Thursday, October 27, 2011

Play Kitchen

This is how it began.  It began with me finding my dream desk on Trademe, for a mere $10.  I loved that desk.  It was pretty (though in desperate need of a paint job that I was always too busy to give it).  It suited a room.  It kept all my random pieces of paper nice and safe, you know, birth certificates, old bills, kiddo scrawls.  But the desk had a few 'issues', and took me a long while to admit that.

There's Desk!

Desk showing Dollhouse how to be a cool shade of blue.



Okay, so it definitely didn't happen overnight.  Here's what we did (I did take some WIP shots, but there are too many After photos to bother adding those too...):

  • Cut holes in the desk for the taps, faucet and sink (taps and faucet from Trademe, enamel bowl/sink from our own cupboard).

I also made a few mini tea-towels and a kitchen cloth, just for fun
  • Sanded the entire desk and drawers
  • Repainted in the same colours as previous
  • Cut out a back board, painted it, and attached shelves (we already had the shelves, but Zan sliced them in half so that they would be narrower)
  • Added hooks and things

  • Removed three drawers and replaced with the smaller drawer that was previously in the centre of the desk, so that it became the 'warmer drawer'
  • Made an oven door (total mission, easily the hardest part of the whole reno, and you'll notice that it still doesn't have a handle yet - we ran out of time, and thankfully Eleanor was so distracted by all the pretty things adorning the kitchen, she still hasn't even noticed that there's an oven!)

  • Added elements and dials

  • Made a 'skirt' to cover the empty space in the centre of the kitchen (where we now store excess toys)
  • Made some matching bunting
  • Filled it with all the lovely kitchen things that we already had in our collection.  The only new items (other than the kitchen, obviously) are some cute hand-knitted pieces of play food made by Frangipani, and the gorgeous coffee maker that was gifted by Stace








Does Eleanor like it?


Later: Kitchen = dismantled (we had to remove the taps until we can fix them permanently, they were just too tempting... Btw, any tips for removing gunk from gold plating?)


Eventually (with the promise of food) we coaxed her away to open the rest of her presents.  "Oh cute" she said to each one, before rushing back to make us teas and coffees...

Because I've had a few requests for details since posting this - the pastel pots and pans as well as the pastel/polkadot tea set were all part of a larger set that we found at Countdown last Christmas  - $40 - hopefully they will bring it out again this year so that you guys can find a set too!  And in case any of you were wondering about the other items in our kitchen - the wooden baking set (gifted to us a few years back) is from Nature Baby; the little tea set with red polkadots was from an op shop, but I've seen complete sets of these on trademe; the red colander was part of a set that my mum found at Millys Kitchen (or a similar kitchen shop); the plain pastel tea/espresso cup set was a gifted by family in Australia - maybe from Ikea? And the red silicone utensil set was from KMart.  All the other items were thrifted and gifted at various different times...  


  1. soo beautiful Stell and the Mr. every little detail my goodness,soo happy she loves it to bit these photos are devine!!!

  2. I have loved everyone of your birthday posts. So talented, and you have one lucky little lady! Funnily enough hubby and I are busy planning and preparing to make a play kitchen for our girls too! Love love love the end result. Beautiful :)

  3. And where did you get those gorgeous little pots and cups from? They are awesome!

  4. Oh my. I think I might cry it is just so pretty!! (ha, and I'm not even preggers~!)
    It is so so so so so beautiful. I bet E just LOVES it! Isla totally would. I'm hoping to have a similar wee set up in her playhouse, but I think we need a little on (maybe just the oven bit) in the house to play with too.
    Oh and don't think you're getting away that easy I NEED to know where you got the pots and pans, and also the divine dotty tea set?!

  5. I don't know where to begin...those pink and blue pots, the pastel cups, the wooden oven rings love love it all! such a great idea using a desk!

  6. I wish my kitchen looked like that! I absolutely love it and completely understand why she wasn't interested in opening presents :D

  7. ah-ma-zing. you guys are so clever. xx

  8. Amazing, what a very lucky little lady. I am so impressed. Such a shame I don't have a grand daughter or I would be commissioning one from grandad!

  9. Wow! That looks really incredible and so creative of you. I'm sure it will supply endless amounts of play in the coming years. Love it all from the taps, crockery and cloths to the curtain and bunting. Oh, and that shade of blue is my favourite.

  10. Wow! How cool! Snap with the kitchen idea, we pimped up a basic kitchen for our Miss 2 too (pics on my blog) and she LOVES making us coffees- the other presents didn't even get a lookin.

  11. Oh My Word! I think I'm actually speechless! What a great idea and what lovely pictures!!! Also are there still wafers/ M and Ms in those jars? In my house if the kids hadn't got to them already then the adults most certainly would have! Jenny x

  12. wow!!! that is amazing and beautiful!! you guys have done a brilliant job. looks like it was totally worth the effort :)

    (i think i've lost my parenting fun-mojo...because as pretty and as fun for the kiddos as this is, all i can think of is how on earth i would manage to contain all those little pieces!! i'm like, you can play with a ball, a bike and a doll. no little things! everrr!!! haha)


  13. Wow - it's amazing! I love it. In fact, it makes me want to play like I did when I was wee and pretend to pour all my teddies cups of tea and hand out imaginery biscuits :-)

  14. How beautiful...I keep coming back to this post just to stare in wonderment...what a dream come true for a little girl.

  15. your wee girl is soooo lucky! well done creative wonderful parents. now my ella wants one! hmmm... maybe for xmas

  16. I love the kitchen. So dreamy and perfect for a little girl. I might have to use your idea- we have a play house outside that needs a kitchen and a little girl after 3 boys (who were never that interested in the play house), so feel more motivated and something like this would be perfect. Thanks for the inspiration. Cx

  17. what a blessed girl with a clever mummy

  18. totally totally GORGEOUS!!!
    I have been hunting ebaby and our local tip shop for an old entertainment unit to turn into a kitchen for my daughter as she is missing her one. But now Im going to broaden my search - that looks AMAZING!!!
    The great thing about kitchens is your daughter will play with it for years.
    My daughter is six next month and that is who I want to make one for. My 8 and 10 year old STILL play with kids kitchens (junior masterchef!)

  19. what a wonderfulpresent, no wonder she is uninterested in her other gifts!!! The attention to detail the colour scheme, and the fabrics; it's all just beautiful you clever thing x

  20. 1. Awe and wonderment, at you, m'lady, awe and wonderment. You know you've done a'ight when your images are popping up on Pinterest faster than you can say, "Pin it." (I saw your creation there before I found it in my reader!) 2. I would have done the same thing with the presents. 3. I will be checking Countdown.

  21. Well it's all been said... but I just had to add that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it too!!! Adore the pastel accessories, oh and the blue taps, score!

  22. Wow, that is AMAZING! Love your creative inspiration and the VERY cool outcome! Love the mix of colours, the wooden hobs and the super cool taps. Wow! Very cool :)

  23. Wow. Wow. Wow! Speechless. Gorgeous!

  24. I want, want, want!! Seriously I could so see myself cooking in a kitchen as gorgeous as this.
    You have done a brilliant job and I am sure Miss E will get many hours of fun out of it :)


  25. I am just lost for words. You inspire me soooo much with all the beautiful things you create!!!

  26. so beautiful, what a lucky wee soul your girl is to have a mama creating such yumminess for her!

  27. I wouldn't ahve been interested in my presents either! Clever, clever girl. Stunning job.

  28. This is amazing! I love that it looks so put together, yet it has a bit of a homespun feel to it as well. I love how you decorated it, too! I am now on the search for a similar piece of furniture for my toddler girl. :)

  29. I have been visiting your blog for several months but I must say this is my most favorite post of yours:)( had to revisit it again today..) I would have absolutely died for this little kitchen as a child, your attention to detail is wonderful

  30. I am in love with this kitchen. I really want to make one for my boys. But it will most likely be me who plays in it all day ;-)