Updated: Mar 31
I have dreamed about having a little play kitchen for the boys ever since I had them and I can't wait to share with you the whole process in the making and how my dream play kitchen became a reality... all for under $250 with toys and accessories! I knew I wanted something organic looking to compliment the natural woods in our home, and I didn't want it looking too feminine since the boys would be the ones playing with it. I also wanted it to have some color and display simple character in a really natural way that would look good and compliment other pieces in our home, so green is what I chose to go with. I decided to go with a muted green that would feel neutral enough but also have a pop of color. Although I have always loved Milton & Goose's Essential Play Kitchen, I chose to go the cost effective route and bought Ikea's DUKTIG Play Kitchen and I really enjoyed making my own customizations on it! After searching on Pinterest for some inspiration, I began planning all the details for the paint colors, hardware, and accessories and I could hardly wait for the long-awaited Ikea trip to finally pick up the play kitchen! (I didn't tell my 2 year old at the time about it because I wanted to surprise him, so he thought we were just going on a fun trip to play with all the Ikea toys). We finally packed up the truck and brought it home and I just couldn't wait to piece it all together along with all the other accessories I had purchased to go with it!
Once I was ready to start working on the kitchen, I began to prep our garage and had laid out all the Ikea pieces to plan how and what I was going to paint. I didn't want to paint the whole thing as I wanted to leave some of it natural wood and white, so I divided up the pieces according to what was going to be green. For paint color, I had used 1 quart of the Dunn Edwards Trinity Islands in a satin sheen and I absolutely love how it turned out! I had enough to paint 2 coats on both sides of the panels I was painting, as I wanted there to be consistency inside as well as outside of the play kitchen, since there's a little window where you can see inside the bottom portion. Since I only painted the bottom part of the kitchen, 1 quart was perfect and still had a little left for future touch-ups after some normal wear. Once the painting was done, I left them to dry overnight and meanwhile spray painted the faucet, hooks, and Ikea's original handles (that would be temporary) with Home Depot's Rust-oleum Metallic Champagne Bronze Protective Spray Paint and the sink with Rust-oleum Painter's Touch Gloss White General Purpose Spray Paint.
After I made sure everything was dry, my husband helped piece everything together and since my new wooden handles from Etsy wouldn't be arriving til later, I had decided to put on the original handles that came with the set. Once the handles arrived, the original ones I had painted gold had stuck to the green paint in some areas, so I admit that I still need to touch those areas up. Other than that, I love how the handles had softened the whole look, as I also added some extra wooden knobs from Amazon I had from Noah's dresser, and glued 4 of them on the front above the little door with the window as stove-top knobs. The actual stove top has buttons to make the stove-top light up but one item I may get in the future when the batteries run out is the wooden cooktop for the DUKTIG Play Kitchen from a little shop on Etsy. I think it would really compliment everything and make everything look seamless. One addition we made was instead of using the metal rod under the microwave, we added a wooden one to keep the wood consistent, leaving the faucet be the only metallic accessory on the whole kitchen. Another thing we decided to do was to mount the sink underneath to make it more permanent and not removable from the outside, which the original Ikea play kitchen allows. Knowing my active sons, it may one day take a beating and the paint might chip in a matter of time, but it will stay in-tact and will limit the overall mess.
Once everything was set up, I couldn't believe it and was so excited to set it all up with all the toys for the boys, it turned out better than expected and I was thrilled! We set it up one night for the morning, and my 2 year old quickly ran to it and began to check it all out, opening all the doors and excitedly getting acquainted. He always wanted a play kitchen and now his dream came true. He loved all the little accessories we paired with it like the wooden pots and pans kitchen set I found on Etsy, the white SOCKERÄRT jug from Ikea, the children's apron & chef hat set from H&M, the green toy kitchen mixer from Hearth & Hand in Target, and last the Rattan Storage Basket from H&M stored on top for all the other wooden kitchen toys. Inside, we have the Little Dutch Cutting Vegetables toy set from Scandiborn that my boys love to practice cutting and has been a fun motor skills activity for them both. Everything came together just perfectly and now I love to watch them play and even join in on the fun!
I love that the play kitchen gets to be apart of our main living areas next to our dining and living rooms, where we see it everyday. It's definitely a fun addition and a sight for sore eyes every time we walk by and is a little reminder to stop and enjoy the little things. For me, it's the daily mundane home routines that matter most, and I love watching my boys play "real life" and are learning that playing in the kitchen is fun and a natural part of life.
I hope you enjoyed this transformation and if you have found it insightful or inspiring, we would love it if you would share it with your friends and family! In the meantime, we want to wish you a very happy home+life which you love!