#38 The 7 Principles of Interior Design

Sharing the 7 Principles of Interior Design

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#37 Bedding Tips

Today we want to share with you two quick and easy ways to spruce up your bedroom, without spending a fortune. Our simple tips will not only make your bedroom look better, your bed making ritual will be a breeze from now on. If you aren’t bed-making people now (we won’t judge) you might even start after you realize how effortless the process becomes.


Tip #1: An extra duvet or comforter.

A bed is inevitably going to be the focal point of the bedroom, so it is crucial that looks as pretty as it is functional.  One of the most simple, yet amazing, ways you can transform your bedroom is by adding a 2nd duvet or comforter.  The top duvet can come in handy on chilly winter nights, or can be folded over at the foot of the bed when it is not needed. It really is one of the most perfect bedroom accessories.

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 Tip #2: A structured row of pillows

Pillows are essential in order to create volume and interest on the bed, even in the most minimalist spaces. They add dimension and structure along the headboard and keep the bed looking organized (assuming you will keep them straightened). At night, you can toss the decorative pillows in an over-sized floor basket or stack them on a bench at the foot of the bed.

We wanted to keep our bedding really simple in our Master Bedroom, so we wouldn’t dread making the bed every morning. We also wanted our bed to look well-designed and substantial enough so that it balanced the weight of the art, mirrors, and headboard. We used two down comforters to create the necessary volume, and we ended up with an easy to make bed. Now we can just pull up the top comforter every morning (we fold it over at the foot of the bed at night) and straighten up the pillows. Viola!

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For our daughter’s room, we purchased a quilt from Pottery Barn Kids. With the quilt over her sheets, I noticed that her bed just looked flat. It didn’t have the same inviting feel that our bed had. I added a down comforter under the quilt and it made a HUGE difference. The difference is more noticeable in person but here are some “before + after” pictures.

Without the down comforter, the bed looks flat and uninviting

Without the down comforter, the bed looks flat and uninviting

Adding a down comforter under the quilt makes a huge difference

Adding a down comforter under the quilt makes a huge difference

Having an additional blanket will help keep her quilt looking nice for a longer period of time. Similar to our bed, I kept the decorative pillows to a minimum so making it in the morning is easy-peasy.

#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!

#34 Wood Flooring Choice

We’ve been in our home for 8 months now. Many of our visitors have commented on how surprised they are not to see scratches in our wood floor. We’re also impressed with how it’s holding up. Check it out!

This flooring comes with the stain and finish (prefinished) already on it. It gets installed early in the finish carpentry phase of building. The builder covers the floor well and takes precautions to protect the new flooring but it’s still a construction zone. Even with all of that work being done on the floor and even with our active 7 year daughter and our 7 year old yellow lab, the scratches are really minimal.

Our wood floor is red oak. It is made by Lauzon Flooring and it’s part of their Ambiance collection. Our specific style is called Sincero. Besides the beauty and durability, this floor has an added health benefit. The technology is called pure genius. For our readers that are local, you can purchase it at H&R Carpets Inc in Waunakee. Here’s a previous post describing the technology of this smart floor.

We had the hardwood installed in the kitchen, hallway, living room, art room, dining room, and the master bedroom. While we sometimes miss the cozy feel of carpet in the living room, we enjoy how the rooms flow from one to the other instead of being broken up by a change in flooring. With that said, if it’s play time with our daughter, we head down to the basement for sure. There are yards and yards of soft and cozy carpet down there!

#33 Tech to simplify our day

Automated Faucets

1. We automated the faucets with this motion or touch technology from Delta Faucets. It keeps the countertops clean from dripping hands and it keeps faucets clean from dirty fingers. Oh, and it makes the necessary yet mundane things like washing hands go faster. It even has an LED light that indicates the water temperature. We have these faucets in the main bathroom, the master bathroom, and in the kitchen.

Automated Blinds

2. We automated the blinds with PowerView and SoftTouch technology from Hunter Douglas. With a quick tap on the wand or a click on the remote, the blind moves in place while you walk away. Once again, a twice-daily task is faster making our day more efficient and our outlook (literally) sunnier.

Automated Garbage Bin

3. We automated the garbage cabinet with servo drive technology from Blum. With a gentle push on the handle or the door, the garbage pops out at me. Our first thought was to keep the cabinet in good shape but having the ability to open this cabinet hands free is awesome (like when I just cracked an egg)! It’s another small way to make daily tasks more efficient.

Automated Lighting

4. We automated the lighting with motion sensors. More often than not, my hands are full when I'm entering certain rooms like the mud room or the laundry room. A motion sensor removes the burden of stumbling through a dark room or having to drop everything to flip a switch. Every time I enter the laundry room with a full basket of clothes in my hand, I’m so grateful for that sensor. Also, coming in from the garage with my arms loaded with my work gear and the mail, I’m so grateful for that sensor. We used the Lutron brand in our home which also has some great additional features that allows us to control some of the dimmers with an app on our phone.

All of these features cost a bit more but daily life is so much more efficient! Keep in mind that many of the features involved some planning and a lot of help from our electrician. We can still both recall our frozen feet and hands when doing the electrical walk through very early on in the building process. Thinking through these details, however, has proven to be so WORTH IT!

#32 Backyard Views

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Brent is bundled up tight in a blanket lined chore coat with insulated leather gloves. It’s a beautiful crisp late fall morning after a fresh blanket of snow has fallen. He’s riding a trusted companion across a field while double checking the fence lines for any issues that might have occurred during the summer. He’s listening to the honking of the V's of geese flying south for the winter. In the distanance, cattle are mooing their displeasure to make sure that you know hay stores have dwindled and it's time to replenish them with another round bale. Sounds like a perfect story from a ranch just outside Bozeman Montana or.... 100 yds from Home in the Heartland?

Like some of you know, the property we purchased is within whistling distance from where Brent keeps his horse. He is happy to prove to this to our visitors by standing on the screen porch and erupting with a high pitched whistle to see the ears on his horse perk up on the pasture just north of our property line. Even more proof is the ability, when the last of the farmers crops have been brought in for the year, to ride out in the middle of the field across the back windows of our house. Picturesque and another reason we love our "Home in the Heartland."