Picking the kitchen
I found that there was an array of play kitchens on offer but after some research I decided to select the IKEA Dutik kitchen. Price was definitely a factor in this decision but also I couldn’t find anything on the market that I liked without modifications. I originally looked at doing up a secondhand play kitchen up but then the Dutik was on promotion for $75 which was cheaper than those that weren't new. It also meant I could get it delivered (for the price of $9!) flatpacked and ready to paint: https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40319973/
Selecting a theme
Pinterest is a marvelous forum for play kitchen inspiration. I couldn’t find any play kitchens that ticked the box for me but I found lots of real kitchens that I loved and drew inspiration from. I decided I would model Alice’s kitchen on an 'English Country’ theme, actually very similar to the kitchen we had at home when I was growing up.
Images from Pinterest
Step 1 - Paint all the sections and accessories (taps, rail, handles and sink) that you want painted in your desired colours. Spray lightly and reapply as many times as you need to get the coverage. The colours and brands I used were all from Bunnings and are listed below:
British Paints Spray Easy primer & paint in White - sink
Rust-Oleum metallic in Aged Copper - handles, tap, rail, hooks & oven knobs
Rust-Oleum Ocean Mist - kitchen doors/shelves
I found these all ok bar the Rust-Oleum's Ocean Mist spray. It needed many coats (which caused endless delays and lots of expletives) and flaked off very easily. I had no problems with the other colours though.
Tip - make sure to check the spray paint you use is child friendly (I asked the lovely staff at Bunnings to help me with this). I REALLY wanted duck egg blue but the sprays that did this weren't child friendly so they were an absolute no for me.
Step 2 - Leave to dry (see can for recommended time).
Step 3 - Assemble the IKEA kitchen. I found this really easy. Much easier than painting!
Step 4 - Once the kitchen is together you can measure the splash black. I decided to use foam board which I got from Officeworks: https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/quill-foam-board-5mm-500-x-770-mm-white-ja0220050
I saw lots of great ideas on how to treat this e.g. wallpaper, decals etc but I really wanted the traditional tile affect and got the idea and tiles suggestion from this blog: http://blog.katielamb.com/ikea-play-kitchen-diy-makeover/
The tiles were purchased from Amazon AU and cost approx $30:
I purchased one pack that had five pages worth and it was more than enough for the space. They were super easy to put on and were just the right amount to cover the space. I used scissors to cut the tiles in half.
Step 7 - Trim the foam board with a Stanley knife and use contact adhesive to stick the back sides of the kitchen to the foam board. Once dry use pins to nail the splash back into place.
Step 8 - Add any additions you want. I put on four wooden knobs sprayed in the same copper spray paint as oven knobs and will also be adding cup hooks on the side for the wicker baskets filled with felt food. I purchased both of these items from Bunnings and I think it came to around $15 for both.
Step 9 - Accessorise! Clearly this was my favourite part. All the decor pieces bar the felt food and wicker baskets have been sourced by me! The felt food is a mixture of IKEA fruit/vegetables and some handmade pieces by Burnt Gingerbread Yum: https://www.etsy.com/shop/burntgingerbreadyum
Obviously the images here are styled and so have items that won't be in Alice's kitchen for a few years to come. For example, ceramic pieces that are far too fragile for little hands. I also took some of the small felt food away to be extra safe. These are all packed away and ready for when she gets older to use them.
I was really conscious about not doubling up and getting pieces for 'now' versus pieces for the 'future' in order to minimise waste. I see this space as one that will continue to evolve as Alice grows and I can't wait to see her play!
And there you have it! What do you think?