Going into the renovation we knew we wanted slate tile floors, butcher block counters, a beaded board backsplash, and white cabinets. When all was said and done we ended up with wood floors, granite counters, a tile backsplash, and white cabinets.
Once the contractor had ripped everything out we discovered the original wood floors under the old vinyl and opted to refinish those. We opted for granite because it seemed like that was what everyone was using and might add the most value should we choose to move one day. The backsplash tile ended up being something we replicated on the fireplace in the living room.
We had a door from the living room to the kitchen which we closed up during renovation to create some symmetry in the living room and so we could add built-ins on either side of the fireplace. That change left us with a long wall perfect for a desk and file storage purposes.
We also added a huge walk in pantry that was perfect for storing everything from the vacuum to extra food to tons of serving pieces that we owned. We also used it to house the microwave that we used infrequently.
And we brought our washer and dryer in from the detached garage and stuck them under a granite folding counter. That was a huge change, I cannot even imagine walking through the rain to wash burp clothes and dirty onesies.
And then we had a baby and our dinner parties, one of the driving forces behind this renovation, dried up like California. But we had our dishwasher, albeit an extremely costly one.