As Bug slipped himself between 2x4's one morning to enter the kitchen, I told him that we should get used to the new walls and walk around them to enter the kitchen. He came back with, "I can walk through walls! Why shouldn't I?!" And, to that, I had no answer.
The space began to solidify for us as we gained framing, and didn't change significantly more although the electricians busted holes everywhere they looked. The drywall made the biggest difference in our ability to see what we were getting. Here is the same view of the kitchen, looking into the dining room.
I wish I'd taken "before" pictures of the dining and living rooms. I knew we were enlarging the doors to them and between them, but the change is huge. The hallway is gone, giving the living room six more feet, toward the stairs. It looks and feels much different.
Here is the view from dining to living room, before:
And now I can't get far enough away to photograph it. Suffice it to say, there is only a slight demarcation of wall and header between the rooms.
After the initial demolition, I thought we were basically through the dust stage, but I was corrected. Not only do I need to live through drywall, but the hardwoods will be sanded at some point too. I bought more wine and chocolate.
They will patch the hardwoods where walls used to be, "feathering in" boards from areas they'll no longer be needed, such as under the cabinets. The floor guy (there's a new guy for everything) expressed concern that he wasn't going to have enough salvaged wood and that new boards can't ever match perfectly. I offered him the upstairs landing, done with the same wood. So now our upstairs can be ripped up and dusty too! (ok, dustier.)