DS Tip of the Week: Showcasing Tall Fireplaces

I hate to say it, but yes… it’s already time to think about fireplaces if you plan on making any fireplace-focused design changes for the fall/winter season.  After all, it IS Wisconsin… it could snow tomorrow!!  (Yes, I said the “S” word)

For this week’s Steinhafels #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week we look at Tall Stone Fireplaces.  Our Decorating Solutions Interior Designers are constantly using simple techniques to make dramatic changes that will help your space come to life.  This week’s tip comes from Waukesha-based designer Dawn Adamec.

Dawn is using one of her design projects to illustrate her tip.  She explains, “In this home the focal point is the big stone fireplace in the living room, and the insets surrounding it.  I wanted it to be tone on tone (basically monochromatic, with a lot of neutrals).  Everyone always asks what to do with a big stone fireplace that extends all the way to the ceiling.  I love using metal wall sculptures to break up the stone, but make sure you can still see through the metal to the stone.  People spend a lot of money on these majestic fireplaces, so they want to show them off, but they have to put something on the structure to break up the space a bit and make it interesting.”

screenshot_192

screenshot_191

Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek… and hopefully we don’t have to use those fireplaces for another couple months!

DS Tip Of The Week: Sofa Tables–Oh the Possibilities!

As you get set to redecorate the living room, you are likely focused on the sofa, and other large statement items.  We’re here to remind you–don’t overlook the sofa tables!!

IMG_2929

This week’s tip comes from one of our Vernon Hills Decorating Solutions experts.  Brian Mueller is known for his ability to help his clients see the possibilities that they may not be able to envision themselves.

As Brian explains, “A sofa table has endless possibilities.  If your sofa or sectional are just floating in a room, and you’re tired of looking at all the fabric or leather, break it up with a table behind it.  Not only can a table break up the sea of fabric or leather, it also acts as another surface for lamps lamps, or a space to display accessories!  For instance, if your room doesn’t allow for an end table for extra lighting, and you have room for a table behind your sofa or sectional, use that instead.  It doesn’t even necessarily have to be floating to use one either, and you can move it forward off the wall to make for a more intimate seating area as well.”

IMG_2930

Brian adds, “Sofa tables come in all shapes and sizes.  Some even allow for ottomans or stools underneath, which adds extra seating as well when you need it.  Don’t be afraid to even put a chest or cabinet behind it, as long as it doesn’t go higher than the back of the sofa cushion. You can also use open bookshelves to divide a room visually behind a sofa.”

IMG_2933

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

UPDATE: Generosity Overflowing!!!

UPDATE:  The Back 2 School Bash was a great success!! Thanks to the generosity of Steinhafels employees and other community members, more than 200 kids received grade-appropriate backpacks, and had fun-filled weekend including music, roller skating, and games. Two kids also won bikes donated by Dreambikes!

screenshot_210screenshot_211screenshot_212

Wow… Steinhafels employees are super awesome :)

A few weeks ago some employees on the Waukesha Sales Team started their annual Back to School Drive.  The supplies will be distributed to inner city children at the 4th Annual Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash.  What started as a grassroots effort has grown into a yearly event.

screenshot_160

As usual, employees have stepped up and donated pencils, markers, backpacks, etc.  Our employees have always been compassionate about the community, and are always willing to give back.

screenshot_187

But this year feels extra special.  In light of the recent events in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park Neighborhood, it seems more important than ever that we come together and support the children and families in our city.

screenshot_185

As you can see in these pictures, the backpacks are starting to overflow!!  Just imagine the looks on these kids’ faces when they open up their new bookbags full of awesome supplies (some of the big kids even get earbuds for their computers!)

The best part–it’s not too late to give!!  Katie and Cheri have more backpacks to fill, and if anyone wants to give money they can put it in the envelope on Katie’s desk in the store office.

screenshot_186

You can also show your support by coming out to the event!!  Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash is Saturday August 27 from 11am-7pm, in the 2500 block of North 38th Street in Milwaukee.

Check out the original blog HERE

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.

JPEG_20151218_133325_-1769732240

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

screenshot_177

screenshot_181

screenshot_180

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

screenshot_182

screenshot_178

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.

Day in the Life: A Steinhafels Intern

Internships.  They have evolved a lot since the days of the little intern who fetched coffee, and was at the boss’s beck and call.

Steinhafels values our interns–not only as workers, but as part of the Steinhafels family.  This is the second year of the Summer Sales & Leadership Internship.  Steinhafels Recruiting Manager Jane Peterson heads up the program.  She explains, “The internship focuses on sales and leadership.  Interns work alongside Steinhafels’ Store and Sales Managers to learn how to successfully execute the mission statement, by helping customers create the homes of their dreams. Interns train in many different areas of the company including:  Advertising, Merchandising, Operations, and Customer Service.”

Intern Lauren and Jane

We decided see what it’s like to be a Steinhafels intern.  After all, who doesn’t want to relive their college years a little bit?  Mitch Yahr is a Marketing Major at UW-Milwaukee.  He is from Germantown, and will be entering his Junior year (oh to be young again!)

Mitch spent a day in the Advertising Department.  Of course he had lots of questions about our jobs, but I also took the chance to ask him a few questions.

screenshot_173

Why did you major in Marketing?

Mitch:  My family always told me I was very relatable and personable.  I love talking with people and having social interaction.  In the Sales world you’re always talking.  On the Sales floor I love talking to people and getting to know their stories.

Why did you decide to become a Steinhafels intern?

I met Jane at a career fair in Whitewater.  I knew this was a relatively new internship, and Jane made it sound like I could be one of the pioneers for this internship, which is cool.

screenshot_174

What do you like about the Steinhafels’ brand?

When Steinhafels came to Menomonee Falls it was groundbreaking—literally and figuratively!  I love that Steinhafels is family owned and not publicly traded, and promotes a family atmosphere…. I also like how Steinhafels markets to a wide variety of people—not just high end or low end.

screenshot_172

What does an intern’s day entail?

I get to work around 9:30 a.m.  We have the early morning meeting.  Then I walk around the Sales floor and make sure everything is tidy and clean.  Then we usually walk the floor for a couple hours, and make sure everybody is taken care of.  We take a break for lunch, and then we head back to the floor to talk with customers.

screenshot_171

Have you sold anything yet?

Oh yeah.  I always start off by giving an introduction, and I ask them what they’re looking for. Then I have a couple of questions to ask on the way to the product—keep them engaged and make sure I take them to the best items possible.

It sounds like Mitch has learned a lot!  But Peterson says it’s about a lot more than just closing the deal.  She says, “Our interns walk away with a good understanding of what it is like to work in a professional environment.  One of the main objectives of the internship is for the interns to also really expand on their leadership skills.  The internship has the potential to grow into a leadership position amongst our sales team after the completion of the program.”

screenshot_168

As you can see in these pictures, it’s not all business all the time.  Our interns had a chance to check out a Brewers game with some of our executives, and to get a little goofy in a photo shoot.  We want to show them that even “adults” can have fun sometimes too!

Interns Brewers Game 7.28.16 PM

screenshot_183

Mitch is just one of our 15 standout interns this summer.  Our interns come from 6 different schools, and have worked in 5 stores this summer (Madison, Waukesha, Appleton, Oak Creek and Menomonee Falls).  We hope to expand the program to more stores next year.

screenshot_175

Do you know a student interested in a fun, competitive, and rewarding internship?  Let us know!  We start the recruiting process in fall at many different campus career fairs.  Applicants can start applying for Summer 2017 as early as November 2016.

screenshot_184

DS Tip Of The Week: Accent Wall Tones

When it comes to interior design, sometimes it’s best to do exactly the OPPOSITE of what you think you SHOULD do!

For example–accent walls.  When considering an accent wall, think more of a darker tone of the color selected on an appropriate point in the room you would like to accent.

That brings us to this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week.  It comes from Menomonee Falls Interior Decorator Beth Kealy.

Beth will let these pictures do the talking.  She explains, “In this picture the fireplace wall above the mantel protrudes beyond the window portion of the wall.  I went with a darker shade of the wall color to accent the fireplace and make it pop.”

kealy2

Meanwhile, this example talks about what NOT to do.  Beth says, “In this photo the accent color is green in a yellow room.  This cabinet is also the main television viewing location.  It does not make sense to have this corner wall be accented.  It is a wall that is constantly being viewed due to the TV, and would be unbalanced and not a good choice.”

screenshot_167
Don’t be ashamed to ask for help with your redesign!  We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

Employees Giving Back: School Supply Drive

Steinhafels Sales Associates make it their mission to make sure customers feel welcome in our stores, and are happy with their purchases.

But their hard work and dedication doesn’t stop there.  Many of our associates take it upon themselves to go well beyond the doors of our stores… helping the communities we serve.

The latest display of generosity can be seen inside the office at our Waukesha store.  That’s where a work desk has been temporarily transformed into a ‘Back to School’ wonderland!

screenshot_165

Sales Associates Cheri Fuqua and Katie Wolf are heading up this very special school supply drive!

screenshot_160

Katie explains, “Anyone in any department can donate if they would like.  I love doing these events because we are fortunate enough to have a job, and it’s always nice to be able to give back to the community.  We all have a couple of bucks we can spare, so why not have everyone pitch in and give someone something they need that’s as simple as back to school supplies?  I really think this brings our team together and shows that all of us care and are willing to help those in need.”

screenshot_164

The drive is very close to Cheri’s heart.  The supplies will be distributed to inner city children at the 4th Annual Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash.  What started as a grassroots effort a few years ago has grown into a community-wide event.  Cheri explains, “Ms.Cynthia was my tenant.  She’s an elementary school teacher with a heart of gold.  She put this event together because she saw a need.  Children in our community need a successful start to the school year.  This event brings a sense of community that was lost years ago.”

screenshot_166

Cheri says the event gets bigger each year.  “Last year we supplied 200 children with grade appropriate backpacks.  We fed over 300 children and adults.  We Entertained, we had a DJ,  clowns, face painting, nail techs, local barbers cutting hair, bounce houses, and basketball hoops.  Two youth won a bike and keyboard through Spelling Bees and Math contests.  The local Fire Department and Police Department joins us as well.  This year is going to be Off The Hook!  It’s a great event.”

screenshot_162

So how can fellow Steinhafels employees help?  Just walk inside the Waukesha Store Office, and grab a couple Post-It notes listing various needed school supplies.  Items can be donated until August 21.

screenshot_161

You can also show your support by coming out to the event!!  Ms. Cynthia’s Back to School Bash is Saturday August 27 from 11am-7pm, in the 2500 block of North 38th Street in Milwaukee.

 

 

DS Tip Of The Week: Decorating Ideas for Your Wall Niche

A wall niche can be a lovely way to display collectibles, or other unique accessories.  However, if not utilized properly, a niche can also be an eyesore.

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 Dawn Adamec.  Dawn works at our Corporate store, and helps customers in the Milwaukee and Waukesha area create the homes of their dreams.

Dawn explains, “When using niches, use round objects versus square objects, in order to emphasize the curvature of the niche.  A lot of times I see people put angular items inside a rounded niche and it just looks harsh and out of place.  A rounded item placed inside the nook gives a softer look.  On the other hand, if you have a square niche, hang a square object inside.  To put it simply, EMPHASIZE THE NICHE!!”

screenshot_157

screenshot_159

screenshot_158

As you see in these pictures, the rounded objects compliment the niche perfectly!  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: A Room With A View

Do you have a beautiful view that you’re trying to incorporate into your interior design, but have no idea how to utilize it?  Have no fear–Steinhafels is here to help!!

This week’s Decorating Solutions’ #TipOfTheWeek is all about designing to compliment a view.  Aaron Keller is an interior decorator at our Menomonee Falls store.  He has some simple tips to keep in mind when designing a room with a view.

1) The space should reflect what you see outside, without distracting from the view.

2) Keep the color pallet simple.  This lake condo is calm and relaxing like a day at the beach!

screenshot_154

3) Don’t clutter the space.  Add interest with texture, and stylish shapes in accents and furniture versus adding more.

4) Artwork should be a continuation of the view in color and feel.  Don’t use busy or vibrant artwork.  Again, the view is the main focal point!

screenshot_155

5) Don’t be afraid to bring the outdoors in with twigs or other natural elements to help connect with the view.

screenshot_156

6) Use reflective elements to reflect light to add interest.  Like these vases and art, mirrors are also a great way to reflect light.

image4

7) Finishes and quality are important–like this dining table set from Canadel!  When decorating with fewer items the items you choose to use are more noticeable.

image1(2)

8) Always take advantage of the view when placing furniture.  The chair in this photo is a swivel, so you can turn to face the view.

image5

Again, Aaron emphasizes that less is more!!  The worst thing you can do is to clutter the space.  We post quick and practical decor tips every Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

DS Tip of the Week: Starting Points

Everything needs a starting point–even design.  While this sounds obvious, actually CHOOSING that starting point can be tricky, and the point you pick could affect the overall project more than you think!

For this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week we look at ways to make sure you start off on the right foot.  Julie Thompson is an interior designer based in our Waukesha store.  She stresses the importance of choosing a starting point, and then making all of your follow-up decisions based on that item.

She explains, “A starting point can be as small as dishes in a dining room, a piece of artwork in an office, bed linens in a bedroom, or a rug in a living room.  Select that starting point, like a piece of artwork, and build off of that piece.  This helps you figure out the best way to arrange the rest of your wall hangings, or how to set up the furniture in the entire room.”

IMG_6054

screenshot_152

IMG_4998

screenshot_153

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