We bought our first house on 31st of 2009 and the following day I started putting a hole in the wall. The kitchen is technically an "eat-in" kitchen. That wouldn't fly for us so we had to get creative. We decided if we could get the fridge out of the way, it would open up a ton of space. We also needed more counter space because as you can see, there hardly is anything.
Here are the before photos:
This is looking in from the living room. The door goes to the back yard and across from the door is a door to the basement. On the other side of that is a bedroom that we turned into a dining room. The only counter space is on either side of the sink. Not enough.
This is the opposite angle taken in front of the stove. The door to the left goes into a small garage which we will never park a car in. The opening goes into the living room. The open space to the right is where I imagine them having a small table for 2.
This is looking in from the living room. You can see the rest of the counter space (lackof).
My solution, put a hole into the garage and create a cavity for the fridge.
That frees up the rest of the kitchen so we had room to add some counter space. We decided not to add cabinets across from the existing cabinets so we could sell the house with an eat-in kitchen or with the base cabinet that we selected. We also chose to use shelves to make the room feel more open. I think we hit the mark.
To give us some more drawer space we added some bars to hang some utensils.
At some point we will replace the stove with a SS one but that isn't on our list at this point.