Ikea Duktig Kitchen Hack

Okay… back story! This post was meant to be published at the start of the year, but way back before that was when I originally snagged this 2nd hand IKEA Duktig kitchen off Gumtree for a steal! It was almost in too good a condition to hack up, but I did it and I’m ever so glad I did! I had been gawking at Duktig makeovers on Pinterest for months, getting ideas here and there but really had my very own little plan right from the beginning. I hacked this one way back in August/September last year (!!), but intentionally held off sharing anything as it was kept hidden for her Christmas gift. Thankfully, I wrote up the whole tutorial while I was renovating so today I can share it all with you… better late than never, right??

Call me crazy, but I wanted to create a mini version of our own kitchen, and thankfully we had just the right supplies left over from our renovations to do just that. I used the same spray paint as our cupboards and we had some handles left over, which amazingly fit the holes of the Duktig kitchen perfectly. The bench top was a little trickier and this is where we had to compromise, as it was either a beige vinyl tile (that looked like it was from the 1990’s) or a calacatta marble vinyl contact paper. After trying the tile and dying a little inside, the marble won out.

Here’s a list of what I used…

I started out by taking off all three doors, removing the sink and mixer tap, and completely removing the top section of the kitchen. I masked up the windows of the oven and microwave door so when they were sprayed the plastic would stay clear. Everywhere was given a light sand to remove any grime and then a good clean. Then I sprayed… and sprayed… and sprayed!

Every where was given at least two coats of paint. First up was a white coat over the whole kitchen and the door that sits below the sink. The oven and microwave door were sprayed with silver to make them stand out as appliances.

Next, it was time for the splash back. I used a 3mm piece of MDF board, sprayed with gloss blue and sanded back with 320 grit paper between coats – until I had a beautiful glossy finish. Then it was cut to size and using the white paint pen and a ruler, I drew on the subway tile pattern. Finially it was attached to the top part of the kitchen with some glue & nails.

Once everything was dry the vinyl tiles were cut to size and stuck down…. I immediately started wishing I hadn’t used them. So it was off to the shops for my roll of marble adhesive which was stuck down in place of the tiles… The rounded corners were a little tricky as I wanted the marble to wrap around the bench top, but we got there in the end and it looks a million times better than the previous option!

Finally I could put everything back together. Adding new handles to the doors, attaching the hook to the side and screwing on the knobs above the oven door were the final touches! This little kitchen has been a huge hit with Summer, she’s currently going through a “copy mummy” stage and absolutely adores her mini version of our kitchen! 

Kmart Hack: Toy Box makeover

If there’s one thing that is guaranteed with kids, it’s that they require a lot of “stuff”. Thankfully much of this stuff is stored in our little girl’s bedroom, but it doesn’t mean that she hasn’t taken over our main family room! However, I’m a big believer that the home should still remain a place that everyone can enjoy, and so having clever storage in our family room to tidy away all the mess at the end of the day is definitely high on the priority list!

Before Summer was born, we installed a wall of cupboards which were great for platters, our 2nd dinner set, the alcohol stash and the list goes on…. but since welcoming our new little housemate, things have been somewhat reorganised. The bottom half of the cupboards are now an excellent place to hide away bigger toys, books and craft supplies (a little higher up) which can be accessed by our little munchkin without the worry of her pulling something breakable down on her head. For everything else, I knew a trunk would be the best way for us to store away all those little toys…

We ended up buying this basketweave trunk from Kmart for $39 (bargain!) but it wasn’t quite right for our room, so I thought I’d try a little experiment with some watered down paint and I have to say, it worked a charm and took hardly any time at all.

Here’s what I used…

  • A tube of white acrylic non-toxic paint (this is important as I can’t count the number of times our little one has chewed on one of the corners!)
  • Water
  • A large flat brush & an old rag

Once you’ve mixed the paint there is just two steps for this little makeover (For mixing the paint I used about 30% paint to 70% water)! Painting it all on and wiping it off with an old rag. The wicker will absorb quite a bit of the paint, so if you just want a light whitewash use a ratio of more water and less paint, likewise if you’d like a thicker coat, just use less water in the mix!

I didn’t want the finish on our trunk to be totally uniform, so this is where the idea of rubbing with a rag came from (it’s not really a crucial step). I wanted to be able to see some of the wicker through the paint, and so while I was rubbing I just rubbed some areas more than others so the finish would be a little more varied.

What do you do for toy storage? While what we’ve got going on at the moment is perfect, I have a feeling we’re going to need more hiding places soon!

Let me know in the comments

Liv xx

Party in the Park + free party planner template!

Confession time! I started writing this post months ago – exactly 3months ago if I’m honest, because I just realised my babe is now 15 months and time has totally gotten away from me! Life with a toddler, right?

So 3 MONTHS ago (!!) we celebrated our baby girls first birthday with a party in the park. To say it was a bit of a logistical nightmare (getting everything from our house to said park) would be an understatement but we did it and I wouldn’t change a thing! 

Over the past couple of years I’ve hosted a few events which have all seemed incredibly daunting at first but ended up running super smoothly on the day and I have to put it down to my ‘over-the-top OCD party planner’. It’s an absolute life saver and has seriously saved my butt every time. So today I thought I’d share this planner with you and let you in on a few handy hints that have really helped me along the way

The planner itself is super simple, even my 7 year old niece could have figured out this one, but it’s all in the details which is what I wanted to share with you today. Check out my completed planner below and you’ll see what I mean – colours, dates types of serving ware – getting into all these details is what has really helped me in planning events.

I like to start out with all the main elements (black text) – the date, venue, menu items, guest list, all the nuts and bolts of what is going to make up the party and then get into the details of when, where & how all these major elements are going to come together (coloured text). Then, while I’m planning all these finer details, I fill the page with colour and dates to categorise things and give me guidelines of when I can do what so everything isn’t left to the last minute! It’s things like…

  • Whats in the cupboard to use as serving ware on the day? Theres nothing worse than stressing out trying to find a plate that will work or an extra jug in the final hours of prep! 
  • When can I purchase items that will keep, and when’s the ideal time to get all the fresh items?
  • What can be made in advance and frozen or what has to be made fresh on the day?

Once all these details are figured out, it’s just a matter of working through the checklist and if a friend comes by to help out on the day you’ve the perfect checklist there for you both to work through. 

I’ve done parties before with all the details in my head, and I’ve done them with bits and pieces written here and there, and undoubtably every time I’ve missed something or someone has had to do a last minute rush to the shops, but with this party planner I really haven’t been able to go wrong. It honestly has been a major life saver and stress eliminator! 

I hope this planner can help you too. I’ve put together two blank versions  – one is a word doc and the other a .pdf (for if you prefer old school and hand writing up all the deets). 

Let me know in the comments if you use this party planner or what your tricks are for a stress free party! 

Liv xx

Make your own peekaboo sensory boards

Hey guys, today I thought I’d share a little craft project that a good friend and I filmed last week. These peek-a-boo sensory boards have been a huge hit in our house and are seriously so easy to make. The first time I made these (a few months ago) with a bunch of different fabrics and Summer loved it so much that Mel and I thought we’d make another batch, but this time with different textured papers. Check out our little video below for a tutorial on how to make your own! 

If you want to give this a go some ideas for materials are below, but really the options are endless. Anything with varying textures from around your home or your local craft store will work perfectly! 

  • velvet 
  • wool
  • silk 
  • corduroy 
  • carpet 
  • sponge
  • sand paper 
  • metallic gloss paper 
  • corrugated paper 
  • the sticky side of contact paper
  • felt 
  • sheets of foam

Also, make sure you check out Mel’s youtube channel for other great videos & follow her on instagram @sydneymuminspired! 

And of course, let me know if you give these boards a try! 

Liv xx

6 Months in..

Last week we celebrated 6 months our baby girls. I can’t believe half a year has gone by so fast!! There wasn’t any cake or big surprises, but I couldn’t resist putting together a little memory roll of some of our best memories!

I really can’t believe how this time has passed so quickly, it’s been a rollercoaster with highs, lows and moments where I think “where did that come from?” (no really how can someone so tiny bring up so much food, its crazy!) but I wouldn’t change a moment of it! This sweet little girl has brought us so much joy and I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives sharing in that joy with her! 

Nursery Tour…

It’s been a long time coming and I can tell you, I’ve been wanting to share this for quite some time.. it’s just time keeps getting away from me! But better late than never they say, so while my little one is still just that, I’d love to share with you her gorgeous little slice of our home. 

Summer skies and winter sunsets were my original inspiration for Summer’s room – Capturing those awe inspiring moments and those moments of fun as hot air balloons pass or children run along gazing at kites soaring in the sky.

Before we knew if it was going to be a little girl or boy’s room, we decided to give the room a pale, sky blue canvas and built everything from there. The colour we ended up choosing was a perfect mix of blue with a pretty lilac undertone, in the morning sun it feels bright and fresh, while in the evening it looks slightly purple and makes the room feel oh-so soft and warm.

As soon as I found out a little girl was on the way, I knew I could go down the sweet road of pretty sunsets and pastel skies – my mind was filled with images and everything came together very quickly from there. I wanted the room to feel whimsical but also peaceful, to be a place that would be fun for a little girl to play in but to also feel timeless and relaxing.

The rose pink velvet chair was my first must have piece of furniture and it really gave the room that pretty, yet elegant feel. We ordered the cot, change table and set of drawers online and then I put a lot of DIY into the room. The mobile, hot air balloons, rainbow and pastel building blocks were all a labour of love – even the kites were made in the wee hours one morning when I couldn’t sleep at 8 months pregnant! We already had the IKEA bookshelf, which I decided to flip onto it’s side, add legs and then I white washed all the baskets on the bottom shelf to soften the golden colour up a bit.

When it was all finished, I have to admit I was a little sad to see the end of the project – it was so much fun designing a space for a little one. I really can’t wait for the next children’s space I get to create – be it a playroom, toddlers room or another nursery – there is just so much imagination that can be brought to life. And this room came together just how I wanted it to, both Summer and I absolutely love spending time in here. A very rewarding project indeed! 

Baby Shower Dreams

Over the past few weeks I’ve been really keen to get back into my little blogging world, but have also been having a little change of heart about what that looks like. With a new arrival on the way (bubs is due in late April) I’ve been thinking about how this space could change.  While in the past all my posts have been put together, alongside working full time I am hoping that with being home more I’ll be able to share some more personal stories and what design really means to me!

So in a bid to get a little more personal with you, I thought I’d share a few snaps from my Baby Shower last weekend.  From the very beginning, this shower was a labour of love! I really wanted to be all over the details and so a lot of heart, planning and DIY went into the final product. From making the floral chocolate bark, to painting the jars, collecting decorations and learning how to decorate cakes and cupcakes, it’s safe to say this was a full scale initiation into party planning for little people – and I loved every moment of it! 

Being a sucker for design – colour and the over all look of the table was pretty important to me. Admittedly, I even planned the food around the over all pastel colour scheme. Decorations were collected over a few weeks from countless stores and to get the right look I painted old pasta jars for the bunches of baby’s-breath. 

I’ve heard before that a gathering with out cake is just a meeting, meaning cakes and cup cakes definitely had to be on the menu. BUT I also wanted some healthy options so berry flavoured bliss balls, a fruit platter and veggie shots were added in to balance things out. These coconut cupcakes (you can find the recipe here) were absolutely divine, soft and fluffy on the inside with a heavenly Swiss Meringue butter cream (recipe for the butter cream here) and hints of black and blueberries .

Within mixing up healthy and not-so-healthy options, I also knew I would need some options that were super easy and quick to put together. The hummus veggie shots, pop corn cups, pikelet stacks, and bruschetta vol au vents were complete life savers here – and the added bonus of them all being mini in size was a super cute addition to the table too!

Fruity, floral chocolate bark was also a super easy addition and totally looked a million bucks – the only downfall was Sydney being in the middle of a heat wave, that chocolate did not stay solid for much more than ten minutes – oops! 

Finally the cake was definitely my most favourite part! Inside was a super delicious humming bird cake, which was covered with a subtle lime flavoured buttercream and whimsically decorated with sugar pearls and sprinkles. Almost, nearly, too cute to eat! 

So that was it! If you’d like to see where I got all my inspiration from, check out my Pinterest Baby Shower board below. And as an added bonus, I’m also sharing the planner I created to help get everything in order! 

Follow Olivia’s board B A B Y . S H O W E R on Pinterest.

 Have you ever hosted a baby shower before? What was your favourite part?

Let me know in  the comments!


Sunrise Nursery theme

Many of my friends and family know by now that we’re expecting a baby girl in April – if you follow me on Instagram, you will have also seen a few things I’ve been putting together for the nursery. Being a mum is something I’ve always dreamed of, and being someone who is particularly interested in design and all things pretty it should come as no surprise that I’ve been planning away our nursery for quite some time!

I started out with an image that really inspired me and worked from there. From colours to the overall theme of the room, I loved the idea first light or dawn for a nursery. Once we found out there was a little girl of the way it was decided – soft pink & lilac with pale blue walls was the way to go. So gradually our dawn sky theme is coming together, we’ve already painted the walls – a stunning pale blue that is fresh and lively in morning light, but takes on a subtle purple hue in the evening and below is the beginnings of what I hope will be something like our finished space… 

From top to bottom: Kites (DIY project), Cloud Pendant, Cot & Drawers, Baby Blanket, Curtains, Cot Sheet, Lamp, Unicorn, hot air balloon and  World Globe (custom), Armchair, Baskets, Prints, Cushion (similar), Moroccan Pouffe, Cloud Shelf, Lilac Blanket

Wish me luck xxx