DS Tip Of The Week: The Fabulous Functionality of the Ottoman

When it comes to design, we want it to look great, but also be functional. Especially as the winter months approach, anything that makes life easier, including increased storage space, is a plus!

This week’s Decorating Solutions Tip of the Week explores the fabulous functionality of the ottoman. Rachel Chairez is a new designer at our Kenosha store, and she’s excited to share some of her expertise with us.

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Rachel explains, “Most people like to put their feet up when they relax– even on coffee tables. Why not ditch the coffee table and bring in a patterned, upholstered ottoman? You can also bring varied textures into the room by mixing an upholstered sofa with a leather ottoman. Blending texture and colors can create contrasts that are fun to the eye. Worried about losing your storage capabilities that you had in the coffee table? Storage ottomans exist and come in multiple types and styles.”

As you can see in Rachel’s example, you can bring in a fun, ceramic tiled ottoman tray to place on top of the ottoman–that way guests have a solid surface to set their drinks down on! Or looking for a more rustic look? You can also bring in a wood ottoman tray that pairs well with the space. The combinations are endless!

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So put those feet up in style, especially after a long Monday! Check in next Monday for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.

You can email Rachel at rachelc@steinhafels.com if you live in the Kenosha/Racine area and are interested in exploring a new design project!

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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BLOG REWIND! Coats For Kids & Paying it Forward This Holiday Season

As Steinhafels and Fox 6 get ready for a new era of ‘Coats For Kids’… we look back on one of our most inspiring stories from last year.

We all love Vince Condella, but now that he’s retired, Meteorologist Tom Wachs is taking over!!  Tom and some dedicated volunteers will be at our Corporate Store in Waukesha on Wednesday, December 7, collecting your donations from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The first 200 people to come through the drive-thru donation line, and donate at least four (4) coats, will get one (1) pair of ticket vouchers to see the Harlem Globetrotters on New Year’s Eve (while supplies last).

No need to park or get out of your car – just drive on up.  It’s quick and easy, and most importantly, you’ll be helping kids right here in southeastern Wisconsin.

Now, let’s take a look back on our Coats for Kids Blog from last year… about a woman who truly took her donation to the next level!!

Yvonne’s Story (First Published 12/23/15)

Condella’s Coats for Kids‘ is a passion project that Steinhafels has been proud to support over the years.  The program is a community-wide effort to collect new and gently used coats for children in Milwaukee’s inner city.

Steinhafels has always been committed to community, so it was a no brainer to team up with Fox 6’s Vince Condella to help bring this project to a new audience. Each year the Salvation Army, Fox 6, and several other local businesses work tirelessly to make sure Coats for Kids is a success.

However, none of it would be possible without the fine people of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Hundreds of coats are collected every year–from Fox 6 viewers, to Steinhafels customers, and anyone else who is looking for a way to give back. Every year it’s humbling to see the generosity overflowing, just like the bins holding the coats!

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One of those generous people is Fox 6 viewer Yvonne Ondrejicka.  She wrote Vince Condella an inspiring letter.  We’d like to share a few excerpts of it with you to help you get in the holiday spirit!

Yvonne writes, “I just wanted to tell you about a wonderful event that my law firm, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. runs every year for employees.  It is called ‘Whyte Lights’ and each employee receives $100.00 in cash to ‘pay it forward’ in any way the employee pleases.”

Paul Eberle is the Chief Executive of WHD, where the Whyte Lights Program is in its 4th year.  He explains, “Simply put, it was the right thing to do.  Good companies invest in their employees as well as in the communities they serve.  They reinvest profits to support many of the underfunded nonprofits that provide the last safety net to the poorest among us. They donate employee time and talent to improve our schools, support our arts groups, and sustain critical civic organizations. By giving employees the opportunity to do something good with $100, Whyte Lights allows each of them to make good corporate citizenship something very personal.”

Yvonne goes on to write how she has always donated to Coats for Kids, but was disappointed this year because her daughters are grown, so she doesn’t have any extra coats. That’s when she had the bright idea to use her Whyte Lights money!

She says, “The next evening I went to 3 different Goodwill stores in my area (Waukesha).  I took my time at each one and found wonderful winter coats and vests in every kid size imaginable.  After the third store, I counted how many coats/vests I was able to purchase with $100.00 and I had over 20 items! … Last evening I went to the Steinhafels Superstore in Waukesha and brought in all 7 bags of coats.  People looked at me kind of strangely and asked if I brought all those bags.  I then told them the story of how they got there.  People were just astonished at the whole idea of an employer giving each employee money to ‘pay it forward’, and what a great idea it was to do this.”

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Eberle was thrilled to hear about Yvonne’s use of her $100.  When asked about it how it makes him feel, he says, “In a word, awesome!  Purchasing coats from Goodwill to help keep children warm this winter, while simultaneously benefiting the nonprofit, which provides training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages seeking greater independence, was a wonderful way to spend $100.  Yvonne rocks.”

We are so happy Yvonne shared her story with Vince, and with us.  What a great way to take a little initiative, and turn it into a thoughtful and meaningful gift this holiday season.

If you have a story like Yvonne’s, let us know!  Feel free to leave a brief comment and/or contact info in the Comments section of the blog.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM OUR FAMILY TO YOURS!!!

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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.”

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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: Make it ‘Fierce’ With Plaid and Fur

When it comes to interior design, sometimes the combinations you least expect yield the greatest results!

That brings us to this week’s #DecoratingSolutions Tip of the Week:  Plaid + Fur.  It’s a little bit of country meets chic, and looks oh so good!

This week’s tip comes from Madison Interior Decorator Hannah Peller.

Hannah’s words of wisdom:  “Plaids tend to be rather rustic and masculine.  Fur is feminine and delicate, yet fierce.  What they both have in common is a sense of warmth, which is perfect for winter.  Some of the best combinations are those that are least likely.  I love the balance this pattern and texture bring to a space.  It is unpredictable, and very inviting!”

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So quit playing it safe, channel your inner Beyonce, and make your home “fierce.”  We post a quick and easy decor tip each Monday.  Check in next week for another #DSTipOfTheWeek.