This is happening around here and it’s very exciting!!
Remember back here when I shared about the bookshelf inspiration for the new nursery for the girls?
Liv’s room doesn’t have a closet (nixed that when we built the new bathroom) and suddenly storage became a key factor and a big consideration when redesigning the kids’ room for baby #2. We are bursting at the seams with Liv, and even though we’ll scale back and keep only the essentials, this built-in bookcase is going to be fantastic for the space!! Check out those deep toy drawers and the tall bookshelves waiting to be filled with critical kid supplies. Ahhh, I can hardly wait.
Kevin teamed up with our amazing neighbor who is a retired carpenter and who happened to hear about our plans to build the shelving and window seat unit. I cannot believe how fortunate we are to have him as a friend .
We opted for a craftsman, Shaker-style design so that the built-ins would match our kitchen (which now has near matching cabinetry). I’m thinking of purchasing the same pulls to keep the look and feel consistent?
Next up, painting and installation!
Inspiration pictures from DecorPad (can’t find the original owner of that great blue kid’s room) and Centsational Girl.
Tags: Accessories, Construction, Decorating, DIY, Home, Nursery
Posted in Construction, DIY, Family & Friends, Girls' Room, Home, Liv's Nursery, Renovating Adventures | 3 Comments »
Back as promised to share some of the details of Liv’s new kitchen!
I might be as excited about this project as she is (maybe even more so) because it was a bit of a labor of love. As Kevin comments to everyone that checks it out “and it took twice as long to build the little version than it did to build the big version”. Smirk, but true, true . Mine may not be as practical or useful or anywhere near the size of our actual kitchen (which Kev really did whip up in about three months), but I’m still pretty smitten with it.
It all started when I began to collect little bits of mini kitchen inspiration way back when Liv was waaaay too small to even know what a kitchen was. I just knew that one day I wanted to build one. It was that inner kid imagination – the channeling of building mini anything (which I did all the time as a wee one) to be as realistic as possible. Did you ever build your Puppy Surprise stuffies a pretend house in your desk at school? Every girl in my kindergarten class would be raising her hand. Or how about a lair for your GigaPet? Or the perfect dollhouse? Those were the days.
My version of an adult dollhouse (and I guess that makes Liv my little doll):
Inspiration in hand, I thought I might try and convert an older media unit into a cool kitchen. Or perhaps a left over set of garage/kitchen cabinets. Anything rescued and transformed from a thrift store or the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store would be awesome. But since I had a very specific spot in mind for the little kitchen (the end of our island in our kitchen), measurements never quite worked out. And the prices weren’t super either.
Enter a little trip to Ikea for browsing and the TROFAST toy storage unit which checked out in price and size. The price for the pine version was a little on the heavy side, while the white particle board version was more my budget. But I was worried about applying paint to the particle board (and it lasting a while without chipping) and so decided to play it safe with the pine.
(We have fun at Ikea.)
Assembling was tons of fun in that special Ikea way (har, har). Here I am at Christmas time tackling this beast. As with most Ikea products, I’m pretty sure I had to assemble twice and disassemble once before it was put together correctly .
When choosing a color, an orangey-red kept coming back to me again and again. I finally color matched a pomegranate illustration from one of my favorite Rifle calendars that hung in the kitchen at the time (but with actual paint and not spray paint, wouldn’t that have been nifty?).
That burnt orange is definitely a favorite accent of mine in our mostly green kitchen. It pops up here and there.
The counter is from the VIKA desk collection at Ikea and fit the storage unit lengthwise perfectly. No chopping required. We did have to cut it down about 3″ or so in the width but for $5.99 you just can’t beat it. Five months into life it’s experiencing some wear and tear which is a bummer (but what can you expect from particle board).
The TROFAST shelves (which were made to fit the little slots of the toy storage unit) covered the front of each compartment of the toy unit near perfectly so we converted one into a door that opened like a cabinet and one that opened like an oven door with two hinges each.
The oven door itself was cut to add a little window so you could see inside of the oven, then we lined it with clear plastic from an Ikea frame.
We drilled and installed three little silver knobs (from the hardware store) so that you could ‘turn on’ the stove.
Speaking of stove, creating the range was as simple as taping off a square on the top of the countertop and spray painting it silver. I’m a big fan of using garbage bags as mini drop cloths for projects just like these, they’re easy to reuse for an entire project but you can throw them away (with all of your empty paint cans and trash in them) when you’re done. I’ve taped off the entire left hand side of the counter with a trash bag here.
The Junkman on Etsy is my go-to guy for unusual wood cuts and he came through for me with two sets of plywood circles, one 4 1/2″ and one 5 1/2″. I spray painted the larger circle black and topped it with a silver spray painted smaller circle, and then a small wooden X shape in black again to complete the burners.
But that was actually my May stove top fix. I actually attempted to use furniture moving discs (from Joann’s) initially:
Peeling paint + pretend food consumption = bad. Bummer. The newer solution is 10x better! and cuter:
I stole the sink idea from most play kitchen builders that have gone before me: measure a metal mixing bowl (with a lip) to size, cut out to fit in your countertop. The lip on the metal bowl should keep it in place.
I found the bar sink on either Amazon or eBay, can’t recall (but both are great for tracking one down) for $15 ish.
Let’s talk about the oven for just a second. I painted the inside of the third compartment of the TROFAST unit black and we cut down one of the TROFAST shelves into four skinny pieces to hold the oven racks.
A little wood glue (be sure wipe off the excess that squeezes out) ensures they’re stuck in place.
I added a little push light to the inside of the oven just for fun, though I’m sure it’s going to run out of batteries soon since Liv loves to keep it on all. of. the. time.
The oven racks themselves are from a two-tiered cooling rack that I found on Amazon and cut the legs off of, I then glued (with a glue gun) the racks directly to the little black shelves.
The backsplash was a recent addition. As the little kitchen sat in its spot, I kept picturing something that would give the cabinet unit a little height and a fun backsplash kept coming to mind. I trolled eBay for a bit and found this lovely green, mustard yellow and orange 1″ tile and was able to talk the seller down to a pretty sweet price (I can’t really imagine this tile in someone’s modern bathroom or kitchen… but it’s perfect for my little one!).
Using a piece of plywood cut to size as my base, I adhered, grouted and sponged my tile into place.
We had left over grout around the house but if you’re not wanting to buy a bulk bag from a home improvement store most craft stores sell small bags for mosaic projects. A little water plus a little grout plus a sponge brush (my favorite tool for small projects and if you don’t have actual tile tools lying around).
Use thin set (or even glue ) to attach tile (with mesh backing) to plywood. Apply a generous amount of grout to your tile surface while also really pushing that grout into the cracks between your tile (watch it as it begins to dry so that you can catch cracks in your grout and add a little more).
Use fingers when necessary.
Then begin to slowly wipe away the grout from the tops of the tile pieces while the grout is still wet. A sponge, towel or even paper towels can be great for this.
I then added the backing to the back of the kitchen (not the countertop, which is particle board, but the actual pine unit):
Last but not least are the TROFAST storage bins and the dowel + curtain that we assembled with iron-on hem tape for the door to the middle unit:
The cute floral fabric is a remnant of mine from my fabric bin, but I’m almost positive it’s from Joann’s. The dowel worked out well because it fit perfectly into the top notch of the toy unit (the notch for those green bins) that was already built into place.
The only missing component? One happy little chef:
And one happy momma who is so happy with how it turned out.
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Green, Handmade Toys, Home, Orange, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Handmade Gifts, Home, Olivia, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 13 Comments »
Remember back here when I decided to build Liv a little kitchen for Christmas (and shared all of the inspiration for my favorites)? Well five months later and…. it’s finished!!
It’s been one of those projects where I’ve sllloooowwwlly added and added to it over the months. It probably should have been considered finished in January when my Dad and I designed and assembled all of the little pieces (and when we revealed it for her birthday rather than at Christmas time). But then I added a faucet in February, baking racks and an oven light in March, redid the stove range and added a backsplash in April… and it slowly evolved into an obsession. I have to stop. So as of today, I’m marking it done and done!
I’ll be sure to share some of the how-tos and progress pics this week.
One of my main goals was to build a little kitchen that would work well with our big kitchen. That way Liv would have something fun and interactive to do while we were working in the kitchen (the hub in our house) and could participate in the ‘cooking’ – and we could have a toddler toy that wasn’t plastic or an eye sore in plain view.
The finished mini kitchen fits perfectly at the end of our island, and I chose all of the colors to be more upbeat, kid-friendly versions of the colors that we have throughout our own kitchen space.
After quite a bit of research (and hunting through Craigslist, thrift stores and what not for the right sized cabinet), I used the TROFAST toy storage unit and plastic bins from Ikea for the little wooden base, and a basic white Ikea desk top that fit the unit near perfectly for the countertop (can’t seem to find the link online at the moment, but it was 39″ long and we sheared off just a bit of the width at the back so that there was just a tiny lip over the storage unit). The orange door on the left and black oven door were both shelves built for the TROFAST unit as well that we converted with hinges.
Little extra features include a bar sink that works well as a faucet (which Liv has already requested ‘please make it work’, ha!):
A stove top:
An oven with two little racks and an oven light for baking:
Little knobs that spin for the stove and a handle, hinges + plexiglass for the oven door:
And for toy food storage, a large door to hide bigger bowls and tools, and a fabric curtain to cover up three plastic Ikea bins:
The dowel at the top of the curtain fits right into the notches that were already built into the Ikea toy unit (the fabric remnant is from Joann’s):
And the entire curtain can be removed during playtime to reveal the bins of felt and plastic foods, wooden cutting boards, aprons and the rest of that fun stuff:
Thanks, Dad for all of your help assembling this guy! He was my powertool man over Christmas and he troubleshooted problems like the oven doors, unbreakable plexiglass and installing the bowl for the sink. I added most of the little design details later when all mellowed down.
So much work! But Liv loves it and that’s what matters most. And I have loved being super creative with the design and build, troubleshooting how I could add a mini backsplash or what way to attach the oven racks into the inside of the oven . It’s what I live for! In retrospect it would have been cheaper and easier to purchase a pre-built kitchen, but sometimes you just can’t beat the DIY.
Be back shortly with the source list and the steps to build!
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Green, Home, Kitchen, Orange, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Favorites, Handmade Gifts, Home, Olivia, Our Kitchen Remodel, Renovating Adventures | 10 Comments »