...because home doesn't happen overnight.
01.15.13 / DIY Fauxdenza


If you follow me on instagram @housetweaking you may have been witness to some behind-the-scenes footage of the photo shoot. Like the image above where HH is kindly staying up waaaaay past his regular bedtime to help me with a gallery wall. {More on the wall in another post.} You may also be wondering where in the world that floating credenza came from. As much as I would have liked it to, it didn’t just appear over night. HH built it after I sweetly suggested the idea whilst batting my eyelashes and ever so slightly bending over.


Hehe. Not really. He was on board the minute I showed him my inspiration. So, yeah, I canNOT take credit for this idea. I stole it. Technically, I guess I tweaked it a little by using different stain and hardware. Thanks Chris & Julia! And thank you worldwide interwebs. My house wouldn’t know what to do without you.

For a brief and satirical DIY overview, see below. For a more thorough and less cray-cray tutorial, see Chris & Julia.


DIY Fauxdenza

1 – Pick up three 24″W x 30″H AKURUM wall cabinets. Don’t forget the doors, hinges and soft-closing hinge dampers. The hinge dampers will rock your world. You will forget how to close regular doors and you will not like them. Also, pick up…

2 – …a coordinating suspension rail from IKEA. Actually, you have to ‘see an associate’ in the kitchen section for these items. Now you know. Then proceed, no, run to the checkouts. Do not even glance at those pillow covers. You have too many already. And forget about the as-is section. It’s all a bunch of crap. Cheap junk is still junk. Back at the ranch, build your cabinets and hang them via the rail system.

3 – Use Minwax’s special walnut to stain…

4 – …some furniture grade birch plywood that you: 1) have lying around in your woodworking shop {what are you? a lumberjack?} or 2) picked up at a home improvement store.

5 – Oh, but wait. Let’s back up. You’ve already cut-to-size and veneered your plywood using a self-adhesive veneer and iron. Go you. Then you sanded everything with a random orbital palm sander working from 180 to 220 grit. Then you conditioned the wood. THEN you stained the wood. Four times. Now seal as desired. {HH used a satin poly. Two coats. And sanded with steel wool in between coats.}

6 – Attach the finished top and sides using cabinet screws, screwed in from the inside of the cabinets. Finish it off with hardware of your choice.









Fauxdenza? Fo’ sho.’

My favorite part is sweeping under it without having to move anything.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Love the fauxdenza. What a great way to add more storage. I think this originated with Anna at door sixteen.
She eventually added a wood top too.


I love it!! Fabulous. I like the sneak peek of rug, too.

The sweeping is my favorite part, too!! It turned out so great, Dana. Thanks for the shout-out too! We were inspired by a line of fauxdenza doers before us. We’re in good company. :)


Fo’ shizzle, that’s one awesome fauxdenza! Looking forward to seeing your rooms in all their decorated glory. Beautiful rug too!

This is really nice!!!

I love the fauxdenza! Kara is right, it originated from Doorsixteen (at least the name did)! But I love how they are popping up everywhere. It’s definitely time to add one to my own home. And I love yours!


OMG I just realized I can do that in my kitchen above the baseboard heat! Ahh I’ve been looking for something to put on that wall. Originally I wanted to do Ikea’s Billie Bookcases but it won’t work. Now I’ve got ideas swirling around. It’s like the fog literally cleared in my head at this moment. Ha!

The first thing I thought about was how easy it would be to clean under that:)

Fauxdenza…FANTASTIC! Great job, love that you made it your own :) Kristin


Hold up! First, it looks fantastic! And I love that you can sweep right under it, too! Second, that is plywood with a veneer on it? Is that to make it lighter or could you just use regular wood and stain it and such?

Great job and under crunch time, even! ;-)


Crissy, we used plywood due to cost and availability. We needed a very large piece for the top because we didn’t want any seams. You probably won’t find a solid board that large at the big box stores. And if you were able to track one down, the price would most likely be pretty steep. Beyond those reasons, I’d much rather use a solid piece. Veneer can be tricky.


The veneer is just applied to the raw edges of the plywood so you don’t see the stripe-y layers {technical term} of the plywood. It gives it a more finished look. Everything else is stained plywood. But you could definitely use whatever wood you wanted!


Even though many DIYers have done it before, it was yours that turned my head! It seems to there are two must-haves for design-inspired bloggers: 1) laptop 2) fauxdenza.


You’re packing a lot of storage into that multi-purpose room! It’s stylish and practical and looks at home inthat space. (I like that mustdardy chevrony rug peeking out, too.)


I caught a glimpse of this in the last post and was hoping it would get a close-up! Love it, and it looks really expensive. So that is just the grain of the plywood showing on the sides and top? I had no idea plywood could look so good. Did you purchase birch veneer? The veneer (if I understand it’s only on the exposed edges) matches perfectly! Great job!


Furniture or cabinet grade plywood actually has a nice grain, I think. We just used veneer edging on the edges of the plywood where we cut it to give it a more polished look. Because it’s plywood, it has a stripe-y cross-section when cut. Adding veneer definitely isn’t necessary. I’ve seen some similar fauxdenzas with no veneer and they look pretty awesome. The veneer we used was maple – I linked to it above.

Beautiful piece. Looks perfect in that space. I also commend you for your ruthless Ikea strategy. If you lose concentration in that place you end up spending 4 or 5 times as long as you hoped.. it’s a black hole that few can pull themselves out of. Not even light can escape.


I’m so happy you did this! Maybe my parents were ahead of their time, but they took a credenza to the wall back in 1961. The floating cabinet was on the narrow wall at the end of the living room and a plate glass mirror was installed that was the full width of the cabinet. An added design element was fancy brass chain linking the cabinet visually to the ceiling, one length on each side. It gave the impression that the wood cabinet was suspended from above. I was little and to me the things stored inside were the most wonderful things in the house – my grandmother’s handmade crochetted tablecloths, my mother’s tablecloths – we used those for OCCASIONS. I’m sure your cabinet will create memories, too.

This is absolutely beautiful! I love it!!


Love it! I, too, have seen a few fauxdenza (hmmm, what’s the plural on that?) around the internet but this one might actually make me take the plunge. I think it’s the finished top that sold me – it looks amazing!


Wow- that is seriously gorgeous!! And I’m realizing I have the perfect wall for one…

I’d love to see a step-by-step tutorial of the sanding/conditioning/staining/sealing process if you ever feel inspired to do one. :-)


I get such pleasure out of reading your little blog! You are very inspiring even though my house looks nothing like yours. Last night I was perusing pinterest which took me to your old house and I went through your little tour. It made me curious though… I started reading I think shortly after you became prego with your third & you were living in your apartment. I know you’ve mentioned the whole downsizing idea (which to me sounds uber appealing) but what lead you to that decision? I feel like like you had so much stuff previously…pictures, and decor especially. What did you do with all of it? How do you feel about your decision now? How has your home style changed/evolved?


Holy crap, that’s awesome. It needs to come live in my entry-way, for reals. Is it deep enough to hold shoes?


I love the fauxdenza, but what I really love is that rug I see in the pics. Where did you get it?


Love it!!! Wish I had an HH to build one for me! That room is coming along so nicely!

I’ve never heard of fauxdenza before, but I’m glad I stopped by here to learn about it. Now I think I want it for my kitchen!


Ok, I can mostly agree with you about the As-Is section, but did you know they have hinges and all the other metal crap in a big bin? I stalked that bin over three different visits to hoard the cabinet hinges and saved quite a bit. I installed some wall cabinets in my studio, but since I was asked to keep my spending for that room to a minimum I made my own doors and scavenged for hinges. If you know exactly what your looking for its a good option.

Nikki Kelly @ the ambitious procrastinator


Nice job! I’ve had the fauxdenza posted on The Brick House site bookmarked forever, and yours really reminds me of a variation on that look. (Morgan also has tips for dealing with uneven walls, etc.: http://www.the-brick-house.com/2011/08/fauxdenza/ ). And I agree with others that the rug is a beauty.


Each cabinet inside is about 11.5″ deep and 22″ wide. The depth of the entire unit is about 13″.


SO COOL DANA! Is the finish on your cabinet knobs soft brass? also I cant remember if I asked this already (so please forgive me if its a repeat question) what is the name of the paint color you went with in the boys room?


That thing is AWESOME Dana!!! Great job!


Sweet Mother of God. I want one. I want one so badly it’s ridiculous. It’s all I am going to talk about for days.

I wish I didn’t live in a tiny apartment with no where to put one. Time to buy a house?

wow this is AWESOME! time to find myself an HH of my own :)


Our knobs are the satin nickel finish although I like the soft brass very much! The boys’ bedroom is now painted Lowe’s dry riverbed. It was actually the color of the more formal living room in our previous house.


LOVE the floating credenza!! You guys are an amazing team and I am really excited for you about the photo shoot and proud that you have a bathroom named after you. Maybe one day, I can have ‘The Dana’ in my house!! :]


It turned out fantastic…your HH loves you :) And the gallery wall above it turned out great, too. I am looking forward to seeing the photos from the shoot!!


Does it feel dark in their room with dry riverbed? or do you love it?


HH is seriously talented!!


The boys requested that their room feel like a ‘hideout’ – their exact words. Since their room faces south and receives a good amount of natural light all day, it works. I loved the color in our previous house so it was an easy pick. I am using a lot of white with it to keep it from feeling like a cave – not that the boys would mind. But I would.


Your house is coming together so great! I love the simplicity and the details. Someday I hope to have a house as adorable as yours, and my own HH would be helpful as well :)


I was going to add the same thing! :)


Looks great! You have all kinds of storage going on in that room! And for someone who doesn’t
keep stuff!


Thanks so much for the reply and again, great job!


That is gorgeous. I’m totally bookmarking that for future plans.


I’m absolutely obsessed. I’ve found like 3 places in my house I could do this and I can’t choose! Too bad I was just at ikea too :( it’s quite the trip for us. I love the combo of the lacquer white and the rich wood. I can’t believe it’s plywood. Amazing. You’re making me fall hard for modern even though I never thought I would. You make it so warm!

Any idea on how much this cost total?


Less than $400.


Loved it on Chris Loves Julia, and love it here too! That room of yours looks like it’s really coming together! Can’t wait to see that photo gallery up :)


Hi Dana! Absolutely love your house and the cabinet. I am really curious about the gallery-project with the frames too. Are you planning to post a story about it sometime on the blog ? Keep up the good work!

How beautiful! I hope you’ve submitted this to IKEA Hackers! (http://www.ikeahackers.net)


Some time ago, I needed to buy a building for my firm but I didn’t have enough money and could not purchase something. Thank heaven my father suggested to get the loans from trustworthy creditors. So, I acted so and used to be happy with my college loan.



Great Project! did you also stain the veneer with the same wood finish?

Thank you in advance!


We used an unfinished veneer and stained it to match the wood wrap.


Thank you very for your answer! I really appreciate. That is really helpful as I’m just in the process of doing the exact same project (in a much smaller piece).

Last question, do you have any recommendations for the materials you mentionned in that part:

“Then you conditioned the wood. THEN you stained the wood. Four times. Now seal as desired. {HH used a satin poly. Two coats. And sanded with steel wool in between coats.”

– Conditionner?
– Satin Poly

I love the result you get with birch plywood and I would love to try to do the same finish!

Thank you in advance for your help.


We used Minwax products.


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