Here are some photos of our kitchen now:
So, I came up with a solution that I think will work. Fingers crossed. Here's a rough floor plan of our kitchen as it is now (I'm sorry, you'll have to use your imagination :)):
And here's a rough sketch showing my redesign:
Here's what I did:
1) Remove island
2) Add new cabinets and counter with seating
3) Remove sliding doors and add a window and a single door in their place
4) Remove cabinet to the right of the stove and add open shelving in its place (this will free up counter space as well because the current cabinet meets the countertop)
What do you think? I think it solves the space issues we've been having and gives us a place to eat in the kitchen.
Let's talk budget. Realistically, I have no idea how much this would cost, but I'm hoping the whole project could be done for $15k - $20k (this includes replacing flooring and appliances, painting existing cabinets white, replacing countertops and backsplash, adding new cabinets for breakfast bar, and changing the sliding doors). I might be living in la la land, but we'll see. I'm hoping that keeping the existing cabinets will save a bundle. They are in great shape and are really functional with slide-outs and built-ins, so it would be a waste to get rid of them. Hopefully I'll get to develop an estimate during class.