We renovated our first kitchen!
(Never mind that it's miniature... and we can only eat pretend food from it...)
Tyler and I knew Bravery was ready for her first kitchen when we saw her playing with one at a friend's house. I immediately began the search for the perfect toddler kitchen. Let me tell you, the options are endless! There are some really amazing kitchens out there for kids, it is no joke! After much research we decided we wanted to purchase the DUKTIG Play Kitchen from IKEA! It is reasonably priced and is already majority white (a major plus for us!). I was thrilled when I found out people do IKEA "hacks" on this little kitchen and immediately started planning B's Kitchen Renovation! - Follow me on Pinterest to see some of my dream mini kitchens! The awesome thing about this kitchen renovation is that if we get tired of it or want to spice it up even more.... it's an easy process to do it again! (more on that in the HOW TO portion of this post!)
We purchased all of our supplies in Dallas and decided to assemble/paint/renovate everything in Houston... amazing idea right?! Two days before we were celebrating an early Christmas. Of course Tyler and I waited until the last minute to order the faux marble counter tops and subway tile back splash supplies.... lesson learned! We spent almosttttt the same amount of money buying this kitchen as-is from IKEA, than we did on paying to Amazon Prime everything to Houston! (See my Amazon links at the bottom of this post) Oh well. It was an overall hilarious experience. The day we decided to paint the cabinets - it rained. And even if it wasn't raining, the Houston humidity kept giving an unwanted bubbly "texture" to all the wood! Ughhhhhh H-town. Since both of us are native Houstonians... we laughed it off and embraced the fact we were scraping texture off our one year old's fake microwave handle. What.the.heck. By the end of the process all of Tyler's family had pitched in to help us out.
The night we stayed up until 2am assembling this tiny kitchen is now one of my favorite memories. Tyler and I acknowledging the how ridiculous the whole thing was... turned into us feeling pretttttyyy amazing. Even though we did something pretty over the top for a one year old - we decided that we always want to be "those parents". The ones that do outrageous things to show our kid how much they love them. Overpriced shipping payments and all! This experience is bookmarked in our imaginary "Book of Bates" where Tyler and I had this feeling like we had earned a Parenting Badge of sorts... do they have those by the way??
She is the light of my life and I will scrape gold spray paint off her fake kitchen sink and repaint it with a better spray paint so that it looks shinier for the rest of my life. We got your back B, plus now you're going to have the same impeccable taste as your mom and dad with a sprinkle of outrageous perfectionism. All for love. This kitchen. All for love. Be sure to check out the steps we took to transform this kitchen! :)
- STEP ONE: PICK YOUR VIBE. We opted for a neutral color palette since we knew this mini kitchen would be kicking it in our common areas for the foreseeable future. While browsing Pinterest I found a ton of these little kitchens that were super girly with a floral back splashes... it was super tempting but I knew we'd be happier with the mostly neutral option. (We ended up compromising by adding a touch of baby pink on the microwave and oven!)
- STEP TWO: BUY YOUR SUPPLIES. We purchased the DUKTIG Kitchen from Ikea the week of. They said they usually have it in stock! The hardest part was ordering the contact paper so last minute. (like I said, lesson learned!) We purchased the white subway tile and marble counter top contact paper through Amazon, but you can also order both from Home Depot! We bought spray paint from Home Depot, make sure you get paint that sticks to plastic! (another lesson learned...)
- STEP THREE: PAINT EVERYTHING. If it weren't for the previously mentioned inclement weather, this would have been easy! The kitchen comes mostly white, but it does have some natural wood in need of some white paint! I chose to paint every part before assembling, because sometimes Ikea furniture can be difficult so I wanted the pieces to be ready to go! After painting the wood portions white, we spray painted the appliances and accessories with gold spray paint. Let all pieces dry...and pray it doesn't rain!
- STEP FOUR: "INSTALL" MARBLE COUNTER TOP. I'll be honest, Tyler did this entire part with help from his brother and dad! When you're sticking contact paper down on an oddly shaped piece of wood, you only have ONE shot! They rolled out the marble printed contact paper and traced the shape of the counter with a pencil. Be sure to trace the stove and sink areas thoroughly! Be sure to use a rubber scraper to press out any bubbles or creases! They used a box cutter to cut the shape out correctly, and folded the paper to stick around the edges.
- STEP FIVE: MAKE A BACK SPLASH. SoOoOo fun fact, the DUKTIG Ikea Kitchen does not actually have a back splash at all. The photos of it show a white background, but it's really just an empty space. We figured this out as we were assembling... of course! We ran to Home Depot and purchased a large particle board that someone on site was nice enough to cut down for us! We applied the subway tile printed contact paper to this board and tacked it to the kitchen with small nails! I have seen that some people just use a foam poster board and if you trust your drawing ability enough... you can use a sharpie to draw those perfect squares! (I did not opt to try this!)
- STEP SIX: ASSEMBLE AND ACCESSORIZE. Once the handles, sinks, and other accessories dried we just followed the Ikea instructions to pop everything into place! After screwing everything in and making sure it was safe for a toddler to play with, we had to "stage it" of course! Ikea also sells reasonably priced metal pots and pans that are so cute! We also opted for their plush food accessories. I love the plush fruits, veggies, and fake pasta! We've had the plastic foods before and they don't seem to wear the same!