Ok, so you have given me some ideas for the kitchen in the condo we are purchasing (although I still don't have a definite plan) and I have saved some ideas I've found from other bloggers or photos from google.
NO THIS IS NOT MY KITCHEN BUT IT IS A SIMILAR LAYOUT
I also like the idea of an open shelf/cabinet over the sink like this.
Or a mirror with shelves in front of it.
Or a stained glass window.
Ok, so it seems I have not made much progress on my decision-making.
I think painting the walls a lighter color of yellow/gold and adding a tiled backsplash like the second picture, a new countertop (not as dark as this one, but something other than white) will make the best use of our black appliances and cabinets as they are without a lot of extra work (there will be plenty of other projects). We can always paint the cabinets white later if this doesn't work for us. It's Jay's kitchen anyway, so this looks more like a man's space, don't you think?
That's right, he's been cooking a lot lately and I kinda like it, so I'm encouraging him to follow his dreams and let me follow mine as a food tester. Best job ever.
And here is the finished project. I think it turned out great!