So let's go from the beginning.
It is very important. Calculation of the materials, some inspirational visuals also and of course some constructional calculations too. I was aware that we add very heavy kitchen island in the middle of the kitchen and this bothered me a lot. Our not finished basement did help to see and resolve the concerns. We added support wall that in the future will became wall between kitchenette and bedroom. Monetary calculations were almost right. They say when you to reno, double the budget, it wasn't so bad, we were about 15% over. Let's say added the tax :)
To take kitchen out, we used kijiji (online selling second hand things), so somebody was ready to come and take off all kitchen with old appliances . Definitely good recycling work :) saved on garbage bin too :)
Ground breaking of the tilled floor. It was scary from the beginning, but actually it wasn't so hard to detach tile from sub-floor. Important thing was to begin at the right place (in the middle of the room) where vibration will do the job.
The worst fears did came to us when we needed to take a small addition of the floor, that was added later by former owners. Construction glue plus screws attached concrete board very strong to the sub-floor and no instrument would do the job (even power sledgehammer). Good that the surface was small, so we took off about 1 cm and the rest poured leveling compound to even up with cement board. That were needed for porcelain tile.
It IS easy job, just very dirty. So I did that before all the construction and floor installation.
As I told earlier, I needed peace of mind that porcelain tile plus kitchen island with huge granite will keep the floor structure stable. We built support wall and I added vertical studs connected all joists. Our joists are "hollow", so it was easy to do.
With two big dogs decision about flooring material was "easy", it should be no maintenance floor, so the wood like porcelain tile was the best choice. I didn't go with traditional poured concrete and latch, decided to do easy (a bit more expensive) way - cement boards. Good that I wasn't over confident and choose for tile installation to use T-lock system. It's fool proof to do level floors.
Self leveling compound to level with cement board. Worked perfect.
I'm IKEA fan. There weren't even another consideration. It was easy to project with their software and my men are "profies" in assembling and installing IKEA kitchen. I "played" with online design and customized to our needs. New was island installation, but with that we dealt too.
I love marble backsplash, could do just because the wet part was in the island. I would never put marble next to sink area. The stone is like sponge even if the sealer is present.
Focal point walls (living room and fire place)
It's easy to install and looks beautiful. But the stone itself is very very fragile. A bit of pressure and you have two pieces instead of one.
The fireplace was painted with heat paint, so the brass disappeared and the fireplace got its modern look
Part it was done earlier, part added during this summer. Cabinets of course are from IKEA. But countertops is different story. When I was looking for custom made countertop for laundry room, the prices even for cheapest laminate were too much. So I decided to DIY concrete countertop exactly the size I needed. I didn't want to pour and have very heavy piece of concrete, so if I need to reach back of dryer's vent or pipe I can just take out the "countertop" without a problem. So this "concrete" countertop is actually "lamination" of OSB with patching compound. This solution did help me to decided and install small (narrow) utility sink too. You see, moment you out of standard sizes - prices are jumping up like crazy.
Actually I tried to laminate old powder room countertop, but somehow it didn't feel good. So at the end we got it done with our kitchen's countertop leftover.