of the lamp truly bring a sophisticated and artistic look to the room–while still remaining casual.

Thank you for making our first year of #DSTipOfTheWeek a success!  We look forward to bringing you many more Unique Tips and Trade Secrets in 2017.

 

DS Tip of The Week: Elegant Updates for Empty Nesters

The school year is winding down, and that means many new grads will be starting new careers… and leaving the nest for good.  Some parents will leave the child’s bedroom untouched–with teddy bears still on the bed and band posters on the walls!  However, less nostalgic parents will likely look at that vacant bedroom, and be ready to make a change.

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week comes from Menomonee Falls Designer Beth Kealy.  Beth says you don’t have to completely change your child’s old bedroom, but like your child, it’s time for that old room to “grow up.”

How do you do that?  Beth explains, “Empty nesters can reclaim use of a child’s old room with elegant updates that cut the cluttered look of the past.  Take a room from ‘Catch All’ to ‘Wow’!”

Here are a couple Before and Afters of a daughter’s bedroom turned guest room:

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Your child may miss the old room at first, but after awhile, he or she will be happy to come home and be treated like an adult.  And guests don’t have to feel awkward staring at a poster of NSYNC on the wall!

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

DS Tip of the Week: Giving Your Bedroom an Edgy, New Look

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

This week we look at ways to give your bedroom some extra edginess.  A bedroom doesn’t have to just be your standard bed, dresser, and nightstand.

The ‘Reclaimed’ trend is really big in furniture right now.  Reclaimed furniture lends history, character, and beauty to your home.  Steinhafels has a variety of reclaimed pieces available for purchase at our stores and online, and many are perfect accent pieces for a bedroom.

That brings us to our tip from Steinhafels Design Consultant Anne Hildreth.  Anne works in our Vernon Hills store in the Chicagoland area.  Anne suggests:

“Put a drawer chest in a bedroom in place of a dresser… giving you an industrial loft feel.”

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This Kirti Drawer Chest features all re-purposed parts, reclaimed from old shipyards and buildings, and then skillfully handcrafted.  Each piece is one of a kind.  Hand-carved panels, unique print block carvings, and a myriad of colors adorn the vintage pieces, revealing much of the beauty that lies beneath.

Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek!