Before & After: Striking Green Cabinets and Pink Tile Add Drama to a “Cramped” ‘80s Kitchen

published May 8, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Dated kitchen before renovation.
Credit: Ella Moore

The kitchen is arguably one of the best rooms in the house for showcasing plants. Something about fresh greenery, alive and thriving, complements the space so well — and not to mention, can even help to purify the air. And Ella Moore, an interior designer turned plant stylist, couldn’t agree more. She combined her love for design and greenery in her colorful South Manchester home’s kitchen remodel. 

Credit: Ella Moore

“When we bought the house, the kitchen was in the same location but was very small. It was last remodeled in the 1980s,” Moore shares. “We wanted a bright, open kitchen that felt like a part of the rest of the house.” 

It was important to Moore that the kitchen had texture to create warmth, and she pulled inspiration from all over, specifically Soho House Hotels. “The layers and textures work so well, and I found that very inspiring,” she says. 

Credit: Ella Moore

To achieve that texture, Moore added warm Iroko wood countertops and textured Zellige tiles. Additionally, she had wood slats nailed to an MDF frame and attached them to the range hood. Paneling along the kitchen island was painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Pitch Black,” and the slats were stained in a walnut shade to match the other tones in the room. The walls, painted in Farrow & Ball’s “Green Smoke,” also help make the space feel warm. 

Credit: Ella Moore

Moore added additional texture to the kitchen through greenery, as plants dot the two hanging panels above the island. “This was a way of working with the restrictions of the space. There were unavoidable beams across the ceiling, and I wanted to break up the sight lines,” Moore explains. “Instead of the beams drawing the eye, the decorative hangers do, and I use them for drying flowers and for plants to trail from. I love having greenery around the house.”

Credit: Ella Moore

She also wanted to ensure it was a multi-functional space by adding seating on both sides of the kitchen island so that she and her husband could sit opposite each other during their weeknight dinners. Moore added several storage solutions, too: She added extra shelf dividers in the existing cabinets, lowered the shelf underneath the sink, and added boxes. There are also several open nooks where she stores cutting boards. 

Credit: Ella Moore

“I also added some very shallow-height shelves to the tea/coffee cupboard so I could add a pull-out tray with tea tins without eating into the small cupboard space,” she shares. “Another storage solution we love is having a separate pantry cupboard for all of our dry food. It’s great having it in one space instead of scattered throughout different drawers and cupboards in the kitchen.”

Credit: Ella Moore

Moore worked closely with a cabinet maker to perfect the new cupboard designs, which only took a few days to install. All in all, the entire kitchen cost around £16,000, or approximately $20,000. “It’s such a warm and tactile space. The Iroko wood worktops are changing color over time to a richer, darker shade, which I love,” Moore notes. “It’s a great space to hang out in. This isn’t the only room that feels like a warm hug in Moore’s house. To see more, visit the full home tour on Apartment Therapy