I see you!! That's what I can say now if I'm standing in the kitchen and you're in the dining room, 'cause look what I did!
I met with my contractor to discuss having him do some of the major work for me. There's quite a bit of electrical work to do (moving wires for 2 overhead fixtures, relocating several switches/outlets on the kitchen side to accommodate a 42" tall opening, hard wiring for 2 pendent lights in the opening), a plumbing vent stack to relocate, and a bit of drywall repair, and that is stuff I'm happy to leave to the experts. The demo was fun, and I'm looking forward to picking out and installing a tile back splash, the hanging pendents and whatever I decide for the bar surface.
So, this is where we are now, and I hope I have more progress photos soon! I actually went tile/light shopping this morning and came home very disappointed. $1200 for a gorgeous glass tile back splash?! Tempting, but NO! So, the search for affordable materials continues. :)
** linking to the girls at