Here is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house (the wide angle lens makes it look quite a bit bigger than it is). Bear in mind, it was a 92 year old woman who lived here before us, and it was last renovated 36 years ago.
Before we moved in, we peeled off the fruity border, painted the walls, and painted out the oak trim on the cabinets to brighten things up a bit (which, two years later, is looking a little worn in places).
It's really not a bad little kitchen, but as you can see, there's not a lot of room to work, and the storage space is seriously lacking (especially since I like to can and stock up on bulk goods). The corner base cabinet seems to have a hidden hole leading directly into the crawl space, because I'm blasted by an arctic cold front every time I open it.
This is the opposite corner of the room. It looks just fine, but when the table is pulled out so that we can all sit around it, the chair on the left is butting up next to the refrigerator, and it's almost impossible to walk through the kitchen (the benefit is that we can get anything we need out of the fridge or adjoining cupboards without getting up!).
My biggest beef with the house is that you can't see the back yard (or the garden) from anywhere in the house but the kids' room (unless you peer through the little window in the back porch), so the plan is to take out the wall between the kitchen and the porch (the wall behind the fridge and stove in the top two photos), and put a large window into what used to be the porch, turning that into the dining area. The corner with the buffet and hutch is where an "L" shaped configuration of cupboards will go (after a shorter window is put in to that wall so the countertop and sink can go in front of it).
We've discovered that there are hardwood floors under the multiple layers of vinyl and linoleum flooring, so we're hoping that those can be restored. We're also planning to insulate the exterior walls while we're at it.
I suspect we've got months of work ahead of us, but we've got my brother (a structural engineer) and my mom (who's an expert do-it-yourselfer, having done almost everything, including drywall and electrical) to help us, so I'm optimistic.
Hopefully we won't have any major surprises (quick, touch wood!).