For at least 2 months leading up to Christmas I had been eating, sleeping & breathing play kitchens. I knew around Fox's 1st birthday last September that I wanted to get him a kitchen for Christmas. He loves opening & closing all of our cabinets/drawers and is obsessed with taking things out/putting things away. If only he liked to put his actual mess away.
When I told my husband we were getting Fox a play kitchen he said, "you mean a tool bench?" How sexist. Only kidding, but I see his point. I guess play kitchens are more for little girls, but let's be serious, this gift is as much for me as it is for him. We play together a LOT. I don't want to play with a tool bench (BORING). Plus, at this age, he is much more into opening doors and taking things out than he is hammering a nail. Also, my dad, his grandpa, is a chef, so come on! It's never too early to teach them how to cook (because I still can't). Anyways, my point is, next year honey (though Chip & Jo Jo's tool bench was adorbs & hard to pass up).
OK SO. I did a ton of research. I mean I spent far too much time picking which play kitchen I liked--eh hem-- Fox would like the best. I had heard about the IKEA play kitchen hack but there are just so many play kitchen options to choose from these days, I had to check them all out. I thought this one was SO cute, but it didn't have great reviews. But that farmhouse sink!? Come on. I came to find out that this is actually a pretty good knock off of the uber expensive Pottery Barn play kitchen. Pottery Barn has a lot of amazing options, but I could just never spend that kind of money on a toy. However, their accessories are quite amazing. I mean, they make the most adorable wooden espresso machine- omg. And a tiny Le Creuset !! Ok enough on that, I could go on and on about my obsession for tiny things, but I am getting completely off topic.
ANYWAYS...after all of my research, I kept coming back to the IKEA DUKTIG kitchen. The only con I could find was that it didn't have a fridge. After realizing that I could totally personalize this sucker INCLUDING making a mini Smeg fridge (I DIE!!!!) to go with it, I decided this was a no brainer.
Now, I have to tell the truth. I read so many different blog posts on how easy this project was. I don't mean to toot my own horn or anything but I am the queen of DIY-ing. I thought this project would be a walk in the park. It was not. I mean I guess looking back on it now, it was kind of easy, but I just made it seriously challenging for myself. I am an "instant gratification" kinda gal & this was not instant. I love spray paint because it changes something so fast. NOT IN THIS CASE. It just took so much time to let each piece dry before flipping it over, etc. I lost so many brain cells in this process and spent days on end spray painting. But seriously, it was not that hard of a project, it was just more time consuming than I expected it to be.
-Below, I will break the entire process down for you so you can decide if this is something you are up for taking on!-
Supplies you will need:
1. DUKTIG Play Kitchen: $99 (get this for $70 if your an IKEA family member!)
2. Spray Paint: Approx $40-- I did white for the top cabinets, grey for the bottom cabinets & gold for the hardware. **Disclaimer: I changed the spray paint about 3 times before I actually ended up with the finished product that I liked. I used a Primer on the hardware (which I don't think was necessary) & I originally bought a white paint that didn't cover well. I also originally used this grey/blue chalk paint on the bottom cabinets but hated the color it turned out. I did the grey on top and I LOVE the finished product. I spent way too much time and money on the damn spray paint BUT I am very happy with the way it turned out, so, hindsight.
3. Hardware: $9.99 for 5 pack (only need 3)
4. Paint Tape: $5.63
5. Chalkboard Paint: $21
6. Foam Roller Brush: $6.27
7. Balsa Wood: $12.60
8. Motion Sensor Lights (oven, microwave): $12.99/4 pack
9. Oven Knobs: $7.52/5 pack
**Total- under $200 for the kitchen of my (HIS) dreams!
1. Take everything out of the box & separate into piles. I found it easiest to separate the pieces to the top half of the kitchen from the bottom half, as well as setting aside the hardware. This gave me my 3 different sections to spray paint.
2. Spray the hardware (sink, handles, kitchen rod/hooks, stove & legs) with primer if you choose, and then top with spray paint color of your choice. Be sure to cover the entire stove top with paint tape.
3. I put together the bottom half of the kitchen (minus the doors) per the instructions. I then spray painted the entire bottom half as well as the doors. Be sure to use the paint tape and cover the oven window completely.
4. I did NOT put together the top half because you are supposed to put the rod in as you go (which was already spray painted gold), so I ended up painting the top half of the kitchen in pieces. Again, be sure to cover the entire microwave door with paint tape.
5. Put together the top half of the kitchen and attach to the bottom half per instructions.
6. Make a rectangle with the paint tape and roll on chalkboard paint.
7. Cut balsa wood (very soft, I actually just broke them) to length of chalkboard and glue on.
8. Stick motion sensor lights in the top of oven (which is actually on the bottom of the stove range) and the top of the microwave.
Now that I am done and Fox received his kitchen I am SO happy with the results. He loves it, I love it & we spend SO much time playing with it. His favorite thing is turning on and off the stove burners and saying "hot". He also LOVES the accessories his Nana & Aunties got him for Christmas (especially the salad bowl which has 97238940 pieces!).
I like that this "toy" can sit in his playroom and not look like an eyesore. I know that it will be used for years to come by all of our children & I love that both my hubs & I spent so much time making it our own (because that's our favorite thing to do)!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAMSEY BAKER