Favorite resource, continued: ...He was great with strategizing how to fit everything together (recommending our under-sink dishwasher, and creating cabinets that opened up what would otherwise have been dead space with an off-the shelf solution), and it all turned out to be more reasonable than we thought. Inspiration, continued: ...we took out the walls to open this up and also created a second-level countertop to increase our workspace, as well to create a place for guests to linger and chat while we are cooking and fixing drinks.
Tip: If you are going with granite, try to make it out to the workshop to see the slab that they are going to cut it from. Based on the small sample in the showroom, we had chosen something with more detail, but it was only when we saw the full-scale piece that we realized it was too busy and would clash with the tilework. - Kat