Vintage Entertainment Center turned Play Kitchen

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Ok. Maybe this is the part where I apologize that there are way too many pictures. Or maybe this is the part where I don’t say too much because there are just the right amount of pictures and this thing only gets too long if I talk too much.
All I know is, turning this old entertainment center into a play kitchen was simultaneously the most fun and hardest thing I have ever done and I took pictures of everything – and these are only  half of them.
Shutting up now.
This is the whopping giant my SIL picked out and commissioned me to turn into a play kitchen for my niece’s 3rd birthday. See the Custom Highchair I did for 1st Birthday, here. 
Inspire 3;

 Naturally, we talked all about how she wanted it to look, what kinds of things she hoped it would have. I had almost everything I need to start this custom kitchen project, except what colors we were going to use.
My SIL had sent me some color palettes for inspiration but I always need a starting point. So when I found these wrapping papers at TJ Maxx and fabric and knobs from Hobby Lobby, a dream kitchen started to form in my head.
As part of the DecoArt Blogger’s Outreach Program, the kind folks at DecoArt sent me a box of one of my new favorite paints, Americana Décor Chalky Finish Paint in colors: Everlasting, Smitten, Refreshing, Carbon & Relic. They also included their DecoPage and Chalkboad Paint. I used all of these products for this kitchen.

 The whole thing needed a new back. I used the chevron wrapping paper as wallpaper for the sink and oven section.
 The inside of the oven got a couple of coats of Relic for a realistic look.
 I painted the burners in Carbon, routered between the stove and faucet counter section to create some division between those two sections.
 I used a cheap wooden frame to frame out the window – painted in Smitten. The walls are done in Refreshing while the remainder of the kitchen is done in Everlasting.
 And this is how it all turned out!
This section we turned into the microwave and pantry section.
The pantry door doubles as a chalkboard.
 And I got these fun copper cake pans for 2.99 ea at a local thrift store.
Her mom ordered her this amazingly realistic microwave and had it shipped to me to fit into the kitchen design.
 I found some other supplies like the IKEA tins at a local thrift store, the baskets at dollar stores and the wooden lazy susan in my attic. What? You don’t go shopping in your attic?
The middle section was turned into an oven and dishwasher.
There was no divider there previously so we had to create one as well as change the hinges on the door so they would open down instead of out to the side.
 I used some little round wooden plaques for the stove tops and some turquoise glass knobs to turn on and off the stove. Her mom requested some bling, bling after all and quite frankly, I think all kitchens should have some. Real or not.
 A place to bake some adorable treats because everyone knows it tastes better when it’s pretty.
 That’s an Easter towel I got and cut the Happy Easter off of. It shortened it just enough that it was the perfect size to hang on her little oven handle.
A realistic oven compliments of some cookie cooling trays – 2 for $1!
Oh yeah. And it lights up. Because I am going for Aunt of the Year. LED push button fixture so it won’t get hot and she can turn it off and on easily.
A place to hang her whisks and other utensils because she has promised me coffee and brownies when I come back to visit.
 But seriously, watching her and all of the other kids pile into the kitchen to play was just as sweet. Still, I’ll take the brownies.
Is that a dog bowl you ask? Why, yes. Yes it is. Makes for the perfect play kitchen sink. The faucet is new because try as I might there wasn’t a used one to be found. This one was perfect though and only $25.
Remember that one time I had all six of the polished nickel pulls on that 1970s French Provencal Dresser turned Buffet monogrammed? I have been dying to do it again. I took these to a local trophy shop and they spiffed it right up.
 Because we’d all be happier to put the dishes in with our monograms on the handle, right?
I just picked up a metal dish drainer for inside.
 Such a cute place for a party, don’t you think?
 Every kitchen has to have a refrigerator and this is how that side of the cabinet started out.
Initially I painted these doors with about 6 coats of magnetic paint so that it would work like a real one where she could hang her artwork with magnets. That was a miserable fail!
It was so disappointing until I decided I really liked the look of actual metal doors more anyway. I like when things work out that way.
 Freezer on top.
Fridge on bottom and it’s lighted too, just like the oven.
Wish my fridge was this clean.
 These are my fun thrifted finds and they were just this perfect when I bought them.
And these are from my attic shopping trip. The little demi lune table was from our first home and the mail slot hung in my first child’s nursery over 10 years ago.
I repainted it and added some fun quatrefoil wrapping paper to dress up the backing.
 Then, I had this crazy idea (after having the crazy idea of painting the ceiling in stripes – to which my husband replied, does that go? Psh!) to add a real working light to the kitchen.
Who wants to cook in the dark?
The light is an under cabinet puck light.
And as far as I’m concerned it’s the piece de resistance!
{That and the striped ceiling. Why do husbands have so many questions about design when they claim to know nothing about design?}
 I have delivered some custom cakes in my day and I thought it would be the end of me. Nothing compares to the nervous wreck driving this bad boy 3.5 hours south.
The day before there was a downpour. And it poured on us the next day the whole way home. However, on this day, there was nothing but gorgeous sunshine. It’s like Mother Nature knew one more thing might send me over the edge.
Even the chalk art birthday card made it intact.
 Judging by the look on her face, I’d say Momma and Daddy knew just what she wanted for her birthday!
 She was all about this “real” microwave.
She wasted no time.
She got cooking right away.
And my boys had waited as long as they could before they joined her.
 Even my oldest.
 I will use these photos as blackmail one of these days if necessary.
 Her new kitchen is all set up in its new home in her playroom now.
And as much work as it was…
 I was kind of sad to see it go.
But then, she looks so much cuter playing with it than I did.
If you have any questions for me please let me know. I know this post was photo heavy but honestly I can’t imagine not using any one of them. Did you have any trouble getting the post to load?
If you have any tips on how you’d like a post like this one, with a tons of pics, presented, please feel free to let me know. Also, if you have any questions you’d like answered, please leave them in the comments. I have considered doing a follow up posts with more info on how I did what, where I got my supplies and total cost if it looks like you might be interested.
Happy Cooking!

Where to Get the Look | Entertainment Center Play KitchenGet the Look! Click here for the supply list, plus tips & tricks for creating your own play kitchen.


      • Cheryl Erpelding says

        This is amazing! I am a pre-school teacher and I would love to make something like this! Can you give me an idea of the total cost?

        • jamie says

          Thank you! Way more than I would have liked for it to. Around $500. We were in a time crunch though. If I had to it do over, with more time, I would have thrifted more of the pieces we used. Also, we usually have materials left over from other projects but when we did this we didn’t have anything on had that worked. While I feel like this was money very well spent, it is a HUGE kitchen, you could definitely recreate this for less. Plus, it’ll essentially last forever!

  1. says

    WOW! You seriously rocked it on this one! I see entertainment centers like this sitting in people’s driveways waiting for the trash or at Goodwill for next to nothing. I’ve always thought they’d make amazing little kitchens, but my girls are too old (in fact, we just sold the kitchen I built for them) and nobody’s ever asked me to build one for them. Yours is absolutely fantastic! I love all the details, the lights, the colors. It’s beautiful. What a fun project!

  2. Debbie Wyler says

    This is beautiful!!!! I have had an old entertainment center sitting in my garage for two years now with the intention of doing this to it. I’m too scared and overwhelmed to even begin. Too bad I can’t commission you to do it. :) You did a fabulous job!!!

  3. says

    Jamie, your talent just blows me away. This is the most awesome play kitchen ever (I want one!) and it’s obvious you poured lots of love into it. This is going to be a family heirloom. Sophia’s grandkids will be playing with this. Gotta pin and gotta share this!

  4. Sherry Fisher says

    All I can say is WOW, This has got to be the best repurposing job I have ever seen. What an endeavor from a loving aunt. Our daycare kids would absolutely live this!

  5. says

    This is fantastic. I bet you are her most favorite Auntie Jamie in the whole world! I can see a workshop for a little boy built the same way! A job well done and such great detail! Cheers…..pinned!

  6. Barbara Turner says

    This is absolutely PRECIOUS! I LOVE the colors, the styling, all the nuances! You NAILED it! She adores her new KITCHEN! I have a 2 1/2 yr. old Granddaughter and she would absolutely go crazy over this! Stunning job!

  7. Aina says

    Oh My Gosh! This is just the cutest and sweetest thing I’ve ever seen! LOVE IT! What a great auntie you are! I’m sure she will never ever forget this ever! 😀

  8. Sheila Moore says

    I love this! My son and his wife are expecting my first grandbaby in August and it’s a girl. So I will be on the look out for a cabinet like this to transform for her. Thank you so much for the tutorial.

  9. Becky Demarco says

    Jamie, you are such a clever girl!!! I believe that your little niece will be using her imagination
    in that perfection of a kitchen….you always inspire me and this one is just too, too awesome! (I had no probs with the upload…and it would have just been wrong to leave any of them out) The Kitchen and your companion dress up wardrobe is sure to boost many a child’s best memories of childhood!

  10. says

    I’ve been going through your blog the last hour and I’m addicted! I need to finally sit down and start some of my projects. I have a list a mile long. Thanks for the inspiration! Amazing work!

  11. Julie Shearer says

    Wow!!!! I know you have made ” auntie of the year”! This is so incredibley awesome!! I love all of the pictures.
    I have recently started refinishing old furniture I hope to get to this level … Someday. Lol
    Thanks for sharing so much useful information. I’m hooked on your blog, love it here! Keep up the Fabulous work!
    Hugs from Illinois, Julie

    • jamie says

      Aww Julie! Thank you so much. I am glad you love it here and hope you keep coming back. I’m glad to have you here!

  12. Elizabeth LIppincott says

    Forget Aunt of the Year. You MOST certainly MUST be AUNT OF THE LIFETIME!!! This project is just amazing, unbelievable, whimsical, fanciful, and so generous of you! I wish my kitchen was so perfect! : ) LOVE every bit of it!

  13. Julie says

    You are amazing! I happened across this through another blog. So imaginative and beautiful to look at. Thank you for posting all of the details and the number of pictures is great.

    • jamie says

      Oh yay! Thanks so much! I would love to know who sent you this way so that I can thank them. So glad to have you here and appreciate your taking the time to comment. Thank you!

  14. Cristina says

    Awesome job! My question is did you prime it first? Was the center solid wood? And lastly did you add a protective finish? I so want to make one!

  15. shan says

    This is so awesome. We have just started a similar project so I have a few questions. Did you cut the existing doors down so that you could divide one side into a fridge and freezer? If so did you have to add an extra panel into the frame?
    Did you just use regular wrapping paper for the wall paper and just glue it down?

  16. Alexa says

    This is just adorable! We are in the process of making one for our 2 year old daughter right now. This was such an inspiration thank you! My question is where did you get the wood pieces for the stove? And did you use regular wrapping paper for the w

    • jamie says

      I used small round wooden plaques that I got from Hobby Lobby for the burners and I used regular wrapping paper but the nice, sturdy kind. Thanks!


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