my ‘fake’ kitchen {a little tour}

We built the “studio” addition a little over a year ago, but haven’t finished up all the little things to make it complete.Β This is the room we use for homeschooling, hosting overnight guests, crafting, etc. It is basically a big family room, but I call it “my studio” so as to brainwash my boys before they claim it as a man cave or something! I’m thankful we were able to do most of the building ourselves, but trying to do it with 5 kids means it is really dragging out. While the boys were on their ski trip I tackled the ‘kitchen’ area. The kitchen area was pretty plain. I tried a red chalkboard wall for a time, but it was too bold for me. It hasn’t really looked like a kitchen, just a little nook with a sink. It is amazing what some tile, wallpaper and cabinets can do!

This before picture was taken on my phone right when I began working…that’s why it is so cluttered and messy.

beforeThe after
1.14studiokitchen-11.14studiokitchen-2The countertop was formerly a bowling lane. We found it on Craigslist.1.14studiokitchen-31.14studiokitchen-51.14studiokitchen-61.14studiokitchen-8

I made the curtains using dishtowels, lace trim, vintage fabric, and pillowcase tatting. I had purchased one dishtowel and was trying to figure out how to cut it in half and add fabric to make the curtains (to save money) and then a sweet friend randomly mailed me one because she thought I’d like it! The cabinet next to it I bought from my friend Jamie who salvaged it.1.14studiokitchen-9

You can see the upstairs in the next shot. That is our ‘guestroom’. Originally it was just going to be a tiny nook with a ladder up to it. I’m so glad we framed it out to be a room – wise advice from our friend who did the framing. We never dreamed we’d be able to host as many guests as we got to in 2013. It was a huge unexpected gift.1.14studiokitchen-10

It feels good to have this little nook finally done. I call it my ‘fake kitchen’ now. It reminds me of a set for a cooking show because it has the appearance of a kitchen, but without all the real kitchen stuff.


  • Hutch – thrifted
  • Dollhouse, dishes, canisters – thrifted
  • Pendants – Ikea
  • Barstools – thrifted
  • Countertop – bowling lane from Craiglist
  • Hanging Scale – bought at a garage sale
  • Tile – Lowe’s
  • Mounted cabinet – salvaged by my friend
  • Wallpaper – Juila Rothmann
  • Curtains – I made using a dishtowel and thrifted/gifted lace, fabric, tatting
  • Farm sink – Ikea
  • Paint – I am sorry to say I don’t remember the name of the teal, the white is called “Clean and Crisp”
  • Small cabinets by window – my dad and I built

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  • Ruth @ Living Well Spending Less - Beautiful Ashley! I love the wallpaper, although I really liked the original red chalkboard wall too. I have some serious studio envy! πŸ™‚ xoxo

  • Stacie Bloomfield - This is like my dream space! I am always blown away by your decorating skills πŸ™‚

  • tara - love your “fake” kitchen!
    I’m new{er} to your blog, so I’m gonna peruse to see the rest of your home.

  • gina :: listening in the litany - What a delightful space and I LOVE the countertop! How resourceful!

  • Jessica - This is such a beautiful, cozy, collected space. Love it!

  • Erica / Baker Stories - Looks so great! I love the counter tops, the cabinets, the paint…everything! Such great details.

  • cindy - what a great space. you did a great job on the decor. is this space connected to your house or a separate building? I love the wallpaper…..

  • Dana - I LOVE the litte cabinet shelves on either side of the sink…my grandparents used to have shelves like that!! I totally forgot about them until I saw yours! You have created such a warm and cozy “studio”! ????

  • The Gifted Gabber - What a delightful space! Your guests are some lucky ducks! The kitchen has a wonderful quirkiness to it. Great job!

  • Crystal Prychidko - Love your “studio” πŸ™‚ Your chairs make me smile!!! I’m not a huge fan of wallpaper but I love the one you have picked out!!! Such a great impact!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

  • angie - Most beautiful fake kitchen I ever did see! πŸ™‚

  • danielle - I want to live in your studio πŸ™‚ I wonder if countertops like that would hold up better with my boys. I really want wood countertops but we do a lot of science expermiments!

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - Simply awesome.

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators - That’s the coziest and most welcoming fake kitchen I’ve ever seen. So cute!

  • Emily - I love it! I also love that you’re trying to head off it becoming a man-cave. I’ve been binging on home-buying shows lately and there are too many Dudes saying that the Man-Cave is a requirement – and some are really grouchy about it :-\ I like the idea of specialized escape space, but it’s nice that this is for the whole family to use. Very inspirational!

  • Tonya Skyles - I live in where near an IKEA. Were you able to purchase the pendants and sink online and them ship it to you or do you have to go to a store?

  • Lori - I LOVE this sooo much! what a wonderful space. So creative and resourceful.

  • kimberly oyler - so so cute ashley!

  • Jill Curtis - It’s beautiful. It feels so welcoming. I want to come stay at your house!

  • creole wisdom - What an incredible space. Here I thought it was a full function kitchen with stove etc… I love that you’ve made it look so kitchen-like without having all those features. The wallpaper is lovely. I’ve seen it in person before and it’s one of my favorite prints.

  • Tammy Alfultis - It turned out so perfect Ashley!

  • Heather Jenkins - Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVE this space. It looks fun, inviting, and definitely a space for creativity to thrive. The bowling lane counter is genius. Where oh where are you thrifting? Tulsa? Broken Arrow? Do tell. As always, your blog is inspiring!

  • Brittany Fry - OMG I swooning over everything in this post. Bowling lane is officially my new search on craigslist. That is a wonderful idea!!! I seriously love everything in your fake kitchen!!!

  • Taylor - I absolutely love this little area! That kitchen is so adorable! I live in a teeny apartment now, but I can’t wait to have my own home someday and do incredible things almost equal to this!


  • Jordan G @ The Happy Homebodies - I so enjoy looking at all of your posts and love how your style shines through everything you do. Those thrifted finds are awesome! Is that yellow scalloped trash can also a thrift store find? I love it!

  • > - I love it. Everything.

    Where did you get the awesome map though? πŸ™‚

  • Addie - Oh I love it all! The cabinet color and collection of yardsticks is my favorite!

  • Melanie - Um, can your fake kitchen be my real kitchen? LOVE.

  • Rosie - It looks awesome! I I’ve those drawer units too. Where did you get those? I need some really bad!

  • Jenna Lou - So in love with your studio, and all the changes you’ve made to the kitchen area.

  • Tania @ Run To Radiance - I love this space. I was hoping you’d post more about it! I wish I knew how to build cabinets. πŸ™‚

  • lora - i love it all! the colors are so happy and cheerful. and the countertop that was once a bowling alley lane – brilliant!

  • Tara - Ha, Love it! I copied your Salsa Benjamin Moore Chalkboard paint and put it on a door in my kitchen that leads to our basement! I loved it so much in your studio and wanted to be bold for once in my life—our house is pretty brown, cream, green and robin’s egg blue. Turns out I am not a bold person… the door is being repainted this summer because it is waaayyy to much for me! The only reason I am waiting until the summer is because I had painted it two colors previously-3 colors total in one month. The hubby suggested we sit with it a bit and let it sink in πŸ˜‰

  • Jami Nato - i love seeing how it turned out. you creative bird!

  • Asha - I have the same yellow hamper with the lid! It’s in my daughter’s closet holding some of her stuffed animals. I bought it for $4 at a garage sale.

  • Rebekah - Ashley, I have just loved this space since it’s inception. I am trying to be content, but man, that would be an awesome homeschool space!!! Did you design the entire space or did you have blueprints? What is the square footage? Truthfully, I think it’s the open feel, flooded with light, and concrete floors that won me. Do you find the concrete to be cold (literally?) Happy new year, and thanks for sharing your great ideas with non-creative people like me. Makes me look good!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - That wallpaper! Love it!

  • Kaleigh - I absolutely love your design sense! You make it all look so easy! Everything is so different and unique and yet it all works together! Love the minty cabinets below, a sweet surprise when you walk around the counter!

  • Bon@ A Golden Afternoon - Lovely, as always. I would totally cook in your fake kitchen πŸ˜‰

  • elizabeth H - i {LOVE} your “fake kitchen”!
    LOVE the wallpaper, the tile look GREAT, your metal tin canisters make me SMILE, and your curtains…swoon!!
    {i’ve been on the hunt for that Anthro towel ~ it’s sold out here in Nashville πŸ™
    PS> what’s the color of your cabinets?!! it’s perfectly lovely!
    a happy space!

  • the smoking gun…or not » - […] power. My new saw and drill…pretty awesome. I used the saw to cut boards for our ‘fake kitchen‘. I use the drill all the time. Sometimes I just walk around the house looking for things […]

  • Jaime - I think I remember the paint color for your cabinets. Was it Antiguan Sky by Benjamin Moore?

  • Renee - pretty! I would love to read your thoughts on the logistics of homeschooling all those little ones… how do you organize it all? what does a day look like? And most importantly, what do you use all those awesome tiny drawers on that white cabinet for!? πŸ™‚

  • AshleyAnn - Jaime – that sounds right! πŸ™‚

  • Katherine Bach - How many rolls of wallpaper did you need for your wall? I am thinking of getting the one with the yellow birds!

  • Vendy - The teal looks just like the teal I painted my island cabinets. It is called tantalizing teal from sherwinn williams.

  • Breana Parker - Hi Ashley! Where did y’all get the aqua/white base cabinets? My husband and I are moving into my parents walk-out basement this summer to have an extra bedroom for our new baby, and we’re putting in a kitchen – on a budget. πŸ™‚ I love love the look of yours here! I’m just wracking my brain trying to figure out how to make the space aesthetically pleasing and functional, but as low-cost as possible. Anyway, if you get the chance to reply, that’d be awesome. Happy spring!

  • AshleyAnn - Breana – they are from Home Depot…just there lowest grade cabinet. They go on sale all the time.

  • Breana Parker - Thanks, Ashley! : )