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Charlotte and Ella: Two moms who met on the Internet and love design, simplicity, and sustainability.




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Care for some tea miss? | Modern Minimalist Toddler boy's play kitchen

We have been talking about it for weeks, but we finally did it. We built The Beast his very own, manly, toddler boy kitchen. 

You know what has been the most surprising thing about this whole process (other than how itchy your hands get after using the vibrating sander)?

It has to be how shocked people are when the subject of wanting/building The Beast a play kitchen came up.  Dude likes to serve a little tea - is that so wrong? 

Did you know some of the world's most famous chefs are men? Did you? 

Sorry for all of the question marks.  My bad. 

We decided to make The Beast a kitchen because, well, our house is under 1000 sq ft and space comes at a premium around here.  We really didn't need The Beast to have a kitchen that was bigger than our little galley (not literally - that is Charlotte's department) kitchen.

So, this weekend, we did just that. We built a small foot print, modern, minimalist kitchen for our toddler boy. 

AND HE LOVES IT. From the sink, to the stainless steel pots and pans from IKEA, to the side-by-side cabinets where he can switch everything from one the other...and then right back again. 

He will serve you tea straight from his faucet, then he will cook you up some tomatoes and garlic (the carrots are served raw, so watch out) and then, he will climb into his basin sink and take a bath *sigh*. 

A little about the kitchen:

It took:
1 sheet of MDF (not the whole sheet, but we bought a whole sheet)
2 handles from IKEA
4 knobs from IKEA
1 free faucet from Lowe's Home Improvement (Thank you awesome Lowe's dude who gave us a broken display model for free - oh and for getting the huge ladder, and climbing it for us. Home Depot wouldn't even entertain the idea of us buying a broken/outdated display at a reduced cost. Jerks.)
1 8 x 10 piece of plexi glass
Some old paint we had laying around

....and some other bits and pieces that I am too tired to write out, but just things like the hinges and screws, you know, boring stuff.

Our biggest asset though was my husband, Gray. He killed it. He took my crazy demands and turned them into this awesome kitchen.  He would say something like, "So, 14 inches high?" and I would say, "I dunno.  How high is 14 inches, what does that look like? I don't get it.  What are you saying?"  Yeah, he put up with that crap all weekend.  "I dunno. What does 5/8ths look like?". MmmHmmm.


Our next order of business is either going to be making him some felt food, an awesome dish towel or, Gray really wants to cut in a vintage clock face on the backsplash of the oven - and I might just agree to it. 

No matter though, he loves it, and has been busy in the kitchen ever since we set it down (hence the blurry photos) 

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Reader Comments (12)

ADORABLE! I thought it was Ella the Photographer, not Ella the Builder!! Great job!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn Simantel

Wow! That is so cool! I love it! Cool design and color. And I totally agree, I would love it if my boy wants to help me cook something when he is a little older! Better start practicing!
Question for you Ella: Damien does not like to play with toys AT ALL! The only things he cares about is sticks & rocks and he hates being inside. Does Wes usually like to play inside? I've thought so many times: This will be the perfect toy that he will play with inside and then he doesn't. He pretty much ignores all his toys except for his wagon. Wonder if a little kitchen will be the 'magic' toy that keeps him happy inside? :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanneke

I love how that turned out! I saw someone else that converted an entertainment center into a kitchen also. I'm going to have to do something like this soon now that baby girl just turned 1. How do they know how to rock babies and sip tea already??

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

HOW ADORABLE!!! I want one for Sophia!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Thanks for all the kind comments everyone!

Janneke (Hi! We miss you guys!), Wes would ALWAYS rather be outside finding a super sharp stick to try to run with or throwing little pebbles at the fence. He does play with toy cars, stacking blocks, a ball whacking set and his Rody horse - but in his sea of toys that is about it.

With the kitchen, since I think pretend play is a little far off for Wes developmentally, we do have to play with him...encouraging him to make us some tea, or pasta sauce, but he really enjoys it and it keeps him centered for a good 15-20 min (which is a lot for him).

Also, I believe, if I am not mistaken that other than a doll or a book, Cora doesn't like playing with toys either and for a long time her favorite thing to play with was a measuring tape.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Registered CommenterFinchFound

What a rockin' awesome kitchen !!! Great job Dad and Mom. You will find, as Beauty and the Beast get a little older, they will find regular toys more intriguing. Really, they will. Wes will love to show off his manly kitchen and have his gal come over to share in their culinary skills. They will love to cook and serve their mommies and daddies and their Bella !!! xoxoxoxoxoox

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren K Morrisette

A-freaking-dorable! I scored a Freecycle play kitchen when my guy was 4 weeks old. Everyone knew better than to question crazy postpartum me, I guess. He (and every other toddler who visits) loves it. Well done, you!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

This is awesome Ella. Way to go. And yeah, cooking is very very very manly!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

It looks amazing! Great job guys!!! LOve it!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBasia

Love the kitchen :) I am wondering where or how you made the sink? Love the style. Any tips on that, I would really appreciate it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia

Antonia thank you so much! The basin sink is made of wood. All it is, is a super boring box of MDF, that we sanded and routed.

Since I basically just told my husband what I wanted, he drew it, I approved it, and we built it together. Sooo.....I asked him for tips for people. He says...

-Plan, plan and then plan some more. The more you plan, and the less you do on the fly the better (his example - it would have been really easy to make the kitchen much bigger and was sort of tricky to keep it as small as we needed but including everything we wanted)
-Counter sink the screws
-Use liquid nails between the boards AND screws
-If you are going to use MDF use half inch MDF
-My tip is, price shop! We had handles from home depot that were $6, but we found ones that looked almost exactly the same, if not better at IKEA for $1.99

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 | Registered CommenterFinchFound

Hi Ella! This is the cutest kitchen that is unisex and great for boys and girls alike!! Love the sink and especially the nice sales guy at Lowe's for the beautiful faucet!! This has to be the best faucet a kid has around! I as well am interested in the basin/farmers sink, since it is something not everyone has {yet}! I was wondering if there is a way you can measure the top opening of the counter and the front opening of the sink to see how big I need to cut mine for the sink, as well how deep you guys made the sink. This would be so wonderful since I am going to try and accomplish and finish one before Christmas rolls around this year! I know it's only 3 weeks away!! YIKES! Any help would be appreciated as I don't want to spend $700+ for a pottery barn one! This will be my first project and I hope it comes out half as adorable as yours! Thank you for all the information ahead of time.

Friday, December 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRegina

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