Visited an open house today, to give me perspective
This was a house built less than 10 years ago, and the homeowner was supposedly a home builder. The living room was smaller than mine and had a strange shape so there was no way to group the furniture without a walkway between them, and no way to face any of the furniture directly at the tv.
The kitchen had nice cabinets, they looked like Craftmaid or similar, in a white-washed finish with granite look Formica counters.
But what grabbed my attention was the counter between the kitchen & living room. It had a raised bar on a pony wall and shaped just like I wanted to do. But I didn't like the overall look. I don't know why. Too open maybe? Too empty?
Now I'm reconsidering what to do with my kitchen. After seeing this house, which had less sq footage than mine, a smaller lot, and smaller garage, I don't care quite as much about having to have the latest upgrades in order to be able to sell when the time comes. That house needed carpet and new paint, and IMO was priced at the top of the market, though the lady said it was comparable, even considering there are so many repo's out there right now.
I think the problem is that I see so many great kitchens on the forums here & HGTV, and had begun to think we wouldn't be able to sell our house at all without new tile & granite, and I really don't want granite, especially with my old cabinets, which I am keeping because I LIKE them. So...whew! I feel better about my house now.