On Motherhood & Making a Home

Interiors & Decor

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 Crate&Barrel, 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.

BY Stefani Hodzic // W&D Editorial Director - May 3, 2017

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add a comment

  1. Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    May 3rd, 2017 at 11:37 am

    She definitely has an eye for design. I love her home! It’s great that she can do what she loves while being with the kids. 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  2. Lori

    May 4th, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Where is the lamp in Amos’s room from?

  3. Bri

    May 4th, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    It’s from the land of nod 🙂

  4. Lori

    May 8th, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks! 🙂

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    May 7th, 2017 at 6:06 am

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  6. Lindsay

    May 7th, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Would love to know how y’all built the bookcases in the living area. Did you follow a tutorial?

  7. Stefani Ellenbecker

    May 8th, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Lindsay, I think Bri and her husband built these from scratch! I asked her if there is a tutorial but she said they just winged it.

  8. baylee

    May 8th, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Any idea where the storage unit in Amos’s closet comes from?

  9. Bri

    May 8th, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    It was here when we moved in, but there’s a tag on it that says California closets! Hope that helps!

  10. Caroline Royce

    May 12th, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I love her instagram, if only because everything coordinates, from the tan sofa to the color of the cats and Leo’s hair.

  11. K muller

    May 27th, 2017 at 8:45 am

    A lovely home

  12. Elena

    May 28th, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Wow! Loving the whirl walls. Wasn’t sure if the name was posted on the color white she used…

    So bright and airy

  13. Elena

    May 28th, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    White not whirl 😂

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  15. Steph

    June 8th, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Love the rocking chair, I’m looking to buy it for my baby’s nursery. Can I ask how long you’ve had it for as it’s no longer on the stated website. Thank you

  16. Caroline

    June 13th, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    A beautiful home for a wonderful family! Bri, I especially love your comment about children being both as simple and as complex as adults and treating them as such (in your comment about motherhood). I agree so completely and tried to live this with my kids (now 24, 22, and 15!). I especially love your pink sink cabinet and your sweet baby-in-cap!

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  19. Katrina

    June 26th, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I love the bathroom vanity color. I have a vintage vanity that would look great in that color. Do you know the name and brand?

  20. Tanya

    July 13th, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Second this question about the vanity color! Love it! We’ve been looking to paint ours a similar color, would you be willing to share the brand/color? Thanks!

  21. MollyBrown

    August 1st, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I lover her style! Think I clicked on every link the article.

  22. MS

    August 14th, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Love the wall shelf with the drawing paper attachment attached above the Leo’s mini desk. Where would I be able to get the same one? Thanks for the post!!!

  23. Barbara

    October 11th, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Love the color of the bathroom cabinet.
    What color is it? I see several people have asked the same question, but I don’t see the color in the responses.
    Can you let us know?
    Thanks so much.

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  25. Tanya

    November 21st, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    So, I’ve been trying to figure out the height of that cute little attic space forever! Do you know how tall it is?! We have a half story attic that I would love to convert to usable space, but it is only about 5.5′ tall! But if this is only that tall, I may be convinced! 🙂

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  31. Rebecca Ray-Killen

    January 4th, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Hi, where did they find the beautiful antique mirror above the white sink in the bathroom?

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