#38 The 7 Principles of Interior Design

Sharing the 7 Principles of Interior Design

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#36 Window Box Planters

This warmer weather has us thinking that spring might be here to stay. Or is it too soon to put away the snow shovel? It really is hard to know what Mother Nature will send your way when you live in Wisconsin. Nonetheless, we are crossing our fingers and hoping for spring, mostly so we can start designing our flower boxes!

We created a Pinterest board with our favorite flower box ideas and color palettes. You can take a look at it to get some inspiration for your own home, and to see what we are loving this year.

A wonderful mix repeating the purple from the sage

A wonderful mix repeating the purple from the sage

A more formal approach with pops of red

A more formal approach with pops of red

An informal mix of purple and magenta

An informal mix of purple and magenta

A brighter choice with magenta

A brighter choice with magenta

We are torn between a whimsical and natural looking “wild flower” assortment, and a more-tailored arrangement of blooms. We think we have a favorite, but we are hoping to hear from our followers on which look they like the best. You can head over to our Instagram page to help us decide!

It is really reassuring that we can change the look of our landscaping up each year so we don’t need to stress out about permanence.  Whatever we end up with, we will make sure to repeat the floral groupings at the front porch in a planter, to balance the home and to carry over the colors and texture of the botanicals from our window boxes. This is a fun project that we looking forward to taking on in the next few weeks.  Here’s hoping for spring!

#30 Outdoor Living

We live in Wisconsin where there are very few weeks during the year where outside dining (and sometimes sitting) is comfortable. Instead of lions, tigers and bears, there are mosquitoes, flies, and bees. Oh my!

Even with the pesky visitors, outdoor living is awesome! Nothing beats grilling out with a cold beer on a warm summer day.


When designing the house, we thought about how these outdoor spaces relate to the indoors. We put the grilling patio near the kitchen. In fact, the kitchen sink is on the other side of that window with the arch top - only 5-ish steps away from the patio. Then we added the screen porch on the other side. Perfect for bug-free dining and lounging. All in, these two areas seat 12 people comfortably with room for extra chairs to be brought in.

We actually love how the patio is tucked away instead of out in the open. We also love that putting the screen porch on the side of the house instead of the back allows for a better view from the dining room.

Besides dining, we also wanted the screen porch to accommodate some lounge furniture. The result is a comfortable mix of dining and lounging with some additional floor space to accommodate larger groups when needed.


Like many of our rooms, it could use a few more decorations but we're keeping things simple for now and loving the extra space.

This is a view of our inspiration photo from houzz. It’s nice to have photos like this to reference when construction is happening.


Check out the Shop Our House page to learn more about the products and finishes we selected for our outdoor living.  

#29 Paint Chip Art

Brent, August, and I went to the Art Fair on the Square here in Madison this summer and the last booth we stopped at was Lydia's. I am captivated by her unique art. She paints on paint chips - you know, the little swatches of color we use to select paint colors for our walls.

I had one wall left in my office that needed some art. I collaborated with Lydia providing her with pictures of the room and a pintrest page of things that I like. I requested a series of 3.

I absolutely love the paintings she did and how they incorporated into this gallery wall in my office. I purchased shadow boxes with linen backgrounds and white frames and the painting really look beautiful and feel so personal.


Her paint chip art is personal to me because of my profession but her subjects are so diverse reflecting holidays, animals, food, and much more! Check out Lydia's website, instagram page, and etsy shop. It's really awesome!

Click here to visit Lydia’s website!


#27 Window Treatments

We L.O.V.E. our new blinds. Really, we do!

There are 8 windows in the front of the house. We wanted all of the windows to have a similar treatment so the look is consistent.


We love the look of plantation shutters but we felt that the shutters would mostly be covering the windows with the vanes either open or closed. We wanted something that would open up the windows a bit more.

So, we went with Silouettes by Hunter Douglas. The wide vane creates the look of shutters but they roll up nicely into a head rail at the top of the window for a clear open option. They come in wide widths as well so we were able to do just one blind for each set of windows. 

The layering of the sheer fabric allows for light to come through but still allows for privacy.

Three reasons why we love THESE BLINDS:

The design allows each vane to magically float between two sheer panels. Creating a sculptural look.

The design allows each vane to magically float between two sheer panels. Creating a sculptural look.

Adjusting the vanes in different angles diffuses sunlight and creates ambient light throughout each room.

Adjusting the vanes in different angles diffuses sunlight and creates ambient light throughout each room.

Each shade has ultra-sheer panels that allow you to see outside clearly while still protecting you from UV rays.

Each shade has ultra-sheer panels that allow you to see outside clearly while still protecting you from UV rays.

Even easy to use for august

Home in the Heartland hunter douglas.jpg

Because there is a large built-in under our daughter's windows, it would've been a reach to get to a controller on the wall. We splurged a bit more and went with a remote controlled blind to allow for easy up and down. Her blind also has a second layer that blocks out most of the light so she has lots of flexibility in how much light comes in. It's been helpful during the summer when her bedtime is before nightfall. 

And now for the cream of the crop…

For the master bedroom and for my office, we installed Hunter Douglas Softtouch™ Motorization blinds. The quick touch of the wand signals the blind to automatically roll open or up. Yes, this feature is expensive but for us... it's SO worth it. We spent a lot of money on these windows and we want it to be easy peasy to see them during the daytime. We know that if we would've had to manually open and close 8 separate blinds every damn day (excuse my french)... it just wouldn't have happened.

We can pop into every room each morning and touch the wand or push the button on the control and we’re ready for the day.


H&R Carpets sells these blinds (and many other brands and styles). Visit hrcarpets.com, stop in, or call (608) 849-7482 to find out more!



Moving Day!

Whew... moving is hard work! We're getting more settled as the days go by and LOVING our new digs!


Construction is behind schedule so the contractors worked hard to get us a temporary occupancy permit. We sold our previous home and we needed to move! There is still some interior work to be done and lots of exterior work to be done. We appreciate not having to move to a temporary home though.

Here's a gallery of pictures taken by Liz Schaefer just as we're starting to move our things in.

A special thank you to all of our heavy lifters and packers - you guys rocked! 

We can't wait to share more pictures of our home after each room is completed. Our daughter settled right into the art room. It has one of the best views in the home!

#20 Exterior Details

We're getting down to adding the final details to the exterior. One of the many decisions we need to make yet involves the flower boxes planned for under the windows. Should the color be black or brown?

My designer instincts are leaning me towards repeating the brown from the garage doors in order to create balance. We are considering black as well because of the continuity it would have with the shutters. The brown can be brought in with a fence or landscape. We had some images made of the options to confirm.

A view of the final selections

A view of the final selections

And the winner is...

After looking things over, we decided to stick with the brown. We really like how the brown adds warmth to the white and black. It also adds a touch of rustic which we like very much. we can't wait to see that pink wall by the front door turn to stone in the next week or two.


Are you following us on Instagram?

If you're on Instagram, make sure you follow along on our journey! We're making some serious progress on the house and posting lots of new photos!

#13 Window Seat Love

Angie here. Time for me to open myself up - this post is all about me. Pretty self-serving, huh? But no, wait. this is a true confession - about my love of window seats!

You could say I'm o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d. While many of my design decisions are based on necessity, in the vein of simplicity that I often speak of, this is one of pure passion. Our home - my home has to, must have a window seat. I am so in, I can't wait to tell you all about it.


I love this quote by Morris and appreciate the "guidelines" he offers. Window seats are both beautiful and useful. Offering additional seating and storage while using potentially wasted floor space is so genius! When used in a dining room, it feels like a comfy picnic bench. When used in a living room, it can be a cozy reading fort. The architecture and woodwork are beautiful but also the lighting, pillows, cushion, and fun accessories really draw you in!


For more ideas, check out my Pinterest board


A few years back when we purchased our daughter's "big girl bed", we invested in a high quality twin mattress (similar to this mattress by Serta). We bought the mattress at our local furniture store and planned to use it for a window seat in her new room someday. We know a few sleep-over parties are in our future and we want to be prepared. (Always, planning ahead!)

As with many of our designs, I started with some inspiration. This image is something I tore out of a magazine a very long time ago, and have kept it ever since.

Inspiration for this nook from  Sarah Susanka's  book  The Not So Big House   http://bit.ly/notsobighouse

Inspiration for this nook from Sarah Susanka's book The Not So Big House http://bit.ly/notsobighouse

The design is so beautiful and what I love most about it is that the bookshelf is turned into the seat and not out into the room. I can't think of a better spot for all of our daughter's treasures.

After many different sketches and plans, the room unfortunately couldn't accommodate all that I had dreamt for the window seat, but I still love the final plan I came up with. Here's a rendering of the design.

Rendering of our daughter's room by Lindsey

Rendering of our daughter's room by Lindsey

So, what had to change? Why? Three things went into the placement and size of the window:

  • Bedroom location and size - her bedroom will be further down the hallway and away from the kitchen

  • Desire for a symmetrical front exterior view - the windows are in the middle front of the house

  • The mattress size - the twin was purchased and ready to be moved in

Once that was determined, a wall was placed to create a nook for the bed and also to allow for the bookshelf turned sideways. Some fun things were planned for that "hidden" ceiling between the soffit and window wall - the details were shaping up!  But, as I was planning the rest of the space, it felt "tight". A full-size bed would take up most of the remaining floor space.

There are usually trade-offs to be considered in design and weighing the pros and cons is an important step in editing. For this design, it is best to remove that wall and push back that space for a more spacious feeling. I'm still really excited for the revised design. The flower-inspired light fixture will still offer some whimsy. The cabinetry has a built-in dresser on the bottom AND room to display her library of books on the top.

Rendering of the original design by Laura S.

Rendering of the original design by Laura S.

While the renderings offer a representational view of design (oh, so valuable!), technical drawings are needed to communicate specifications to the cabinet maker.

After showing our daughter the blog post with her sketch of the submarine window, she confessed that she's embarrassed to have that drawing published. She said she didn't think it was a very good. I assured her it was - and then realized I'm a bit of a hypocrite.

I too feel self-conscious about sharing my drawings. So, here it is, world - a drawing I did of the cabinet plan for our daughter's room. 

Drawing by Yours Truly, Angie

Drawing by Yours Truly, Angie

Of course there are still many more details that will go into the overall room design and many items to purchase but the plan for the cabinetry and lighting is set. My daughter and I both are looking forward to seeing this room built & finished!

#11 Master Bathroom Layout

Like for most homes, the bathroom in our home needs to be a high-functioning room. It's where we typically begin and end our day. And I don't know about you, but our experience there can really set the tone for an efficient start to our day or a relaxing end.

While we LOVE designing for luxury, like most things in our home, we kept our master bathroom pretty simple and practical.

One thing we didn't want to miss out on is natural light. Initially, we put a window between the mirrors above the vanity and also a window above the stool (designer speak for toilet or commode).


After thinking through the placement of the latter window, we realized it would need blinds to provide a comfortable level of privacy. As a result, we decided to change the plan and raise both windows so that they would provide the natural light we desired at the height that doesn't require a blind.


The raised windows offers the function we need on the interior, however, the adjustment makes the exterior less attractive.


Landscaping can balance the look of the exterior allowing for raised windows and an attractive exterior elevation!

A sketch showing the raised windows

A sketch showing the raised windows

We're looking forward to having the open windows and natural light greet us in the morning as we begin our day!


Here's a sneak peak at some of the materials and fixtures we're considering for the master bathroom. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for more color and material selections.