We’ve been itching to finish out the backyard since we moved in two years ago. During our first summer in #thefauxhouse, we were committed to finishing the inside of the house, leaving no resources for the outside. The next summer, we hired someone to create a backyard plan that we would then execute. We realized two things—we needed to cut down and trim a couple trees. (I begged our builder to keep as many as possible during the build.) We also realized that the backyard we wanted was well above our expertise level, which is extremely low. So, we focused on the tree situation and waited. Here were are now. It’s our third summer in the house, and the backyard is happening (and nearly done)! If you follow my Instagram stories, this is old news.  Read more

If I ever share another home DIY, you can trust that it’s easy and foolproof. Because Kev and I are the least handy people on planet earth. Now, about this DIY mirror frame. A couple days before moving into the house, I happened to stop by while they were glueing mirrors to the walls of the bathrooms. The mirrors! Did we talk about the mirrors?! Our lack of budget by that point probably left no room for talking about mirrors. But there they were. Glued to the wall. Frameless and unfinished. Read more

Hygge | @thefauxmartha

I love Minnesota winters with all of my being. I jump at the first snowfall and mourn the last. The snow, the snow blowing, the cold air hitting my lungs, the evergreens, the quietness, the sledding—they make my heart beat. But with this beloved season comes the shortest days, the greyest afternoons, the darkest evenings, and the coldest cold. Whether you love this season or not, winter can always use a touch of this Danish thing called hygge (hoo-ga or hue-ga). (Scroll to the end of the post for a giveaway.) Read more

Minimal Cozy Christmas | @thefauxmartha

After posting the fireplace reveal, I’ve gotten a couple of emails and comments with the same question—how will you decorate for Christmas? With plenty of green garland, vintage red, buffalo print, and not much else. As you well know by now, I’m a minimalist by nature. The best thing about garland and real trees—they disappear (get recycled) after the holidays. This is coming from the girl who toted a fake tree to 3 states purchased from Target at 75% off in college. Every apartment we rented had to have room for that human-sized box. Sorry Kev. Read more

Cozy Modern Living Room | @thefauxmartha

Before you dive deep into this post, be sure to check out the before and the during. This room has come a very long way. We’re officially in love with it. So much so, I’m having a really hard time peeling myself off the couch and away from the lure of the flame. Quick recap: We nixed the fireplace during the build to stay on budget, but the room (and the first floor for that matter) really needed the structure of the fireplace to look finished. And during the winter, this room felt like a chilly fall day. All the heat ran straight up the stairs. So, we bumped it to the top of the to-do list. (Sources at the bottom of the post.) Read more

Cozy Modern Fireplace | @thefauxmartha

In the last month of construction, we nixed the fireplace in the living room to stay on budget. So the room, the first room you see when you walk into the house, looked like an afterthought. Or maybe it looked more like no thought. The picture above doesn’t do our random assortment of furniture justice, as we had already started clearing stuff out when I got this shot. But that TV stand, the one I rolled home from the alleys of Chicago, was the biggest eyesore. Maybe because I painted it bright light blue when we moved to Connecticut. Read more

A Night In | @thefauxmartha

Well this looks different, huh? Night lights. Chiaroscuro. A rare photo of me and Kev. I’m excited to be a part of ‘A Night In’, hosted by two of my favorites, Yellow Brick Home and Chris Loves Julia, and sponsored by Rejuvenation. (Thanks for having me!) They’ve invited a flurry of bloggers to share their nighttime ritual—like what happens after that beloved natural light disappears. Mine comes with a story and a solicitation. Help. Read more

Verona Range + Giveaway | @thefauxmartha

Before Kev and I were engaged 9 years ago, I told him no fancy rings. Not that we had any money for fancy. One simple ring was more than sufficient. But one day, when we were older and more settled, I told him I wanted 4 (or more) blue rings. I was asking for a range. Stainless steel. Heavy grates. Fiery hot gas. I grew up in a home with electric bullseye burners eventually replaced by a glass top, but I knew from watching Ina and Martha, the blue flames were necessary. (See below for giveaway.)  Read more