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: 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.  

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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.”

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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.

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DS Tip Of The Week: Embrace Infinity!

For this week’s Decorating Solutions #TipOfTheWeek, we ask you to embrace infinity… and think outside the box!

This week’s tip comes from Amber Ferry, one of the new designers at our Oak Creek store. Her personal design style has a sophisticated vibe–an eclectic mix of styles that seamlessly blend bold, timeless colors and geometric forms. So it makes sense that her first tip is about Circles!

Amber explains, “Circles represent infinity, completeness, and movement. The circle brings the idea of no boundaries into a visual reality, and makes a room feel larger. Circles also represent unity and harmony. By adding a few round elements into a room with sharp edges and straight lines, you can soften and relax the room.”

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Amber has some simple ways to incorporate circles into interior design–items you can find at your local Steinhafels!

– Lighting

– Mirrors and artwork with round frames

– Circle accessories that mimic each other’s shape

– Round tables

– Round ottomans

– Round rugs

– Round pillows

We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  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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Life Without a Mattress… Steinhafels Teams Up With Meriter

It all started with a phone call… and has translated into a better night’s sleep for some of Madison’s poorest residents.

Steinhafels is proud to be a part of many community organizations across southeast and central Wisconsin, in addition to the Fox Valley. We especially love it when a cause we’re supporting also relates to our slogan: Relax. In this case, we look at some Madison residents who haven’t had a relaxing night’s sleep in years.

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Lisa Bell, Community Relations Manager at UnityPoint Health-Meriter, reached out to our Steinhafels West Superstore Zone Manager Joe Heins, who specializes in Mattresses. Meriter was looking to donate some mattresses to low income residents–some of whom are veterans. They asked us for a price quote… and we were able to offer them a very deep discount on mattresses and frames. 

Delivery Day was this Tuesday, May 9. The Steinhafels crew was ready to make some beds!

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Bell explains, “I am so pleased that Steinhafels has stepped in to help us make this project a reality. We are committed over the next couple of years to continuing to provide beds to the residents of the Triangle Neighborhood. This neighborhood houses some of our most vulnerable, medically and emotionally, fragile adults.”

The Triangle is a neighborhood of condos and apartments managed by the city, and houses some of Madison’s poorest, highest-risk residents (average yearly income is approximately $10,000).

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Heins says he likes to put an emphasis on helping local charities, and that it was bittersweet watching the residents receive their mattresses on Tuesday. “It was an amazing opportunity, but also heartbreaking. Listening to their personal stories, the challenges these people have faced and what they were sleeping on before, almost brought us to tears. It makes you take a look at the little things, that some of us often take for granted, and how it can be life changing.”  

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One of the recipients was an older woman, who was just released from the hospital a few weeks earlier after surgery.

THIS is what she was sleeping on before the delivery–a makeshift bed of pillows on the cold, hard floor:

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As you can imagine, Heins says she was so happy, almost in tears, when the Steinhafels delivery crew arrived with this bed, donated by Meriter!

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She’s not alone. Several of the resident were literally SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR. Heins admits that something like this truly brings to light just how important a good night’s sleep is.

“A good night’s sleep is so important for your health and quality of life. Things that we take for granted nightly are things they don’t have the luxury of. It’s a decision between food or rent, so buying a mattress isn’t even an option.”

We are so proud of our employees like Joe, who go the extra mile to help others… and we’re glad he appreciates us as well. Joe says, “I always love being able to talk about how great the company I work for is. Seeing the good that Steinhafels does for the community is why I am always trying to recruit my friends and family.”

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It’s just a small step to combat the nationwide issue of poverty and poor living conditions, but even if it brings just a tiny bit of awareness that we all may have a neighbor in need… that’s something.

You can learn more about this project, on various local media!

WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL FRONT PAGE ARTICLE

CHANNEL 27 TV NEWS STORY

AWESOME Behind the Scenes VIDEO!

Also, check out a full photo gallery HERE!

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To Market, To Market… Hot New Trends

As someone who is still relatively new to the retail furniture world, I can truly say that some aspects of the business still really fascinate me.

One of those aspects is how the heck we decide WHAT to put in our stores! I mean our superstores are huge, and we carry some of the top furniture lines in the business, but at the end of the day, there is still a ton of furniture out there that we don’t carry.

What I’ve learned is that it’s a VERY precise business. Our buyers do a ton of research to determine the best fits for our store.

All of that research culminates in Market, which is held several times a year–in North Carolina and Las Vegas.

For this blog, we’re going to take a look at the most recent Market–the Spring High Point Market in beautiful NC. According to the Market’s website, more than 75,000 people flock to this small Carolina town every six months to take part in one of the furniture industry’s biggest trade shows. The “Market” is made up of 180 buildings, 11.5 million square feet of showspace, and 2,000+ exhibitors from more than 100 different countries.

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Upon their return from the Tar Heel State, I asked our buyers to give me a little sneak peek into what’s hot this season, and what it’s like to be at Market.

Elaine Haskey, Upholstery

“In the world of Upholstery we were really excited to see Boho, or ‘nuevo hippie.’ It’s very colorful, almost Middle Eastern looking…like items you would find in a bazaar. The pieces are made from very thick fabrics full of color.”

-Modern looks that span all price ranges, both in fabric and in leather. That modern look is also coming into motion furniture.

-Power lumbar continues to be big in motion. Power recline, power headrest, and power lumbar allow the lower back to be supported.

-BOLD colors: Like chartreuse, yellow, and burgundy

-BLUE is still really big, which confirms what we’ve been doing as a company

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Dawn Still, Case Goods

“Being in Case Goods, what we’re looking at is new wood finishes, distressing of the wood, and the wire brush look. It literally looks like someone beat up the piece of wood. Grays are hot. Also a dry finish, and tons of wood species: Acacia, walnut, bleached white oak, and mango to name a few. We are also seeing more multi-functional pieces.”

Jenny Kordus, Accent Furniture

“Accent Furniture vendors are really focusing on multi-purpose pieces–like bookcase piers, cabinets that could be storage or wine racks, tables that can also be used for the office, and that’s just to name a few. Farmhouse is still a big trend, as well as whites and off-white. And barn doors are everywhere!”

Teri Hayden-Kalis, Rugs and Accessories

The trends I saw repeated the most in the showrooms:

-BLUE: All shades of blue accessories and rugs everywhere–Navy, Turquoise, Peacock   

-GOLD/ANTIQUE BRASS: Gold and brass are back, as you may have been noticing on all of your clothing lately (zippers, buttons, etc)… and showrooms are also filled with brass accents and accessories.

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-MONGOLIAN FUR PILLOWS: These are everywhere! They come in every color, go with anything, and add tons of texture.

This is some great insight into the hottest furniture trends for this spring and summer. But I also wanted to know a little bit more about the market itself. What is it REALLY like to attend, and what are some tips for those who may be checking out Market for the first time?

The biggest reaction from our buyers: Wear comfy shoes!! Buyers typically log about 6 miles a day, walking from appointment to appointment.

This spring, our buyers also had to compete with rain basically the entire time. When you compile that with 12-15 hour days, it takes some of the glamour out of the experience!

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But all of our buyers agree Market is a great event for our industry, and a vital part of networking and developing relationships with vendors.

Jenny says it’s also a chance for the buyers to grow closer. “We don’t always get to hang out at work, so it’s nice to be together, have ‘family’ dinner.”

Teri adds, “My favorite thing about market is seeing all of the new products and designs displayed in gorgeous showrooms. Most showrooms are reset and redesigned for every market.”

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And believe it or not, Market is just the START of all the work for our Merchandising Team! Dawn explains, “You come back and you have to execute. The market is the easy part.. then you have to follow through with the vendors.”

As I’ve learned through my first couple years of working at Steinhafels, the world of furniture is beautiful to gaze at and enjoy, but there is sooooo much work that goes on behind the scenes to make it happen.

I will continue to share some of my discoveries in this blog… so stay tuned!

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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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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: Perk Up Your Porch!

You can give your spaces a fresh, fall-like feel as we enter these autumn months–both inside and outside your home!

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 Laura Hoffman.  Laura works at our Appleton store, and helps customers in the area create the homes of their dreams.  She has some easy suggestions for transforming your front porch with some fall flair.

Laura says, “Mix old distressed items such as lanterns with some natural birch logs and white pumpkins, along with a traditional orange gourd.  Fresh flowers and pops of color with fun seasonal pillows are the perfect finishing touch!”

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You likely have some of these items in storage, and 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 #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip Of The Week BRAVA Night Out Style: Mixing Patterns

For this week’s Tip of the Week we go on the scene to our Madison Beltline Store.

That’s where we recently hosted a BRAVA Magazine Night Out called #WineAndDesign.  One of the design sessions taught attendees how to mix patterns.  Decorating with patterns can be tricky.  You don’t want to overdo it, but you also want to highlight your unique style.  

Decorating Solutions designers Patti Stindt and Mari Johnson did an interactive “Before and After” demo, demonstrating how you can transform a boring and blah room just by adding a few different patterns and textures.

BEFORE:

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Patti explains that you don’t want to be matchy-matchy, and Mari says that bringing in different textures is a great way to mix patterns.  The ladies do add that you want to stay within the same color tones when you mix patterns… but overall just have fun with it, and don’t be scared to get creative!

AFTER:

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You can check out some video of Mari and Patti’s demo HERE.

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

 

DS Tip Of The Week: Adding Texture

Home design is not only a visual experience.  It’s also very experiential, and hands-on.  Creating designs with texture is a way to truly bring out the FEEL of a room!

This week’s #DSTipOfTheWeek comes from designer Rhonda Vivoda, who is based in our Corporate store in Waukesha.  Rhonda likes to bring her designs to life with rich textures.

Here are her 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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Our Decorating Solutions designers are burning the midnight oil coming up with many more quick and easy design tips for you.  Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.