DS Tip Of The Week: Small Spaces and Sectionals

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.

sectional pic all Steinhafels stuff

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

VIDEO: Thanks For the Memories – Remembering Our Original Greenfield Store

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.


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.”

DS Tip Of The Week: Spruce Up That Spare Bathroom

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.

spare bath kluver1

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.”

spare bath kluver2

Our designers are always ready to share their expertise. Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

You Gotta Grab Life By the Wheel – Two Inspiring Wheelmobile Stories

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.

image3 (1)

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.

image4 (1)

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!


DS Tip Of The Week: Don’t Worry, Be Hygge!

Steinhafels Decorating Solutions #TipOfTheWeek goes international this week!

Winters are dreary and dark in Denmark, just like they are here in Wisconsin and the Midwest. However, Danes are often considered to be some of the happiest people on Earth. There must be something to it, right?

Hygge (“hue-guh”) is a Danish word with no direct English translation. It is often described as a feeling of cozy contentment – carefree, comfortable, and relaxed. Considering some of the modern-day stresses we are all experiencing–it wouldn’t hurt for us all to have some extra “hygge” in our lives!


This week’s design tip comes from Julie Kanugh, an interior designer at our Appleton store, who says you don’t need to jet off to Copenhagen to get hyggelig. You just need to familiarize yourself with some design basics that channel these positive thoughts!

As Julie explains, “A hygge room is easy to achieve. First, declutter. Get rid of things that do not truly make you happy. Donate them for a sense of goodwill. Now you have room for the important things – a fresh sofa and a comfy chair near the fireplace. Gather some fluffy down-filled pillows and a beautiful throw for luxury and warmth. Natural wood finishes, a sheepskin rug, favorite books, candles (lots of candles) and maybe a little natural greenery are all that are needed to create your own hygge environment.”

Sounds easy enough right? We get so caught up in the material things, that sometimes it’s important to remember that less can be more.

In closing, Julie adds, “Light those candles, turn off your TV and devices, put on your favorite lounge pants and pour some hot cocoa. See if you can channel your inner Dane!”

Our designers work hard to come up with creative tips for you! Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip Of The Week Fall Design: Preparing the Nest

For many people, Fall is a favorite time to decorate the home. It’s a time when we return back to our routines as school begins again, and the carefree days of summer drift into a distant memory. It’s also a great time to prepare our nests (homes) for the long winter months.  


For the next couple weeks our Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week is going to focus on Fall Design! This week’s tip comes from Interior Designer Laura Hoffman. Laura works at our Appleton store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.

Laura also loves to spend time in her kitchen. She says that as it gets cooler, she loves to bake, and make hearty soups and warm breads.  

So how does the idea of comfort food translate into interior design? Pretty simply! As Laura explains, “I love to bring in lanterns, gold candles, white lights and warm toasty throws on my sectional. I also enjoy bringing in some dried hydrangeas and Chinese lanterns along with yellow twig dogwood branches, pine cones, and white and orange pumpkins to decorate my mantle. I toss some beautiful fall-colored pillows around my living room, with a couple blingy ones as well.”




You can also fill a big wooden bowl with green and red apples and set it on your table. And don’t forget to give your exterior a little fall flair–place a beautiful fall wreath on your front door and wait for your guests to arrive.

In addition to our wide variety of accessories at Steinhafels, you likely have some of these items in storage, in your yard, or you can check out a local Farmer’s Market for gourds and other fall-inspired plants! Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you. Check in next Monday for another fall inspired #DSTipOfTheWeek.


DS Tip Of The Week: Family, Friends, and Firepits!

Living in Wisconsin we get to enjoy a four season climate. Many of us treasure the summer weather and being able to enjoy our outdoor oasis. But you don’t have to pack it all up just because the fall chill is starting to set in.



For this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week we look at ways to extend your outdoor entertaining as long as possible. Beth Kealy is an interior designer based in our Menomonee Falls store. She has some advice to help you eek out every bit of nice weather you can these next couple months–thanks to Fabulous Firepits and other patio items still in stock!!


Beth explains, “Family and friend gatherings can be enjoyed around a cozy fire pit while enjoying sunsets, watching kids at play, or during breaks in sporting activities. We also carry protective covers for most of our selections to keep them from being exposed to the elements. During winter months we do recommend storing your furniture or covering it tightly to prevent weather and animal damage.”


If you are unsure what arrangement would be the best for your deck or patio, one of our expert designers can do a floor plan and offer color choices to best fit your space and beautify your relaxing, outdoor space. Come in to check out our remaining collection. Supplies are limited for this remaining season, but you can still find some great deals!!


We’re here to help you through all 4 seasons, with quick and easy decor tips each and every Monday. Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.


DS Tip Of The Week: Fill That Wall!

Many of us worry about overdoing it when it comes to wall decor. Or we don’t want to bother with mounting a picture or piece of art on the wall.

Well… here’s the problem. Blank walls are BORING!

This week’s #DecoratingSolutions tip comes from one of our newest designers, based in Kenosha. Cecily Gaitan has her Associates Degree in Applied Science of Interior Design, and also have certificates for Fundamentals of Interior Design, History of Design and the Decorative Arts, and Sustainable Design.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 2.49.23 PM

Cecily explains, “Filling a wall with artwork is a great way to bring color into the room, and doesn’t create a busy look. Nothing is worse than having a huge wall with nothing to fill the space.”


She adds, “If you don’t like artwork or can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, use family pictures blown up in bigger sizes. This also creates a personal design specifically for you and your family.”

We post thoughtful tips like Cecily’s every week!  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

And if you’d like to work with Cecily, you can email her at cecilyg@steinhafels.com, or ask for her at our Kenosha Superstore!

DS Tip Of The Week: Feature Your Functional Furniture

It’s summer, which is often a time we try to de-clutter, and “air out” our homes. No one wants to be crammed into an overpacked, stuffy room during these hot and humid months. One way to cut the clutter–use furniture with multi-purpose!

It’s time for your #DSTipOfTheWeek! This is where our expert interior designers offer simple, easy tips that you may have never thought about, or have overlooked. This week’s tip comes from Decorating Solutions designer Dawn Adamec, who calls our Waukesha store home.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.48.58 PM

Dawn uses this Juno Storage Cocktail Ottoman as an example, and explains, “This is a great piece. You can sit on it, put your feet on it, or set an oversized tray on it and it becomes a coffee table. The best part… remove the top and it becomes a great place to store pillows, blankets (if you have that AC set on high!), magazines, and toys.”

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 1.49.11 PM

Furniture… it’s not just pretty, it can also be functional! Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip Of The Week: Making Your Patio A Fun Living Space

Summer is FINALLY here. Give your patio a fresh, fun, and lived-in feel as we enter these magical 4 months that we live for here in the Midwest!

Get out the notepad and jot down these pointers.  That’s right… it’s time for another Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week!  This week’s tip comes from Interior Designer Patti Stindt. Patti works at our Madison store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.  She has some easy suggestions for transforming your patio with some summer sizzle.

Steinhafels Patio Vignette2

Patti says, “There are many easy, fun, and inexpensive ways to turn your outdoor area into a fun and colorful place to hang out. Make your patio more of an outdoor room, and an extension of the home (cushioned wicker sets like the one below are all the rage now!) There are many comfortable seating and dining options that are outdoor friendly. You can also accessorize your outdoor space… with plants, lighting, and fabrics.”


Patio Tip Lights Pinterest Courtesy 2017

You likely already have some of these items in your home or garage, and you can also check out a local Farmer’s Market for more outdoor inspirations!  Our designers are hard at work on many more quick and easy design tips for you. Log on next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Check out Patti’s recent segment on NBC15 about Patio Transformations HERE!