When your husband won’t let you renovate your real kitchen, what do you do? The next best thing, of course! Just kidding. I haven’t asked J about a kitchen reno…yet. 😉
We’ve been talking about getting Liam a play kitchen for quite some time. J’s parents have one at their house and Liam is drawn to it every time we visit. I wasn’t exactly sure which one to purchase, so I did some extensive research (and spent lots of time browsing on Pinterest) to see what was out there. I learned quickly what I didn’t want: a kitchen primarily made of cheap plastic, bright colors, anything too frilly or something that would take up too much floor space in our home. After looking at all our options, we decided to go with either completely building a kitchen from scratch out of a couple of old cabinets, or overhauling an existing kitchen. J ran a few numbers and we figured that the costs would end up being similar after purchasing everything but the time commitment would be much less if we did the latter. I looked at a number of other IKEA play kitchen makeovers and pieced together a picture of what I wanted ours too look like. We left Liam with a babysitter while we made the 4-hour round trip to our closest IKEA to pick up their Duktig play kitchen. Added some paint and a little elbow grease and here’s what we ended up with. Isn’t she gorgeous?
Here’s a quick rundown of what we did. To see the original Duktig IKEA kitchen, assembled unaltered, you can find it here.
We sanded down the countertop, stained it with wood stain (special walnut color) and finished it with a coat of polyurethane (semi-gloss). We also painted any natural wood-colored pieces with white spray paint.
We used gold spray paint to cover all of the plastic pieces, including the sink and faucet, the edging around the stove, the adjustable kitchen feet, and the bar and hooks underneath the top section.
J thought it was a little overkill, but I found these drawer pulls to replace the plastic ones that came with the kitchen. We painted them gold also before installing them. I really think they give more authenticity to the kitchen’s more sophisticated look.
And we added these lights underneath the top kitchen section and a third light inside the oven. (Side note: it didn’t take long for Liam to figure out how to remove the lights to expose the batteries, so we removed them for now. Toddlers and batteries don’t exactly mix well).
I knew that I wanted some sort of backsplash, so we also bought some frosted glass subway tiles to use. J rigged up an extra board behind the kitchen, measured and installed the tiles onto it. Just like the real deal.
It’s everything that I’d hoped. Gender-neutral, sophisticated and fairly realistic. Liam loves it and so do we! He bakes us cookies, brings us tea and makes the craziest meal combinations on the stove. Good thing we only have to pretend to eat them. What do you think? Have you designed or made-over a play kitchen yourself? I’d love to hear about it!