DS Tip Of The Week: Knocking it Outta the Park with Youth Bedrooms!

Baseball season is just around the corner.  Want to knock it outta the park when it comes to your youngster’s oasis?

This week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week comes from one of our Menomonee Falls designers. Beth Kealy has a knack for helping families transform their homes during all life stages. Are you looking to refresh your child’s room, but don’t want to spend thousands on new furniture?

Pictured below are some very fun youth bedrooms using bold colors, frames on a painted wall, unconventional headboard ideas, played up fairy princess designs, decorative lighting, and more.

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Beth explains, “These ideas pictured do not have to cost much, but can have a positive impact on your youngster’s place of fun and rest. Don’t be afraid to be creative and work with colors and themes that your child likes and has interest in. Make them part of the creative revamp of their space. They will have more pride in the space and a sense of ownership, and will likely keep it more tidy if they helped in their space’s creation.  Make sure there’s sufficient storage for needed items in the space.”

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Time to get started on your home run!  Interior design doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. We post a quick and easy decor tip every Monday. Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

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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.

Shut It Down and Get to Sleep!

The National Sleep Foundation is celebrating its annual Sleep Awareness Week March 6-13.  We’ve been wanting to write a blog about the importance of sleep for awhile, and this seems like the perfect time.  Mattresses are a huge part of our business at Steinhafels, but we want to take a step back and really think about just how important a quality night’s sleep is to our overall health.

So we decided to go right to the experts.  Dr. Louella Amos is a Sleep Physician. She specializes in Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Medical College.  She works with patients to make sure the entire family, especially children, are getting a good night’s sleep.

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Our first question for Dr. Amos was pretty simple:  What does sleep really do for our bodies?  We all know that if we don’t get enough sleep we tend to be drowsy, cranky, and lazy… but is there more to it than that?  The answer is yes!  Dr. Amos explains, “Nighttime sleep is really important for the body to recover from whatever happened during the day.  Another function of sleep is really going back to the information we obtain during the day, the learning that goes on during the day–you need to process that.  Certain stages of sleep are really important for memory, cognitive development, and processing information–that’s really important for children.”

Dr. Amos says the last main function of sleep is fighting off illness.  “When we’re sick, you’ll notice you might want to sleep more, and that’s a normal response, because your body is saying it needs to relax and recover, and when you don’t sleep you’ll find you’re not going to recover as quickly.”

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Now we know it’s not always realistic to get that glorious 8 hours of sleep (for adults) and 9+ hours for kids and adolescents.  Schedules these days are packed with work, school, extra curricular activities, sports, evening events, etc.  Often our kids are more busy than we are!!  However, there are some ways to practice good ‘Sleep Hygiene’ as Dr. Amos calls it. (Adults–these are for you too!!)

1.) Turn off all electronic devices one hour before bed.  This should give your mind time to wind down.  Our brains produce Melatonin as it gets dark outside, so if we are exposed to extra light in the evening, our brain may not think it’s dark out, and that can delay Melatonin production.

2.) Set a bedtime and stick to it.  Once you set a time, try to avoid caffeine 8 hours before that time.

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3.) Exercise at the peak time to promote Restorative Sleep.  Exercise is good in general for health, but we’re looking at timing.  After school or right after work is ideal.  Usually any time from 3 to 6 p.m. is a good time for moderate to vigorous intensity exercise.  This will help tire your body so you sleep better and longer come bedtime.  This is called ‘Restorative Sleep.’  But if you exercise too close to bedtime, it may take a little longer to fall asleep.  If you exercise in the morning that’s fine, but it won’t really have that extra calming effect on your sleep later.

4.) Don’t go to bed hungry!  This is especially important for kids.  Hunger at night may wake them from their sleep.  A small snack at night is fine, but clearly nothing with caffeine or too much sugar right before bedtime.

5.) Use the bed only for sleep.  If you read before bed do it the old fashioned way–with a paperback book, and sit in a chair near your bed.  This helps you only associate the bed with sleep.  This is especially important for kids.

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6.) Follow a Family Sleep Routine.  Even if the adults and older kids stay up a little later, it’s important to sort of ‘shut down’ the house when the young kiddos go to sleep–turn off the music, lower the volume on the TV, dim the lights, etc.

The mattress staff at Steinhafels is dedicated to making sure we provide the highest quality at the best value.  LeeJean Williams is the lead buyer for Mattresses and Bedding.  We asked Williams what her number one priority is when selecting the mattresses to sell at our stores.   She replied, “Comfort and to ensure a customer’s sleep system (pillow, mattress, and foundation) is providing the right support and spinal alignment.”

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The good news is that, like everything, sleep ‘technology’ has vastly improved over the years.  As Williams explains, “There is technology to help customers sleep cooler, provide the right amount of body support, and foundations that allow a customer to position the mattress to help reduce snoring, acid reflux, and pressure in the lower back.”

Sleep is such a personal thing.  We all have different routines and techniques.  That’s why there is such a wide variety of mattresses in the Steinhafels showroom and on our website.  Dr. Amos admits she is no expert when it comes to sleep products and mattresses, but acknowledges that a good mattress and overall sleep environment is very important for overall wellness.

Dr. Amos suggests involving your child in the mattress selection process.  She explains, “I’ve had children or adolescents who have developed a bad relationship with their current bed, or current surface.  I think the children should sort of play a role in determining what they’re going to sleep on, so I’ve told parents to kinda make a clean slate.  Try to take them when you buy a bed for them.  Have them play a role in that.  First of all, they’ll appreciate it and enjoy it, and then it’s kinda a new beginning.”

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Of course there are some serious sleep issues that require more than just a good mattress:  Sleep Apnea, Night Terrors, and Narcolepsy–just to name a few.  In these cases you may need to see a doctor for yourself or your child.

The big takeaways we hope you get from this post:  Sleep truly is important, shut down your technology at night, and try to follow a routine.  Even if you sleep like a baby, we hope you got something out of reading this.  Sleep is a vital component of overall health and wellness, and it’s a lot easier to have sweet dreams on a comfortable mattress.

Williams said it best when asked how she hopes customers react when they lie on their new Steinhafels mattresses for the first time.  She says, “I hope they sleep like they have never slept before, and they wake up feeling like they just had the best night’s sleep of their lives.”

So get off your computer or mobile device, get in bed, and enjoy #SleepAwarenessWeek!!

Do you have any Sleep Tips you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear them!!  Please post them in the Comments section below.

Madison Makeover: Design For a Difference

A few months ago Steinhafels was invited to take part in a project at a non-profit center in the Madison community.  Steinhafels is often thought of as a Milwaukee company, but we are proud to serve the Madison, Appleton, and Vernon Hills communities as well.  Each community is unique, and gives our company a chance to engage with people from all walks of life and backgrounds.

The project we took part in is called Design For a Difference.  It’s a national campaign focused on design makeovers for charities.  This year one of the charities chosen was the Center For Families in Madison.  The center offers instruction, support, emergency child care, and in-home visits and resources to parents in need of some extra help.  The goal is to help those parents create a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment for their children.

So where does Steinhafels come in fit into this picture?  We’ll explain in a few minutes.  First, as you can see from these pictures, the center’s Respite Center was badly in need of a makeover, including new furniture.

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The Respite Center provides crisis child care 24/7.  You may be asking yourself, ‘What does decor matter as long as the children have a warm roof over their heads?’  Well, it matters a lot.

Meg Miller is the Director of the Center For Families.  She explains, “People under stress often have to get help from places that are considered shabby, because that’s what nonprofits can afford.  But it matters to people to be respected.  For parents to bring their children to a strange place–it relieves stress a bit to know they are in a nice place.”

Madison-based company FLOOR360 spearheaded the redesign project.  FLOOR360 provides residential and commercial flooring services across the Midwest.  FLOOR360 chose the Center For Families as the Design For a Difference charity for 2015, and hit the ground running.  Thanks to Brava Magazine, Steinhafels learned about the project, and instantly wanted to get involved!  It was a match made in heaven, as the designers were in need of several high-impact furniture pieces–including a sofa, loveseat, ottoman, and desk.  We’ll get to those in a minute!

Co-lead designer Caren King was integral in working with Steinhafels to find the PERFECT pieces to match the design theme, which is a “park” setting–focusing on bright oranges and greens.  King adds, “I wanted the whole space to flow, even though we had thirteen designers.”

Those 13 designers worked for months coming up with plans, and tracking down the needed materials from various companies across the community.  Then, at the beginning of October, they transformed the center in just 9 days!!  As you can see in these pictures–the transformation is jaw-dropping!

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Miller was in awe when she saw the finished product.  As she says with extreme honesty and sincerity, “We’re used to, ‘It’s good enough, it’s good enough for people who are poor,’ and what we have now is better than good enough!”

The big reveal event was a success!  Parents and children who attend the Center also had the chance to see the new space for the first time.  King exclaims, “It’s unbelievable.  Just seeing the families come in today… it was overwhelming to see their response.”

Oh, back to the furniture part… here’s a look at our furniture in the new space.  As you can tell, the pieces are already making themselves at home!

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For Steinhafels, it’s humbling to be involved in projects like these.  The furniture we donate is just a small part of something so much bigger than any of us.  Each year we give back to the community by participating with more than 100 local nonprofit organizations.  We are excited to now include the Center For Families in that list, and look forward to many more projects in the years to come!

For more information and video of the big reveal event, check out the NBC15 story at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LS7Ux8cBfw