Young and old desire design help
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Steinhafels furniture in Vernon Hills caters to homeowners of all generations, from those coming right out of college and furnishing their first apartment, to empty-nesters, as well as everyone in between.
So the store is careful to offer furnishings to meet all budgets, from those tight on cash to those for whom money is not an issue.
"We offer $500 sofas and we offer $3,000 sofas," said Andrea Odishoo, a Steinhafels' designer. "And the nice thing is that both ends of that price spectrum are well-constructed and durable."
In addition, you can easily mix price points within a room, purchasing an expensive couch, but less expensive end tables and entertainment units.
"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.
"Since not all our furniture is high-end, the money clients save can be used for our design services, which include shopping for window treatments, wall colors, accessories and rugs and even doing space planning," she said. "And while we charge a fee for these services, it is less than you would pay an independent designer."
That is why the number of customers taking advantage of Steinhafels' design service grows every year. In fact, the Vernon Hills store employs three designers because customers are continually hearing about the service from friends and family or reading about it on the store's website.
"Most of my clients are young, first-time buyers or empty-nesters between 50 and 60 years old," she continued. "The millennials have very specific ideas. They want a mix of metals and woods in midcentury 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 said.
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 that baby boomers prefer, Odishoo said.
Odishoo recommended that all homeowners upholster their large, base pieces in solid colored neutrals and then add pops of color in the form of throw pillows and rugs. Furthermore, she highly recommends choosing performance fabrics that are durable and both stain-resistant and fade-resistant.
"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.
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 10 furniture stores in Wisconsin and one in Illinois. It also operates six mattress stores because Steinhafels manufactures its own line of mattresses.
The 100,000-square-foot 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.
Odishoo said the store has a large design center filled with catalogs to expand a customer's choices, and fabric samples that can be chosen for sofas and other upholstered items.
Steinhafels is located at 569 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Vernon Hills. For more information, call (847) 281-0050 or visit www.steinhafels.com.