The walls are whiter, the lights are brighter, the counter tops are no longer yet another faux wood grain, and the stove is white, clean and more energy efficient. (I did not replace the cabinets, not wanting to add to the landfills, but they were refinished and repaired earlier this year.)
The oven actually bakes things at the time and temp recipes say - quicker if I use the convection feature, which I have yet to experiment with. And I won't need to get a dehydrator - something I'd been thinking about, but wondered if I would use enough - because the manual that came with the stove includes full instructions and time tables for drying most everything. I went cookie mad the first couple of days, and have been carrying tins everywhere. I slowed down when I realized I didn't have enough occasions or friends to eat them all!
I'm usually not house proud at all. It takes company coming to motivate me to clean, and redecorating comes in very small spurts about every ten years or so or when I move. I've now lived here longer than anywhere - except the house my family moved to when I was two and a half - so it is time to do something. But I LOVE to be in the kitchen, and it is so much more pleasant now. I wonder if I love it too much... But then I think, good tools are important for living simply and frugally - and perhaps that's the embraceable rationale.