Trends in home decorating depend on the generation to which the homeowners belong, says Andrea Odishoo, an interior decorator at the Vernon Hills Steinhafels furniture store. Most people shopping for furniture these days are either millennials who have purchased their first or second home or baby boomers who are downsizing and want to simplify.
And their tastes and budgets differ.
"At Steinhafels we have something to meet the tastes and price points of everyone and if we don't have it on the floor, we have over 200 special order vendors with whom our designers are very familiar. They can direct you," Odishoo said.
"Most of my clients are young, first-time buyers or empty-nesters between 50 and 60 years old," she said. "The millennials have very specific ideas. They want a mix of metals and woods in mid-century modern, farmhouse, contemporary rustic or contemporary industrial styles and they like to mix them with other funky 'finds' from resale shops, as well as light fixtures with Edison bulbs. But they definitely don't want their parents' stuff.
"My baby boomer clients are looking to scale down the size of their furniture as they move from a large home to a smaller townhouse, house or condo. At the same time they want to get rid of their fussier furniture and replace it with furniture that features cleaner looks and lines," Odishoo continued.
They want to mix the new pieces with key antiques from their families, as well as items they have picked up in their travels, and they have the budget to insist on solid woods. Baby boomers also tend to like their furniture to match while millennials like to mix and match for an eclectic look.
For instance, millennials would want two different tables flanking their bed rather than the matching end tables baby boomers prefer, Odishoo says.
Odishoo recommends that all homeowners keep their large, base pieces neutral and then add pops of color in the form of throw pillows and rugs.
"Right now, grays are still popular, as they have been for about five years. But I don't have a crystal ball. I don't know how much longer they will remain popular," she said. "Every year Benjamin Moore comes out with a different color of the year and this year that color is lilac, so I am recommending accents that incorporate lilac, which incidentally goes beautifully with the grays."
On their hardwood floors, both generations like transitional rugs, particularly in geometric shapes, although traditional Oriental rugs also have a strong following for placement in living rooms, dining rooms and family rooms. Durable sisal rugs are generally the choice for placement in kitchens, eating areas and sunrooms because they are so durable and washable.
When the different generations adjourn to the outdoors, their choices are more similar since there are fewer options for outdoor furniture.
Fire pits surrounded by comfortable furniture tend to be more popular with millennials who like to sit around a fire, drinking wine and socializing, while baby boomers tend to eat outdoors and then retire inside to socialize, Odishoo has observed.
Steinhafels is a fourth-generation family business that was founded in Milwaukee in 1934 as Mueller-Steinhafel Furniture. The Mueller family was bought out in 1944 and it has been Steinhafels furniture ever since. Today, the company has ten furniture stores in Wisconsin and one in Illinois. It also has six mattress stores because Steinhafels manufactures its own line of mattresses.
The store in Vernon Hills opened in 2011. The company reportedly decided to expand into Illinois because it was getting so many Illinois customers coming into the Kenosha store.
Steinhafels is located at 569 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Vernon Hills. For more information, call (847) 281-0050 or visit www.steinhafels.com.