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But rather than having a built in island (at least for now, since we are try to keep this kitchen remodel budget under control) we are going to use a freestanding island we already had, perhaps with a little creative embellishing. It is fun to look at inspiration pictures to see how you could embellish a piece of furniture to suit your own needs in an island! In my current home my island is built in (same cabinetry as the kitchen cabs) but in my previous homes I’ve had free standing. I don’t have a freestanding island but we put legs on it to make it look like furniture. Since our last house had a built-in stationary island and we found it so useful, we were happy that our new house had one, too.
In addition to saving money (brand new play kitchens start around $100, nice ones start at $200) making your own play kitchen allows you ultimate customization. One of the other reasons we chose to make our own play kitchen was control over the materials. Before you start looking for an entertainment center, I would take a look at kitchens others have made. Don't just look at your local thrift store; get to know the "rules" that will help you save more. Regardless of which style of play kitchen you're planning on, you want to make sure the part that will be the "work surface" will be a good height for the kiddo you're making it for. Are you going to just paint your counters or are you installing some kind of countertop material?
Remember: only do this if you are going to paint your countertop rather than install a countertop material.
Once you have the bowl or pan you'll use for your sink, flip it over and trace an outline with a pen. It is especially important to sand if there are rough spots, flaking paint or if you are using laminate furniture (see laminate furniture painting tips here).
I mentioned earlier that materials were a big deal for us so we chose zero VOC paint and primer (not sure about the VOC thing? It's important that you're painting somewhere that's at least 50 degrees so that the paint and primer set up properly. We are just about to redo our kitchen, and will be adding an island – I can’t wait! If I could do over again I think I might have replaced the butcher block on top for a slightly larger piece, but we got great functionality from our smallish island and the pop of blue stood out in our huge kitchen. I have a galley kitchen and do not want the island there at all times – I want to roll it to sit in front of a window in our breakfast room. Because it’s open at the bottom it helps keep the whole kitchen (which is small) light and airy. We added an Ikea kitchen island earlier this year and after all of the huge projects we did on our house, it is one of my favorite changes of all of them.
I actually never thought about free standing islands but after seeing all this inspiration, if I were to get one, I know exactly what I would want!
Common play kitchen materials like particle board, normal paint and plastic all off-gas and release small amounts of toxins into the air in your home.
Great places to look are Craigslist, thrift stores, or you may even be able to score something for free on Freecycle. If you're making a play kitchen for an 18 month old, you'll need a "countertop" lower than if you're making it for your 6 year old. Laminate furniture, for example, is a little trickier to paint than something made of real wood. For example, part of why I loved the entertainment center I picked was because I liked the layout.
There was a cabinet I could transform into a fridge on the side and the detailing on the cabinets below was perfect for transforming into an oven.
I highly recommend putting hardware in baggies and labeling them (lower cabinets, side cabinet, etc) to make it easier to put everything back together later. If you're going to paint it, you will want to cut holes for your sink (and faucet if necessary) before the next step. Then use your jigsaw to cut just inside the traced line so that you leave enough for the rim of your bowl or pan to catch on. If you aren't facing any of the above situations, a quick once over with your hand sander will help the primer stick. The beginning of the series with photos of the finished play kitchen and links to all subsequent posts lives here. I have been searching for good step by step on how to make a homemade kitchen for my daughter.
I want to help you make healthier choices for your family that are both BEAUTIFUL & DELICIOUS! When you walk in the back door (which most people do), it is the first thing you see when you walk in the house so it’s important to keep it open. I especially love the islands that are painted in a bright color, adding such a nice pop to the space. Because I'm the one that made it, I know what went into making it and I don't have to expose my kid to toxic materials (even in small quantities).
I conveniently have a pinboard with lots of great examples of play kitchens call "Play Kitchen Palooza" that you can look at as well. If your available space is small, you may need to look at a more compact solution out of a dresser. Salvation Army gives you 50% off items that have been in the store for a certain amount of time.
We had some eggshell semi-gloss Freshaire paint (a zero VOC paint that's available in a variety of colors) leftover from painting the baseboards in our house.

I hate additional steps as much as the next girl and am frequently known to skip priming if I can help it.
I only needed one coat of paint since my primer was white and I didn't have to worry about show-through. Please note that posts more than 10 days old have comment modification turned on so if you don't see your comment right away don't panic!
Even better, it was custom made at a local shop using reclaimed doors, corbels and window casings.
It’s fun to so something just a little different especially with a piece that can be such a focal point in a kitchen.
We are going to be updating the kitchen and we’re going to replace the maple top with a walnut one. Painting furniture (especially furniture that's going to get a lot of use) is one key time that you want to use primer. Obstructing the Kitchen TriangleSpecialists refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity that requires careful planning and unobstructed access.
If you head to a thirft store, ask an employee if they have discounts on certain items or certain days when they have sales.
It cost a little more than regular primer but I have a ton leftover and I'm sure I'll put it to good use! Sometimes, however, because of the placement of the pipes, kitchens are designed with the sinks in a poor location. Not only that, but items often concealed behind kitchen cabinets can be oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Always install cabinets over the refrigerator; not utilizing this area is a waste of storage space for large or seasonal kitchen items. Considering all the kitchen activities that require a countertop, as well as appliances that are permanently located there, you want to fit as much open horizontal surface area in a kitchen as possible. It’s not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also safety when it comes to handling sharp knives and other kitchen tools.
For your kitchen, evaluate the work areas and focus on providing each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main work areas.Use pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants to enhance the beauty of the kitchen.
Pendants look great above kitchen sinks, while a series of mini-pendants work well over breakfast bars and kitchen islands. Install under-cabinet lighting to ensure that the counters have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks.Collect this idea5. Forgoing a BacksplashWhen budgeting or designing a new kitchen or remodel, the backsplash sometimes slips to the end of the list. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile, metal or plastic than paint or wallpaper.Collect this idea6.
Choosing the Wrong Kitchen IslandWhen it comes to kitchen islands, we generally think of additional storage, preparation and serving space in the kitchen. Choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can be a disaster, especially in a work area that can get overly cluttered.Islands that obstruct the flow of traffic to and from the sink, refrigerator, stove and primary workstations will create bottlenecks. An island should be at least 4 feet long and 2 feet deep, but it also must have room for people to move and work around it. Ignoring Your RecyclingAs recycling has become more prevalent, dealing with trash in kitchen design has gone beyond sticking a bin under the sink.
Be prepared to manage your trash efficiently — incorporate sorting bins for recylables into your kitchen design.Collect this idea9. Going Too TrendyAlthough it’s not necessarily a mistake, the latest kitchen trends and high-end equipment may not be the best choices.
Trendy colors and designs have a short half-life, and you may never see a return on your large investments in the latest kitchenware. Not Using ProfessionalsTaking on a kitchen design project to save money is a common mistake; it can actually waste more money, time and energy.
Professional designers have the latest ideas and information, and they can help you identify your needs and translate them into an efficient plan that fits your taste and budget. You don’t want to interrupt the traingle, but given the choice of the triangle or this kitchen, I can make do without the triangle.Jerry WilsonYeh! If these mistakes are avoided when remodeling your kitchen, I think the kitchen will be well remodeled without having any mistake that will make it non worthy.Kristen DockeryThanks for the great information and tips in this article about design and decorating tips not to make in your home. My husband and I are in the process of building a new home and this was a perfect time to come across this article so that I make sure not to make these mistakes. Do you have any other tips or advice about what to avoid when designing a home?Rose HendersonI don’t see how anyone could thing they could do an entire kitchen renovation on their own. They can be dangerous and cause major problems if not handled properly.MFergusonLove kitchen #1, could someone please tell me what the color of the cabinets are, and what color thegranite is.
My husband and I are renovating our kitchen and we have a decent amount of space to work with. With all of the new ideas out on the market from creative uses of colors, modern appliances and innovative materials there is a world of kitchen amenities to bring your kitchen into the present day of modernization. Metals are a hot trend in kitchen design from chrome, brushed aluminum, stainless steel, nickel and copper – try these materials out in your cabinetry hardware, pendant lighting, and range hood options.Collect this ideaUpdate finishes to a modern look in your kitchen2. Change out old flooring with wood or resilient materialsFlooring is one of those areas of your kitchen that is often forgotten but consumes your entire kitchen. While you may think it won’t make a difference try switching from your traditional rolled vinyl or linoleum flooring to a resilient material such as wood, tile, or stone. In recent years ceramic tile that looks just like hardwood has become popular as well as travertine and slate.3.

Remove upper cabinetry for a sleek kitchenIn older homes the trend was to include walls and walls of upper cabinetry to house dishes and cookware and often times these cabinets consumed the eye. If you want to increase the visual space of your kitchen, consider removing the upper cabinets and just leaving the lower ones. This frees up the wall for adding color, or even attaching floating or open shelving for a few decorative items and dishware.
You will be surprised how modern your kitchen will feel once your upper cabinets have been removed and the human eye will enjoy the space too!Collect this ideaFor a sleek and modern appeal remove upper kitchen cabinets4.
The kinds of countertop surfaces options out there are mind boggling from solid surfacing varieties that consist of resin, polymers to natural stone varieties such as marble and granite, there are a plethora of options in the countertop market. Over the last few years designers are becoming more creative and are using materials that used to be considered only for structural purposes now for countertops. They call it the heart of your home due to it’s traffic as well as bringing the family together for family meals – the kitchen is the “pulse” of your home. To modernize your old kitchen, consider bringing seating from the dining room into your space. Whether you choose countertop stools and seats at a breakfast bar or you opt for a banquette or bench at a window side table, seating can make your kitchen have a whole new appeal. Busy families with children doing homework to parents entertaining friends while cooking make seating essential in your modern-day kitchen.Collect this ideaBring seating into your kitchen area6. Replace appliances with energy efficient onesLet’s face it – we are in the green age of saving resources and your kitchen is a great place to start.
Energy efficient appliances should replace your old ones to bring modern styling into your kitchen and to save water and energy from your household expenses. Consider replacing plumbing fixtures as well – low flow kitchen faucets can save water and with the new styles available from kitchen plumbing manufacturers you will love the “touch free” technology and temperature sensor options that are available.
Paint Cabinetry with Modern ColorsFor homes that love their current kitchen cabinets but would like to add modern appeal- why not add color? Painting, staining, and even replacing cabinetry doors with new and modern detailed ones are a great option for homeowners on a budget. There are plenty of faux finishes you can try while painting kitchen cabinets and who doesn’t love a great do it yourself project in the kitchen? From distressing doors to paint glazes and stains, you will be surprised how your elbow grease and some additional color will transform your old cabinetry into new.Collect this ideaGive cabinets a modern look with a painted finish8.  Install new lighting optionsOnce you have modernized the major components of your kitchen, don’t forget the lighting! While kitchen lighting can be very minimal it is essential for safety, ambiance and versatility of your kitchen. If you have been suffering with one overhead ambient lighting fixture, look to recessed lighting or “can lights” for a modern illumination source.
Consider installing a dimmer switch for versatility in mood and illumination strength while entertaining, cooking, or just relaxing for a midnight snack! Pendant lighting over a kitchen island, under cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops, and chandeliers are all becoming great options for updated lighting sources.Collect this ideaUpdate kitchen lighting throughout your space9.
Adding decorative elementsWhile you may not think about it, your kitchen is a great place to add decorative elements to bring a sense of you and your lifestyle into your kitchen.
For many homeowners plant shelves on top of cabinets allow area for plants, sculptures, artwork and other decorative items.
Built in display shelves below your kitchen island can display kitchen memorabilia, your favorite cookbooks, or display an heirloom set of china passed down through generations. Add a vase of flowers, a fresh bowl of limes or lemons for a shot of color and bring a sense of you to your modern kitchen with decorative additions.10. Enlarge your kitchen – knock down wallsFor many older kitchens the compartmentalized and boxed-in feeling of kitchens built generations ago is very common. If you’re looking to open up your kitchen and share the view with an adjacent dining room or living room – consider knocking down some partitions!
While your kitchen could look fabulous as-is, what would it look like without that bothersome wall? If you’re unsure if this is possible – consult a structural engineer or architect to see what possibilities there are for your kitchen.Collect this ideaBring more space into your kitchen by removing wallsYour older kitchen just got a makeover with these simple tips to modernize the heart of your home. From updating finishes and materials to bringing in color, illumination, and space – the options abound for your older kitchen. While you may not use all 10 of these ideas, see which ones are perfect for your lifestyle, budget and family. This selection of unique countertops will reveal a wonderful new world full of new designs to choose from.View in galleryby Carl Mayfield PhotographyIf you prefer to keep the decor conventional and have a wooden countertop, at least try something less generic. It a beautiful and subtle texture which makes it an exciting feature for both the kitchen and the bathroom.View in galleryWant to try something different? Well, if you’re the patient type who doesn’t mind gluing hundreds of pennies to a wood countertop, one by one, then go ahead and try this project.View in galleryFor a modern home, a countertop made of concrete could be a lovely choice.
It’s durable and strong, resistant to scratches and the material can be matched to some of the other decor features. The split level countertop is the perfect feature.View in galleryThis is an unexpected combination of functions.
It has a sliding cutting board and an integrated tablet.View in galleryHere’s another interactive design. This one comes from Whirlpool and it has a futuristic design, with induction heating and touchscreen areas.

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