DIY Kitchen from A Beautiful Mess + A Well-Made, Loved Home .

When Steve and I were newlyweds, we fell hard and fast into the 'buy everything brand spankin' new!' trap. Among those over-priced, brand-new items was a small black telephone stand, which, amazingly, we did use very much up until we moved to Oregon, where it's sat in a closet ever since. For the last several months, the idea of turning said telephone stand into a play kitchen for the boys brewed in my mind. I even had an unused can of burnt-orange spray paint hiding out in my cabinet, also slated for the play kitchen. But how exactly would it get accomplished? I had no idea. And then, several weeks ago, I came across this post and tutorial, by Katie, for A Beautiful Mess.

I immediately texted Steve and said something like, "For Christmas, let's make the boys a play kitchen out of that old telephone stand". To which Steve replied with something like, "What telephone stand?". And the rest was history. And speaking of my husband, who makes me smile every day, because he is funny and sweet and a little bit naughty, he happened to peek over my shoulder as I was drawing out the sketch above and said to me, "Really? Does that really make a home well-made and loved?". Stinker. So, just for good measure, I made a little addition in the bottom, right-hand corner. See it?

If I could go back in time and write a letter to my 24-year-old, newlywed self, here is what I would say: // You don't need to buy everything right away. // There is incredible value in the handmade, the reused, and the well-loved. // Live with what you love. Own it, as in, make it yours. And that goes for everything-- the little-name stores, the Big-Name stores, the thrift stores, and everything in between. //

And so, today, when I look at this little orange kitchen in the hallway next to our real kitchen, that gathers the most beautiful natural light from our half-bath window, I am thrilled to claim it and call it ours. And even though I probably wouldn't find myself at Bed, Bath, and Beyond buying a telephone stand today, I'm really glad we did, eight years ago. Because, we made it ours through a few hours of cutting, painting, nailing, and gluing. Of course it's not perfect, but I'm pretty sure that two little boys I know sense the love my husband and I poured into it. At the very least, they have a marvelous time banging around with the pots and pans, wink!

ps. Here are a few of my favorite tutorials by Katie: DIY Cardboard Play Houses // DIY Advent Tree // DIY Moccasins for Children


  1. How much do I love your drawing!! Have you seen how Apartment Therapy is looking for a resketch of their Homie Awards logo? I feel like you are halfway there already with the house and lettering....

  2. That kitchen is sooooooooooo cute!!

  3. Shanna,
    Are you serious? I never have any idea about these things! I just looked it up and I feel so excited to try something. They make it sound so 'enterable' : ) Thank you so much for letting me know about it, friend!

    thank you! Praying for Dave's job!

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  5. Well said, Sarah! I love the part about making it yours. :)

  6. Lex,
    Yes! These are lessons that I have learned mostly the hard way : ( Hopefully they are helpful to others.

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