The housing stuff is getting a bit boring, so ignore the last one (executive summary: we're both still leaning toward the tan house, but have a ways to go to on the decision). Instead, here's a sort of regularly scheduled housing-related one, with more pictures and slightly less blather.
So here's the kitchen in the tan house:
I should have taken the shot 180 degrees opposite of those; the back just has one small set of cupboards in the corner. It's not a huge kitchen, and the deep refrigerator that really sticks out into the floor space and traffic flow is not helping. But also on that unphotographed wall is an opening into this:
It's hard to tell, in this house, which parts are original and which were added later. (Clearly the family room was added most recently, but the realtors think a lot of other parts were later expansions, also.) One thing that's clear is that the house didn't contain a washer and dryer in 1905. So I think it is right and proper that the laundry room be again part of the kitchen. Hideous shutter-doors, the wall that frames them, excessive white wire shelf thingies, and lurid blue paint out; space for that big fat refrigerator and some more storage and prep area in. (I have a theory on a closet in the neighboring first-floor bedroom being expanded and the w/d going in there, but more on that later.)
All the backsplashes, soffits, and other wall surfaces in the room are beadboard (well, a wide version), which I would keep. Here's the color scheme I think I would want - a medium blue/slate color for bottom cupboards, winter white for the top, and a pale butter yellow for all that bead board.
I'd also replace a couple of the upper cabinet doors with glass-paned ones, as below - maybe I could find some discarded older doors. Also, if I could find an antique farm sink like this one, I would replace the existing sink. (I'm not as interested in contemporary apron-front sinks, though I admit they're cute.) Also like this picture, I think I'd do most of the counters in butcher block (ikea sells it at a great price); I might do the counters adjacent the sink in soapstone (found a great price on that too).
But. I don't know exactly what this material is or where to get it, but if I could replicate this countertop, I would definitely, definitely want it.
Oh yeah, and while we're on countertops, you see that weird opening between the range and the dishwasher? Yeah, weirdos designed this kitchen. Anyway, that needs a rolling table, and I'd want one with a marble top - next to the oven is the perfect place to roll pie crust! (I'd need one a little smaller than this one.)
So what does that leave? Oh yes, the floor. It's wood and in bad condition and ugly. I think I'd like to put in slate (great price on slate tiles here).
Now, for items to fill the remaining space: there's a few more square feet where the laundry used to be (after I put the fridge there), and the space the fridge used to occupy. I still like the idea of a stepback hutch for dishes (this one is selling on craigslist for $100 right now):
Or maybe a Hoosier cabinet instead (selling on craigslist for $155):
Or maybe a butcher-block-topped furniture piece as a prep table (I'm still stuck on that idea these many months later).
Or maybe a chest freezer. I really want one of those (think of all the things I could put in it!), though I accept that it may have to live in the basement.
Have I forgotten anything? Well, I guess if the neighborhood ever became plumbed for natural gas heat, I would want my Chambers model C vintage stove. But until then, the glass-top electric range the kitchen has is fine.