See How This “Bland” ‘90s Kitchen Got a Forest-Glam Redo (for $130!)

published Feb 7, 2024
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Green-hued kitchens have been a fan favorite for a while, and there’s no sign of the trend slowing down. 

This popular kitchen color is a hit with interior designer Nicola Harbottle (@thesmithinterior), who transformed her own “bland” kitchen into a green paradise that brings a touch of the outdoors in. Orange wooden counters and neutral walls dominated the “before,” which didn’t fit with the overall theme of the home. 

“The kitchen is an extension to the original 1920s house,” Nicola explains of the abode she shares with her husband and their dog, Olive. “It was added by the house’s previous owners in the 1990s. It hasn’t been changed or modernized since then.“

Her particular pain points in the kitchen were the color scheme and the “beyond boring” countertops. Nicola is a self-proclaimed maximalist, and this shines through in her updated kitchen’s bold design. Aside from the new engineered oak wooden flooring, most of the renovation was a DIY project.

The countertops got a gold pour-over resin treatment.

The first part of the kitchen to receive a makeover was the countertops. The gold leaf resin adds a luxurious feel to the space. Nicola and her husband DIYed the countertops, a first-time project for the duo.

“Stopping the resin running off the fronts was tricky,” Nicola recalls. “We have a few run marks if you look underneath, but they’re not very noticeable.” Mostly, what she has is statement-making new countertops done on a budget that are surprisingly durable.

“[The countertops] went really well, and they’ve lasted and worn well,” Nicola says.

Wallpaper and paint add pops of green.

Perhaps most noticeable in the “after” is the kitchen’s new forest theme. The cabinets are painted a rich green tone (the color is Selva, by British paint brand Fired Earth), and the walls and once-wood-paneled dishwasher are covered in a vibrant leafy wallpaper from Graham & Brown.

“I’m pretty adept at papering and painting, so it was mostly straightforward,” Nicola says.

She loves the way the green and gold complement each other perfectly and make for a welcoming, playful kitchen.“The sunlight bounces off the gold, and the green leads the eye out to the garden beyond,” Nicola says. (Not to mention, her indoor garden is gorgeous, too!)

For more makeovers that bring the outdoors inside, check out these nine nature-inspired projects.