On Motherhood & Making a Home


I recently caught up with Brianna Heiligenthal who, upon first meeting, is a total sweetheart. I’ve followed her on Instagram for a while now and couldn’t wait to meet her and see her home in person. Her rich red hair and contagious smile were the first things I noticed about Bri. That and her two cats and adorable boys, Amos and Leo. Upon walking into Bri’s 1950s home, it’s clear her style is both clean and earthy, with a combination of mid-century modern furniture, mixed with new pieces and antique vintage treasures. All woven together to create a beautiful home that feels both warm and welcoming. I caught up with Bri while meeting her family for the first time, we all chatted as we toured her quaint home located in a quiet neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota. One of my favorite discoveries about Bri’s home is that a good amount of the woodwork and kid’s furniture found in the house are handmade by Bri and her husband, which I found very impressive and inspiring. After our interview, I felt compelled to go home and create something too!

I couldn’t wait to ask Bri, “Do you work as an interior designer for a living?” She smiled, laughed softly and replied, “Oh no, I stay at home with the boys. But I’ve always been interested in design, decorating and redecorating for as long as I can remember.”

I also wondered, “How did you acquire such a great following on Instagram and what do you attribute that to?” When I began posting pictures of my boys and my cats, people seemed to really like that, I think the following just grew from there.

Follow Bri’s adventures on Instagram @burtsbrisplease



Who and what inspires you?
My kids, my grandma, changing seasons and traveling.
 
What do you love most about being a mom?

Probably the totally forgiving, accepting, and unconditional love for my kids and from my kids.

Any design trends or looks you are loving right now?

I’m not sure if it’s a trend or not, but I’ve always loved mixing old pieces with new pieces, pops of gold and red, and lately, I’m really into blush pink (although I think I might be a step behind the trend on that one)!


Bri’s kitchen table is from IKEA, while the chairs are a mixture of thrift and vintage finds.


How would you describe yourself to a complete stranger? 
Open-minded, non-judgmental, neat-freak. Lover of pretty much all carbs, iron and wine (the band), wine (the drink), antique shopping, and baking.

What do you love most and least about living in MN?

I love the culture, dislike the last month of winter that always seems to drag on a little too long.

What’s something you’ve experienced that no one has ever told you about motherhood?

Kids are both as simple and complex as adults and validating their feelings instead of labeling them, dismissing them, or writing them off as a phase or the terrible twos, etc. can make a really positive difference in our connection with them both now and as they grow up.


Meet Leo, this is his Room

Bri built this train trundle from scratch after watching a YouTube video.

Learn how to build your own train trundle here!

Bri also made this mini wooden desk for Leo by hand, learn how she did it here!

We are loving Leo’s playful and practical room.

Children’s map is from Land of Nod, bed frame is from IKEA, bed sheets are from Pehr Designs.

Pop-a-wheelie wallpaper is from Chasing Paper.


Favorite quote or life mantra?

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love, you invest your life.” – Mumford and sons!

Who are some of your favorite people or companies to follow on IG for inspiration?

Here’s a short list of my favorite people on motherhood, design and humor that I like to follow: @krystalmfesterly @andrea.mclaren @bonjourmoon @itsahuntlife @chalkwhitearrow @amandajanejones @homeiswherethehartis @ozarkmamadeer @readtealeaves @madebylon @thestorkandthebeanstalk @jennagrahamm

And here are a few shops I like to follow for kids and home goods:

@murlifestyle @loomgoods @beauchamping @kodystewartillustration @afamilyprintshop @noblecarriage @shopdarlingclementine @mabokids @willabyclothier @izzyandferd @chasingwindmillskids @nattinattinyc @francesloom @shoparq

How do you feel about Instagram in general, I know there is a lot of speculation on children’s privacy, comparison amongst users and overall addiction to the app, do you feel more pressure as you acquire more followers?

I think people take Instagram too seriously sometimes, I definitely try to maintain a sense of privacy for me and my family. I don’t like to overshare unnecessary information. I also try to not even look at Instagram until after 10 am, that is a rule for me. I never want it to be the first thing I look at in the morning. When it comes to comparison, I usually don’t think about that stuff. Instagram is great because of all the people I have met. It has actually been an amazing way for me to make friends and connect with like-minded people. I’ve met some of my closest friends on Instagram and I’m really thankful for that community.


Meet Amos, this is his Room

Leather chair from West Elm.

Cute pom pom storage basket from Pehr Designs.

Children’s clothing brands Bri loves: Noble Carriage, Mabo Kids, Izzy & Ferd, Chasing Windmills, Willaby.

The beautiful red rug is from Frances Loom, crib is from IKEA.

Monroe Workshop is a great store that has wooden toys for kids.


What are some of your hobbies outside of being a mom and decorating?
I like going for bike rides on the trails, traveling, and going to breweries. I also like going to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market.

Because I’ve noticed a lot of your house is DIY, do you have any fun renovation projects coming up? 
I try to be handy, I mostly look to YouTube and Pinterest for tutorials and then my husband and I tackle the projects ourselves. I would like our next project to be a kitchen renovation. I would love to do new cabinet faces and new tile. We built our wooden fence outside last year around the back yard and I hope the kitchen will be next!

Where do you find all your amazing furniture? 
ArticleWest Elm, Target, IKEA, the Goodwill and Arc Value Village actually! I also look to Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.

How would you describe your design style?
Mid-century, minimal, but still lived in and cozy. I like earthy tones, woods and whites, especially. Some people have called my style “Prairie,” but I’m not sure if I like that. We’ve lived in this home for two years and our design process has been slowly evolving over time, I find it so much easier to do things slowly than all at once.


Now, let’s see the rest of the house!

All the frames in the home are by Framebridge.

Lighting is from Urban Outfitters, linen bedding is from Parachute, bed frame is from Wayfair.

Bri also built her own wooden bassinet for Amos, pictured on the left. Learn how to make your own bedside sleeper crib here.

Dresser and rocking chair are from West Elm.

Bri found this vintage dresser, painted it pink and dropped in the bathroom sink to complete this chic look.

This piece was one of my favorite parts of her house!

Wall sconce lighting is from Schoolhouse.

I love the newly finished little attic/storage room off their master bedroom that they converted into a playroom, such a great use of extra space.

Storage bins from Pehr Designs, big basket is from Loom Goods, mini kitchen is from IKEA, floor pillow from Natti Natti.

Bri and her husband put in these new wood floors and painted them all white, which makes the upstairs feel clean and crisp.

This cute sheep rug is from Perfectly Smitten and mobile is from Land of Nod.

The living room sofa is from Article, the rug is from flor squares, and the pillows are from Etsy and IKEA.

The white bookshelves to the far right are handmade by Bri and her husband.

Wooden high chairs are from Stokke, and dining room lights are from Home Depot.

The white crown molding on the walls adds a rich, finished touch to the main floor; this was installed by Bri and her husband.

Coffee table and gray chairs are from West Elm.

Thank you, Bri for letting us chat with you and introducing us to your wonderful home and family! We feel inspired to take on a few new DIY projects and can’t wait to follow you on all your upcoming adventures.