Fauxdenza in the Dining Room

We’d been going back and forth on an additional furniture piece in the dining room for – oh? – months. Originally, we thought for sure we’d fill the wall between the kitchen and bathroom with something vintage. We’d surely stumble upon something at one of our summer flea adventures! When that didn’t happen, we turned to Craigslist, Chairish and Krrb, but everything was very, very MCM, and while we’re totally okay with that, we didn’t want another block of wood in our already wood-heavy room.

We’ve also been toying with kitchen renovation plans (more on that once we know more ourselves!), and a part of those plans included space for something “old” in there, which freed up our need to have something antique in the dining room, too! Oddly enough, it was a bit of a relief (sometimes we can be a bit hard on ourselves to upcycle), and our backup plan was always to go the fauxdenza route. And so, just as we have in the past, fauxdenza we did!


Our goals for the floating credenza were what you’d expect: extra storage is always a plus, freeing up kitchen cabinet space is even better, and having a landing zone for eats and drinks when friends are over is nice!

It had been a while since we last made a fauxdenza, and we were a little surprised that the price point felt a bit higher than it had in the past. We picked up our supplies from Ikea – two 24″ Akurum top cabinets and two 24″ Abstrakt doors in high gloss white – and our total (including soft close hinges and shelves) came to $300. In any case, for such clean design and high function (this guy is a workhorse for storage!), it felt worth it. But! On it’s own (and especially against our soft wall color), the unit lacks contrast and the top reveals exposed screws:


The last time, we picked up a slab of wood from a local lumber yard to conceal the less-than-attractive top and sides, but to save a little extra money this time, we decided to work with 15″ width project panels. We cut them down to size on our table saw (although a circular saw and a steady hand could also do the trick), and I used a combination of Jacobean and Weathered Oak wood stains to get a color we liked. Three coats of satin Polycrylic finished it up! Note: Because the top of the finished credenza is 13″ deep, specialty lumber, project panels or even plywood boards are your best bet.


We ran into a few challenges with our uneven drywall, but a few hidden notches in the wood allowed everything to match up nice, and we used wood screws from the inside of the cabinets to secure the wood in place. Our massive mirror finally found a home above, bouncing natural daylight around the room as it was always meant to do! At first we were a little worried that it might’ve been too tall for the space, but it’s growing on us.


We debated no door pulls at all to keep things sleek, which would mean you’d open the cabinets from the bottom to get a grip on the door. In the end, you can see we obviously nixed that idea, having picked up these bin pulls from Rejuvenation (during a 30% off sale, yes!), and OMG! It was love at first sight!


To be completely honest, we’re not 100% thrilled with how the project boards took the stain, but it’s not bad either. I guess I would say that it’s not what we expected? Despite my sanding, there were a few rough areas that wouldn’t even out, leaving a few questionable spotty areas. For lack of a better word, it sort of reads as somewhat farmhouse chic, which isn’t exactly the look we were going for – but really, we’re okay with it.

dining-fauxdenza-09dining-fauxdenza-12The fauxdenza is currently stashing extra vases, lesser used kitchen items (gravy boats and tea cups, anyone?) and cookbooks – and our peacock on top is the magical jar of puppy treats. Lining the wall to the left of the photo above is a mess of frames waiting to go up, and then maybe one day we’ll decide on a dining room rug.

This big, main room? It’s getting there! (Well, if only we could be content with the wall color. And the too-low end table. And!)

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  • Jen11.12.14 - 6:26 AM

    This is beautiful! What is the paint colour you used in this room?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.12.14 - 7:14 AM

      Thanks, Jen! It’s called Pensive Sky by Behr – although we’re not quite sold on it ourselves…ReplyCancel

  • patty blaettler11.12.14 - 7:24 AM
  • Jackie11.12.14 - 8:53 AM

    LOVE IT! …and that peacock! So cute!ReplyCancel

  • susan11.12.14 - 8:56 AM

    fauxdenza… love it! the dark wood frame really makes it stand out and the door pulls are perfect. that mirror is huge, but it mimics your tall windows and fits right in.
    another great project, thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Heather11.12.14 - 9:21 AM

    That last shot…looking soooo good! The mirror is glorious and no way is it to high!ReplyCancel

  • jenn aka the picky girl11.12.14 - 9:23 AM

    This looks awesome! But still, those dining room chairs…

    I’d be in heaven if ANY of the Craigslist or other options in my area had some MCM. Nope. Nada.ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.12.14 - 9:34 AM

      Oh, man. Maybe we could swap some Craigslist listings, ha! These kids in Chicago are selling nothing BUT MCM.ReplyCancel

  • ten11.12.14 - 9:33 AM

    Wow, those wood panels really add a lot to the plain white! Makes it feel more custom and pulls it in with the other wood elements of the room. Nicely done! :)ReplyCancel

  • Amy11.12.14 - 9:34 AM

    Perhaps window treatments would help you like your wall color a bit more?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.12.14 - 9:39 AM

      The more we live with the color, the more it feels a little too cold. Perhaps Pensive Sky would’ve been better off in a bathroom or kitchen? I see cans of paint in our future… (now to find the time to do it!)ReplyCancel

      • Anna11.14.14 - 3:25 AM

        Such a great project, absolutely love it – along with pretty much everything in your house. Your entry and stairs are to die for, for example. Can’t wait see what happens in the kitchen. But I’m with you on the paint color, same thing happened to me with what I thought was just a good solid white but turned out to be cool when it went on the walls. Drove me batty. I was so happy when I finally repainted so I suggest doing it sooner rather than later. Yeah, probably not what you wanted to hear! :)ReplyCancel

        • Kim11.14.14 - 8:36 AM

          Thanks, Anna! And I know you’re right… ugh! But I think it’s more like, “not what Scott wanted to hear!” ;)ReplyCancel

  • emily @ go haus go11.12.14 - 9:57 AM

    Your stamina on your home projects is absolutely amazing. And inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • jillian11.12.14 - 10:03 AM

    loving this look! question for you (or other bloggers): what is the name of the flowers on your dining room table? and where can i buy them? i love them! thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.12.14 - 10:18 AM

      They’re called Craspedia, aka billy buttons or billy balls. You can buy them fresh from most flower shops (at least here in Chicago) OR buy them dried on Etsy. The ones in the photos are dried, and they last a long, long (LONG!) time.ReplyCancel

  • Laura11.12.14 - 10:06 AM

    Looks great! I go back and forth on the mirror height, I think the only reason it might look too tall is that it’s taller than the closet door (closet door? pantry? can’t remember!) it’s next to. I wonder how it would look the long way? Either way, the wood frame really pulls it all together :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.12.14 - 10:16 AM

      Thanks, Laura! Yeah, that was our thought too (it’s a bathroom door). If we put it horizontally, it’s longer than the fauxdenza, so that doesn’t work, unfortunately. But it’s been up for 2 days now, and I think it’s growing on us! If not, we can always change it up.ReplyCancel

  • Jane11.12.14 - 12:16 PM

    I love how this looks! I also love the shallower depth of it.

    FYI – Every time I have tried the Jacobean stain, I have gotten disappointing and uneven results. Even when I used wood conditioner, etc. I think it’s the formulation of that one.ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.12.14 - 12:21 PM

      Oh, weird and good to know! We’ve used it in the past with good results, so that’s what led us to believe it was the project boards. Something to keep in mind though.ReplyCancel

  • Elisa11.12.14 - 12:47 PM

    Love it! We “built” one in our foyer, too – one of my favorite pieces in the house. So nice to look at and yet, so stinkin’ functional.ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design11.12.14 - 8:06 PM

    So So awesome. It’s perfectReplyCancel

  • Tina Slocum11.12.14 - 11:21 PM

    Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Trude11.13.14 - 11:05 AM

    It looks great! Thanks for the tip about project boards. I’ve been planning on putting up something similar as a entry landing spot when I move, maybe using the Ikea pull out shoe storage bins?ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.13.14 - 11:10 AM

      Those shoe storage bins are so shallow, that you can get away with a 1×8 (or maybe even a 1×6) for about $4! Plus, I think those would take stain better than the project boards.ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca G11.13.14 - 11:29 AM

    Always love a good fauxdenza and this doesn’t disappoint!
    Did you ever consider having wood on the bottom too? That way it looks “framed” as well? Just a thought!ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.13.14 - 11:44 AM

      Oh, yes! Scott actually threw that idea out there, but the more we thought about it, it sort of felt a little too retro that way. If that makes sense? A little too perfect, maybe? I think that’s definitely a good idea and could work in some settings for sure!ReplyCancel

  • Monika11.16.14 - 10:07 AM

    Love the waterfall look over IKEA cabinets. It’s definitely looks upscale and groovy in the dining room. Another well done job, Kim and Scott!ReplyCancel

  • Nate11.16.14 - 7:09 PM

    This looks great! Thanks for posting!! Question about your Ikea purchase, if you wouldn’t mind. What are the dimensions of the Akurum cabinets that you’re purchased? 24×24? 24×30? And for the Abstrakt doors, did you guys end up purchasing them separately from the cabinets (leaving you with an extra set of doors) or were you able to purchase them as a set? At least when I look on Ikea online there doesn’t seem to be an option for a single piece door, just two piece doors. Singles are sold separately, but at $162 a piece. Thanks for any information you might have! I appreciate it.ReplyCancel

    • Kim11.17.14 - 9:17 AM

      Sure! We purchased 2 of the base cabinets in 24×24, and we chose to get 2 single 24″ doors – there are many other options available though: 2 sets of double doors, drawers, etc. I really think that seeing the options in person at an Ikea if that’s possible is the BEST way, as looking online at their cabinetry can get confusing. Ikea prices things a little funny, too. For example, our base cabinets were about $25 each (from what I can remember), and the doors were sold as $117 each! The big price tag comes in the door finish you choose… I believe the standard matte “Ikea white” doors were much less expensive. The glossy white was worth the the step up in price, we think.ReplyCancel

      • Nate11.17.14 - 10:41 AM

        Awesome, that is helpful and clarifying! And good tip, too, about going into a store as I think they don’t have all options listed online, which added to the confusion. Anyway, thanks a bunch!ReplyCancel

  • Michael11.16.14 - 11:52 PM

    Very nice joinery furniture you have there, especially the table and chairs. Not only they influence the overall beauty of the space, they also look sturdy and durable. The white finish is just the right way to blend with the design. Two thumbs for a beautiful interior design.ReplyCancel

  • Krista11.20.14 - 6:21 AM

    Maybe if you aren’t sold on the finish you could go almost black to match the hardware? Might be too contrast-y with the waterfall return but could be worth a photoshop.
    From the angle of the photo I don’t mind the height of the side table – your couch has that nice curving arm and it looks good with some space around it and the height seems to work well with the chair.
    The room is looking good!ReplyCancel

  • […] came to mind. I’ve seen many floating credenzas in the blogosphere (like this one & this one), and I figured it just might be a good bet for our guest room space. Many of the ones I saw used […]ReplyCancel


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