Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Play Kitchen

I had no idea how much of my design and decorating style and motivation were tied to the actual house I lived in.  Yes, naturally, things will change when you move from a modern town house to a log house, but what about when I moved into a non-discript, white walled, 1980's, suburban, tract house?  Well,  a total lack of inspiration from the actual house has really dampened my desire decorate it.

Also, I never really viewed this house as mine to decorate.  We were only planning on living here for a year.  Now it has been 18 months, we've decided that for now, we aren't going anywhere, and it could easily be another year or 18 months before we move. After Lincoln and I made the decision, I started to get a lot more serious about making this house our home.

I put a lot of effort into the Apple House, not only because it needed it, but because we thought we were going to be there for a long time.  In reality, we've lived in this house 6 months longer than we lived there.  So. . . it's time to start putting more effort into THIS house.  You would think by now I would have learned that you never know how long you will be in one place.  It could be 11 months, it could be 7 years, it could be for the rest of your life. . . at least for us, life is messy and complicated and so the only thing to do is make your home where you land, even if it's only for a short time.

With that, I'm going to start showing you my house as I get it decorated more to my liking.

I'll start with the boys' play kitchen, because it happens to be a corner that came together with items we all ready owned and I love the way it looks.

We don't have a dedicated play room in this house, and the boys' bedroom is tiny, so instead, there are "pockets" throughout the house where they play.  Their play kitchen is actually in our real kitchen, next to the back door.  The boys often play in it while I'm cooking.

The play kitchen is one of those old wood play kitchens that are in nearly every pre-school in America.  I think they are made by Whitney Brothers.  I got them off of craigslist from a nice lady who had once owned a preschool, had put these in storage when she closed it, and was finally selling them.

I painted them bright red and personalized them a bit!  (and yes, there is a knob missing, it's inside the kitchen somewhere waiting for me to put it back on.)

The checkerboard I just did with painter's tape and the "Wright's Diner" I did before I had a Silhouette, so I did it the old school way of cutting it out of vinyl with an x-acto knife.

This vintage alphabet posters is one of my favorite garage sale finds ever!  I paid $5, frame, glass, and all at a garage sale in Seattle when John Henry was still a baby.

It is hysterical and inappropriate in places.  Let me share a few of my favorite squares.

Yes, that's right, some of the letters don't even have words that start with the letter.  I guess it was printed before children's xylophones were widely available!  :)

The boys' art gallery is also in this corner.  It is simply a dowel (with feathers on the end) that I hung some yarn from and then we use clothes pins to attach the art work to the yarn.  The boys love moving them around and choosing what goes where.  A few times a year I clean it off, save my favorites in a file folder that I keep for each of them, and recycle the rest.  It doesn't take long for them to fill it up again, and I love being able to look at their artwork without it filling up my fridge.

You can also see the chalk board globe I made for them.  Well, I actually made it to sell, but they loved it so much that I let them keep it and made another one for the business.

And now, just to keep it real, let's have a look at what this corner usually looks like.  I took this before I cleaned things up to take pictures.

Yep, that's more like it.

Now, let's have one more look at it the way it is in my dreams.


I will be sharing at:
Domstically Speaking's Power of Paint Party


  1. oooooh. love the idea of a chalk globe. super fun.

  2. I love all of it. I can't even say which i love the most. But I may have to try that art hanging idea.

    I have one of Jeanie's ABC posters. Did you know Jeanie from thepapernut.com ? I still have it in the tube from two years ago, because I just can't seem to get the "perfect frame" and the "perfect spot" in my house to hang it. I should just do it, though, so others can enjoy it

  3. Super cute! It's so hard to find play kitchens for boys. I love how yours turned out and I bet your boys love playing in it.

  4. This is the cutest play kitchen ever! Love it!


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