Nova’s Play Kitchen (IKEA Hack)

Hello, friends! Today, I’m excited to share the IKEA play kitchen we made for Nova’s Christmas gift. I was highly inspired by Laura’s project and also Molly’s from Almost Makes Perfect. I spent so much time scrolling Pinterest looking at ALL the beautiful versions of this project people have done and it’s amazing. I love that so many people have customized them in different ways. It’s a thing! Claire from our team even turned one into a pumpkin stand!

For most people, a big part of it is to try to make the play kitchen look sort of like your own home. So I did the gold hardware and also used some leftover wallpaper (it’s actually the wallpaper we used in our kiddo bathroom). Beyond that, I kept it mostly neutral since our mini kitchen will now live in our real kitchen and our kitchen is mostly neutral.

I was able to use a lot of items we already had for Nova’s kitchen. The stand mixer and espresso maker were gifts she received last Christmas (I painted them to match) and the play food (similar here) was a shower gift that we used in her outdoor space all summer. The plush vegetables in the basket are from IKEA, as well.

We stored more play food and more plates and accessories in the cabinet. I tried to minimize the amount of plastic I was purchasing for this and there were SO many cute wood options!

These utensils are here and here. We did drill holes in all the utensils so we could add strings and hang them along the backsplash.

I painted two burners with a gold paint pen.

If you want to see how to do the undermount sink, I got that idea from Laura’s and I got the idea for the wood knobs (in front of the stove) from Molly’s. The main things I added to make ours unique was the wallpaper and the wood stars, which were glued to the front cabinet and then painted white to match.

I’m sure I will add more and make tweaks if she seems to be using it a lot … I really hope she loves it!

So happy with how this turned out! It really is a dream come true to make customized toys for Nova! There are some amazing play kitchens out there (this one is really cute too!) but it’s also fun to customize your own and we’ve got lots of fun kiddo DIYs if you love projects like this. If you have any questions, let me know and Collin and I can help you figure it out!

Thanks so much for reading! xx. Elsie

P.S. Check out more kid’s toys and clothing on our wishlist and shopping pages!

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Project Assistant: Collin DuPree. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Hi! Could I include an image from this post in a story for the Living Room blog with credit and linked to your site?
    Please let me know. Thanks!!
    Nicole (freelance writer)

  • This is amazing! amazing and I love it. Currently going down the rabbit hole of looking at hacks online and trying to prepare one for my 18 mo old’s present for this Christmas. I was wondering if you can share what paint you used for the sink and the counter top that the kitchen and stove sit on. They both look so shiny! Love the whimsy of the backsplash and stars. Your littles are soooo lucky.

  • Hi Elsie!

    I was wondering how the acrylic paint that you used for the appliances held up? Did you use any sealer/top coat? I’ve been trying to find one that’s safe for kids but not having much luck so I’m wondering if a few coats of just the paint will hold up just fine 🙂

  • It looks lovely Elsie. How is the sink holding up? I sprayed mine white and it was scratched really quickly with lots of grotty grey showing through

  • This is just the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! I’d like this in a grown up version please 😉

    xo Sam

  • Wow! These Ikea kitchen hacks are just getting better and better… I love the copper color and the wall paper!

  • Me: finishes ikea kitchen hack
    Elsie: posts ikea kitchen hack
    Me: “ok well now that theres this new inspo I should tweak baby girls kitchen… completely” ????

    I hope Nova loves it! My girl is 2.5 years old and plays with it almost daily!!!

    • I’ve heard so many people say that they “remodel” theirs every year LOL. I love it!!!!

  • This is absolutely adorable!! 🙂

    Can you recommend a good non-toxic paint (especially the gold & silver), as I want to avoid spray paints in the process (since all of the ones I’ve seen are incredible toxic)? I love the idea of using metallic colors to enhance how real things look…just worried about paint starting to rub off & release toxins, or even worse them putting stuff that’s toxic directly in their mouth.

    • Hi!
      I’ve never heard of a non-toxic gold paint. When spray painting I always recommend doing it outdoors, wear a mask and let it dry/off-gass outdoors. We used Rustoleum spray paint.

  • Love your little kitchen! We gifted one to our 20 mo. son for Christmas and I too was obsessed with DIY designs on Pinterest. Of course I had zero follow through and we put the kitchen together on Xmas Eve. Ha! 🙂 We did under-mount the sink like Laura, which I really like. My son loves his kitchen and grabs my hand to pull me over to it to help him stir some wooden pizza slices with a spatula. It melts my heart! Wishing you lots of happy moments with your daughters.

  • Ahhhhhdorable!!! Curious where did you get the play food/condiments from and what is the paint color you used on the S/P shakers and kitchen gadgets? Thanks!!

    • Hi! The plush food is from Ikea (I used a basket I already had). I think the utensils are linked. For the coffee and mixer I used regular acrylic craft paint and it took about 3 coats. On both pieces I only painted part of it the yellow color and left the rest of it how it came (white, silver…) Hope that helps!

  • This is the kitchen of dreams! Did you seriously DIY this? It’s amazing! I love the little bottles and bits you added as well!! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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