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As a kid I longed for things that represented my culture. I would paint and modpodge furniture and tables and anything I could. I remember a kitchen table I painted with chiles of all colors. Now that my generation is grown up we are out here creating things that represent us. From clothing, accessories to everything in between, finding a coffee mug with pan dulce decals isn’t as far fetched as it was when I was a kid. For Olive’s kitchen I knew I wanted to make it a Mexican style kitchen and that required just a tad of DIY and some decor pieces to bring the look together.
I went with the Ikea Duktig play kitchen and kept it all it simple. You’ll find so many DIYs on Pinterest painting and sealing to customize the color, but while I love a good DIY, I also am a bit more practical these days.
I left the Ikea kitchen as is and chose not to paint it. I went this route for a few reasons… lack of patience for one. I was so excited for Olive to use it that the thought of taking however many days to paint it was not ideal. The biggest reason I didn’t opt to paint it is because it’s a process if you want to do it right. Because it’s a finished piece paint doesn’t stick to it easily. To prevent chipping and fast wear on repainting it would require multiple coats of paint and sealant. Some people go so far as to paint the plastic too and it chips and scratches easily so again, extra care and attention. I was happy with the natural color so I kept it that way.
For the backsplash I embellished with a backdrop. I only bought one piece and cut it to fit the backsplash area of the kitchen.
I knew I wanted to find hanging chilis or vegetable with the raffia. I grew up with some in my kitchen and it’s such a common find in Latino kitchens. I got so lucky (totally manifested) finding the mini avocado version on the side of Olive’s kitchen while in San Francisco this summer.
Tea Set + Pantry Items
The tea set was a total diy job. I painted the Hearth and Hand tea set they had earlier this year. I sadly don’t see it available at the moment, but something like it can come back durning the holiday season. Target does have the breakfast set available. Because the pieces are wood I lightly sanded and painted the tea set to look like Mexican pottery, the ones with dot flowers.
For the pantry items I painted a set of Melissa & Doug wood toys I thrifted. I painted them as cafe de olla, sopita de letras, and leche.
The look came together with the vintage copper tea kettle and sugar cup that was a gift from Olive’s grandma. I used adhesive hooks to hang her aprons on the side of the kitchen and added a cute Mexican tile on the inside (found in a small shop in San Juan Capistrano). Fake plantitas (little plants) also tied the whole look up nicely. Last but not least for Olive’s kitchen… a speaker on top because we love to dance and sing while we cook in our house.