Here's the kitchen. (I wish I weren't in this picture, but it didn't seem worth photoshopping myself out, and anyway I never wanted to be one of those people who freaks out every time they get their picture taken, so, whatever.)

Here are Sam's drawings. We knew the cabinet hardware we wanted (IKEA, naturally) so he drew that in, and then here is a good example of how drawing helped us visualize something: I wanted those orange stools (above) that I'd seen on eBay, and Sam thought the black stools (below, just cut-and-pasted from the ebay site's picture) would be better. When I said I really liked the orange, especially to go with my lovely yellow blender and mixer, he suggested painting the wall below the counter orange instead, so we tried that, and indeed, it did look better.

Also we knew we wanted something to go in the middle of the island and divide it somewhat, since it is so large, and that middle part is not really usable space. (I can barely even reach in that far to wipe it up when it gets dirty.) We experimented with different ideas for planters and pots, but couldn't find anything to match what we imagined, and then I just happened to see a blog post showing this stainless steel herb planter from Chiasso. That seemed perfect, and was even on sale, so that was lucky.

And here's the finished kitchen. Those black stools really do look better. (You are always right, Sam; I should have trusted you.)

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