and the after:
The kitchen isn't completely finished since the piece of wood that should run above the sink covering the potlights is still missing. The original piece that was cut was too short so once that's installed, and we get a new dishwasher and microwave, the kitchen will be done done done!
We left the layout as before since the existing work triangle of sink to stove to fridge was perfectly functional. I've gotta say that I'm loving the convenience of being able to take a hot pot straight from stove top to granite counter without having to worry about placing it on a trivet. And while you can't tell from the picture because it was taken in the absence of sunlight, the kitchen is sooo much brighter.
I'm very pleased.