I hate talking about money and putting a price tag on something. But I’m going there today with the goal of saving someone money in the long run. Next to hanging pictures on the wall, choosing a rug might be one of the biggest home design conundrums. There are so many variables to consider—from size to pattern to foot traffic and price tag. Before moving in, we were advised to invest in a quality rug for our living room. With everything else we needed to buy for the house at the time, investing properly in a living room rug was impossible. 3 rugs later. They were right. Read more

Cozy Minimal entryway

I almost titled this post “Don’t Forget the Entryway.” It’s that short room at the start of the house that often gets overlooked, especially when it’s not needed as much in the summer, and especially when square footage is at a premium. But come winter time, it’s the space that welcomes your guests, gives them a place to hang their coats, a bench to take off their boots, and a tray to set them. Our builder was so deliberate about designing the house not only for us, but for our guests too. I’ve come to appreciate that immensely. I love that the entryway is both minimal yet functional (inspired by this pin and this pin). But it took teaming up with Studio McGee to make it cozy. Read more

The backyard, at least this section of it, is done! We’ve officially moved ourselves back here until winter hits. We’ve also committed ourselves to learning how to cook dinners in a wood fired pizza oven. More on that coming soon. In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to #thebackofthefauxhouse. It’s so cozy back here. Before we get too far into this post, be sure to check out the plans for our Minnesota Modern Backyard from a couple posts back, including details about that matte black fence. It’s come a mighty long way. See below for proof. Read more

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

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