This meant removal of the asbestos linoleum (3 layers). Getting rid of the stove that the inspector told us was a fire hazard. Under all the linoleum was the original raiser fir hardwood. A lot of little holes had been cut in it and there was some water damage, but we decided to have them refinished anyway. Most of the patched holes and water damage was going to end up under the counters anyway, so you can't see much of it.
Pulling down the cabinets. When we took down the cabinets, a lot of the plaster came with them. Once that happened, it was just easier to take down the plaster, lathe and insulate and put up sheetrock. Hopefully, this will make the kitchen more energy efficient in the long run.
We didn't plan on a total gut-renovation, but there was a lot of work that needed to be done. We had only one plug in the whole kitchen. The only light switch was over and behind the refrigerator, I kid you not. The previous owner was obviously a very tall and flexible gentleman.
I need to get some pictures up, but in the meantime, here is some inspiration I'm working from. :) None of these kitchens look like ours. Our kitchen is not nearly as big as these. Our is modest "new england" size, if any of you know what I mean by that. But pretty doesn't have to be big and I'm working on my dream... all white kitchen!