Finished - Before/After pictures (finally!)
This one gives you a better idea of how tight it was in the actual kitchen - if the fridge was open and the oven was open at same time there wasn't enough room for a person between
The wall that was removed:
Sorry I couldn't find any pictures of the dining room "before" it was just a plain carpeted rectangular room.
Now for the good stuff.. the after!
I have to mention that many of the after pictures were taken by the GC's photographer and are copyrighted so cannot be used without permission (he said I had to say that before I posted the pics).
The dining table and chairs we had before. All the design was done by me with lots of help from gardenweb - especially on the layout (at first my DW didn't trust me to do it and wanted to hire a designer but I think I did really well) the exceptions are the acrylic in the dining room was designed by my GC and the cabinets in the dining I gave general layout to the cabinet folks but they did the finished design (kitchen cabs I did all the design/layout). I used google sketchup for all the design.
The structural changes were removing the dining wall and bumping back just the chunk of the wall behind the wall ovens a couple feet. I also added a pocket door into the opening from the TV room to the kitchen as well (the last of the "before" pictures is taken from where the pocket door was put in).
There are so many details I could spend an hour typing them and still leave something out - so instead if you have any questions ask and I will respond :) One thing not noticeable in the pics is the cupboard on the right in the dining cabs is actually a beverage fridge. There is pullout trash+recycle in both the kitchen and dining.
And people always ask about the diswasher, yes its an 18" dishwasher, and they always ask why I went for a small one - becuase its the only way I could get the layout I wanted with the dishwasher to the left of the sink and where I could unload the whole dishwasher without moving my feet. The efficiency in loading/unloading more than makes up for the extra loads I have to run. Its a Miele with the silverware tray and I would estimate I only lose about 20% capacity compared to my old dishwasher.
The backsplash was done by my brother, its completely custom cut (as in he had a pile of leftover slab of rock from some other jobs of his and he cut all the peices to the exact size so it would be 2 tiles high on point). I bought the fossils on ebay over a 3 month period or so.
What's sad is the granite is the highlight of the kitchen and none of these pictures show it well. If you look close on the 3rd picture there you can see that it has black streaks and the picture with the sink you can see dark streaks there as well (in that area the streaks are dark grey)
Any questions? :)