Having recently completed the design of a kitchen with a good friend (we have, in the last several months, tackled several small projects together), it's lovely to begin to see the results.
My involvement began mid-summer when I saw the original layout. Rather than turning two rooms (a kitchen and living room) into a great room partitioned by a small wall, it seemed it might be better to place an anchor mid-room (hence the design for the pantry pictured above). It will become, I believe, a true heart for the space, it's comforting size acting as a foil to the nearby island that will host so much of the daily lives of the occupants.
The pantry (now installed) is backed by an alcove that will function as a bookshelf (original intent) or become snug harbor for a small-ish sofa (walking into the house several days ago, said alcove begged to be a place to perch). This area could very well accommodate both methods of relaxation; an elegant seat with mirror above, narrow shelves on either side, would be delicious.
My other design suggestions included stones and tile that echo our California (day and night) skies, simplification of the kitchen island (wood replacing limestone) and the creation of a streamlined flue above the oven (echoing the trim of the cabinets).
And there's a good bit more to tell you about . . . a buffet created beneath a bank of windows, a selection of yummy Farrow and Ball colors for walls and cabinetry, the simplest of shades chosen to grace wide-open windows facing sweet green lawns.
I'm hoping, soon, to be able to post some of the original drawings. There's a verve that comes when an idea is fresh in your mind and flows right from the pencil to the paper (but our scanner doesn't love the tracing paper on which I drew).
In design, lots of little decisions are made along the way.
It all adds up to a much greater whole, if done well.
I believe that any vision -- the real story, the one you live with and love -- sees it's proof in the details, and that every detail (from the start and in the finish) counts.