play kitchen makeover, a set on Flickr.
SPOILER ALERT: You will not find “the after” play kitchen in this post. That is to follow. As with all makeover projects, it has to start from somewhere. So here is the before…
The Idea is Born
It began with a visit to our next door neighbour. Their daughter, just 2 months older than our fourth had gotten a “Deluxe Wooden Kitchen & Laundry Center” Little Tikes play kitchen like this. Displayed in the centre of their living room (since all toys find there way there anyways), it is absolutely gorgeous. Her parents had scored a great deal at Toys R Us and paid just $99, regularly $199. Until this moment, the thought had not entered my mind about a play kitchen for W. Then I remembered how much my older kids enjoyed playing with their hand-me-down plastic kitchen which had long since been passed on.
The Idea is Justified
Boys and kitchens? Heck yes. Look at Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Susur Lee, Emeril, Bobby Flay to name a few. I wondered if they had played with toy kitchens as kids. When I mentioned the idea to my Mum, she suggested a work bench might be a better fit for W. Nonsense I said. I then backed up my intention citing the names of these said chefs. Gone are the days of gender specific toys. And thankfully so. My feeling is that since children mirror their parents and this said parent spends a lot of time in her real kitchen, then I could think of no better toy to encourage in him the love for food and cooking.
The Trash to Treasure Hunt
I knew I did not want to spend a fortune on a play kitchen but I also wanted a simple one with a “touch of class” since it would likely be gracing our dining room! Sure it could go in the basement rec room but I know from experience that if I wanted W to use his kitchen as much as I use mine, then it would need to be near me. Isn’t it strange when you become aware of something you had not considered before that you start to notice all things related to your new interest? So it should come as little surprise that I would walk in to my local Goodwill just a few days later to feast my eyes on this:
When I first laid eyes on this treasure, it was a day before a 50% off storewide sale. So instead of snatching it immediately, I thought I would chance it a day to see if I could score a better deal. So the very next morning I drove back to Goodwill and sure enough, it was waiting for a better home. My home. So for $12.52 it was a steal.
Made by KidKraft circa 2007, it was clearly intended for a princess with those dated pastel colours. The counter also had a fair bit of water damage. But I knew my husband would have no trouble making a replacement and helping me to make this kitchen fit for a King! My aim was to stick to under $100 or else I might have just gone and bought a new one from Toys R Us.
The Cost of the Facelift
Here is a breakdown of what I spent to make this kitchen awesome. I did not expect to have to buy so much spray paint for such a small kitchen but the results were worth every penny:
Play Kitchen from Goodwill – $12.52 (regular retail price $199)
Supplies from Home Depot:
Rustoleum Spray Primer in white (2 cans) – $14
Rustoleum Spray Paint (4 cans) – $28 (includes 3 white in gloss and 1 black in gloss for the handles)
Rustoleum Comfort Grip spray paint trigger – $7.87
3 packs of 12 x 12 mosaic tiles @ $1.50 a sheet – $4.50
IKEA DRALLA cutting board in green – $2 ($4 for a 2 pack)
IKEA PANNA coasters in black (6 pack) – $2
IKEA BYGEL metal rail in 55 cm length – $3
IKEA BYGEL s-hooks – $1.49
Free or Borrowed Stuff :
Silver Spray Paint used for faucet.
A tube of “No More Nails” used for sticking the backsplash tiles/coasters/cutting board down.
A face mask used for spraying.
A wet saw borrowed for cutting the tiles.
I know what you are thinking. For all that effort and time, it might have been easier and worth it to just buy a ready made kitchen. But what you cannot add a value to is that:
A. There is NO other kitchen on the planet like this one.
B. It was fun shopping for all the supplies.
C. I enjoyed every moment of it. Ask my husband though and he might tell a different story.
Now I can kick back an relax while my son makes me food for a change.