Hands down, the most-played with toy in our house is the play kitchen. When we have kids over for playdates it’s the first thing they head to, Lyra has spent literally hours cooking up feasts (plastic slice of cake served on a plate next to a wooden fish anyone?!) and now Jenson is crawling, his favourite thing is to haul himself over to the toy kitchen and empty out all the wooden and plastic food.

When I was choosing which kitchen to buy for Lyra I was torn between a John Lewis country kitchen and the Ikea Duktig kitchen. The Duktig actually looks pretty cool un-hacked but you know me, I love an Ikea hack, and if I had gone for the Duktig I would definitely have tried my hand at hacking it to transform it into a bespoke piece.

I decided to go for an easy life and opted for the John Lewis kitchen, but if you’re considering buying an Ikea play kitchen to hack then here are five tips and a bunch of inspiration pics.

1. Give the Cupboards a Facelift

I reckon this is key to making the play kitchen look less Ikea. Before assembling the kitchen, (disassemble if you’ve already put it together), use spray paint to change the colour of the cupboard doors from signature-Ikea-white to navy, or grey, or the lovely mint shade used on the toy kitchen in the header.

2. Update the Worktops

Worktops, worktops, worktops. All Rich and I talk about at the moment is worktops. (I sound like I’m moaning but really I love it). I actually prefer the wooden worktop that comes with the Duktig toy kitchen to my real-life kitchen worktops, but you could go the whole hog and apply marble contact paper to create a super-stylish work surface for your little ones.

3. Add in a Backsplash

I don’t know about you but I’ve got reams of wallpaper left over from decorating rooms in the house (flamingo bathroom, I’m talking to you), and a squillion odd bits of giftwrap. If I were to hack a Duktig I would be hammering a piece of MDF to the back and pasting some wallpaper or giftwrap onto it to create a pretty backsplash. Or hunting down some white hexagonal tile stickers to make the kitchen even more realistic.

4. Replace the Drawer Pulls

As with any furniture, an easy way to give an item a new lease of life is to replace the handles. The leather drawer pulls on the play kitchen in the header would be so easy to recreate using some old leather belts.

5. Create a Belfast Sink

I’m currently trying to work out how we can incorporate a Belfast sink into our actual kitchen. If only it were as easy as spray-painting our current sink white: the sink in this Ikea hack could almost pass for ceramic. Team with a spray-painted chrome tap and you’ve got a toy kitchen almost worthy of a mention in the Howdens lookbook.

You could even create a mini Smeg fridge to sit smartly alongside your creation, as per Brittany from Trodel. (I may steal Brittany’s blackboard idea for our kitchen).

For more inspiration of the hacking variety, click here for our favourite hacks as executed by yours truly and the rest of the Rock My team.

Have your kids got a Duktig? Have you hacked it, or are you tempted?

  • John Lewis Country Kitchen
  • Sebra Play Kitchen
  • Maileg Toy Kitchen


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