OK gays, thanks for the suggestions.
Please critique my cost-reduced current plan so I can have a nice kitchen and a Toyobaru in 3 years, instead of an overpriced kitchen and nothing.
1) Looking at picture above, tear down half of the wall on the right of the picture above, the one the bends and covers half of the fridge. The wall will be cut at the point between the fridge and the range. The range that is just peeking out in the pic, past the fridge, will stay there, as will the microwave/smoke hood above it.
2) The fridge will move to where the door is on the left (see pic below
2a) A new sliding door will be added elsewhere for access to the backyard
3) An 8-foot extension of the counter will be built starting from where the wall is cut, to past where the fridge is. It will extend about 2.5 feet past the closest side of the fridge. This counter will be 3 feet wide. It will have no appliances. The cabinets below it will be the standard 2 foot depth. A foot of counter will stick out to the right, into the dining room area, for stools (and cylinder heads!)
4) The existing beige granite countertop will be kept. The colors of the floor, backsplash and paint will be chosen to work with it.
5) The existing cabinet faces will be sanded and repainted. Bright white instead of the existing "dull grandma's home white". Door pulls replaced and hinges replaced with hidden ones
OR the cabinets will be refaced.
6) Slider hardware will be added to the drawers. Right now they are wood on wood (like hustler secretly likes)
7) Kitchen Floor will be replaced with tan tiles. Backsplash will be white and tan. Paint will be "eggshell white".
Here's the rationale:
1) Keeping the existing granite countertop and cabinets saves mucho money.
2) Keeping the range and microwave/hood where it is saves money.
3) Knocking half the wall down achieves some of the objective of opening up the space, and improves the view from the next room (dining room)
4) Knocking down only half the wall preserves lots of overhead cabinet space
5) Keeping half the wall instead of knocking it all down hides the sink area from the dining room and helps hide any mess
6) The fridge fits *perfectly* where the door is, and a sliding door near the kitchen, from the living room to the backyard, was something we wanted anyway.
7) The countertop extension adds storage space underneath. And cylinder head job space on top.