Kitchen Dreams

Bryan and I are gutting a house in Pasadena and are in the process making some design choices.   Naturally, as a women who loves to cook and entertain friends, the kitchen is a huge priority.  We have made a few soft decisions but are fine turning the details.  I think we want to go with shaker style cabinets to honor the age and style of the home (craftsman home from the early 1900's) and while I was originally leaning towards white or grey, I am now obsessed with darker kitchens featuring either black or midnight cabinets.  I worry that it will make the space look small and won't look as sleek but I am really drawn to the darker hues.  Decisions, decisions.  I know one thing, we want brass fixtures because they look good with everything.  Here are some of my favorite shaker-style kitchens.  

Do you guys have any favorites?  Have any of you lived with butcher block counter tops?  Do they hold up well?

Wish us luck!