I’ve been eyeing the IKEA play kitchen hack since I found out I was pregnant almost two years ago. I mean, it’s kind of a dream project for any creative soul – you can design your ultimate dream kitchen for less than $200 and complete it in just a few hours (as opposed to dropping $20k+ and having to wait weeks for completion). Quick turnaround and affordable price tag is pretty much my love language summed up in a few words.
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This past Christmas I was really hoping to do this makeover project for my son’s big present. But he was teething on EVERYTHING at the time, and I knew I’d be
totally chill crushed if I found chew marks on my mini dream kitchen (just being honest here). So instead, a local friend put her faith and trust in me to design one for her daughter. I had designed several of the florals for her beautiful nursery two years ago and knew exactly how I wanted to design the play kitchen to match her space!
This is part one of two blog posts covering how to makeover the IKEA duktig kitchen. This part will cover all the different parts of design and how you can customize it to make it your own. The second post coming in a few weeks will be a step-by-step how to actually complete this makeover. At first glance in the IKEA store, the original kitchen is a bit plain and nothing to get overly excited about (here’s the link to it from their website). BUT once you think about all the possibilities of everything you can do it, it’s guaranteed to get your creative wheels turning!
Following a light sanding job, you can paint any part of the kitchen that you chose. I spray painted the top and countertop white and roller painted the bottom Benjamin Moore Rosetone. Having used both regular paint/a roller and spray paint on this project, I’d recommend going the spray paint route if you can find the right color you want to use for a faster process and smoother paint job. Most spray paints are paint plus primer so you can forgo that step, and coats of paint can be applied within 1 hour of each other vs. having to wait a few hours with regular paint. If you choose to go with regular paint and a brush or roller, you’ll need to use primer first which will add at least another day to the project, so just keep that in mind. Below are the spray paints and prep materials I used that worked great for me!
The countertop that comes with the kitchen is a glossy light wood and you can certainly leave it that way! But you can also paint it or apply contact paper. Below are a few ideas ranging from marble to butcher block. I chose to spray paint mine for two reasons: 1) the white in the marble contact paper didn’t quite match the white in the backsplash I chose and 2) the backsplash design was strong enough that I didn’t want to compete with that.
The kitchen comes with drawer pulls, a faucet, sink, cooktop burners, and a dowel rod with hooks that can all be easily and quickly spray painted. I chose Rustoleum Sunlit Brass because it was a more muted gold tone and complimented the pink tones well. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can switch out the pulls for real kitchen hardware, leather pulls (I’ve linked below), or make your own wooden version. I added wooden knobs to this kitchen using wood rounds from the craft store and they turned out so cute! I just cut a few in half and wood glued the half onto the front of a full circle to create a replica of burner knobs.
The kitchen doesn’t come with a backsplash but you can easily create your own by purchasing a foam poster board, cutting it to size, and super gluing it onto the back of the kitchen. For the backsplash pattern, you can use:
- Peel and stick backsplash tiles available at most home improvement stores (or amazon – I’m linking a bunch below). You’ll need 5-6 of those tiles. I used this marble hexagon tile and I needed 2 packs of it.
- You can order a 20×30 poster print from Walgreens and adhere in to the poster board. Websites like unsplash.com and pexels.com have thousands of free, high resolution images you can use, and you can search for images of marble, tiles, stone, etc.
- You can order a small piece of removable wallpaper. I’ve seen several beautiful girls kitchens with floral backsplashes on Pinterest using this method!
Ok, let’s be honest. Here’s the super fun part because miniature anything is adorable. Ikea has several options for play pots and pans and play food when you pick up your kitchen, so be sure to start there. But then, you can find coffee makers, mixers, toasters, decals for the oven rack, play food, mugs, and faux plants to accessorize your little dream kitchen to perfection. I’ve linked quite a few below that I think are so cute and would look so good with a variety of different kitchen designs!
I think this is one of those projects that is just as much for the mom as it is for their child. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – we need to have a little fun too! Stay tuned for part two where I’ll be doing a boy version and I’ll show you step by step how to makeover this kitchen from start to finish. In the meantime, get those design wheels turning with all the links and info above!