Renovation... floor plans

I thought I would show you some of the floor plans we came up with (believe me there were a ton more, but I will spare you), and the final versions.  It should also make looking at the construction photo's a bit clearer, since even I can't make heads or tails from those.
Here is the layout when we bought it
The house had 2 stairs, but in such a small house it simply took up much needed space so we are removing the one to the left.  Leaving the main entry hall stair.   It also had a tiny galley style kitchen that was cut off from the rest of the house. We are foodies and like to spend much time in the kitchen so we definitely wanted a larger space.  It had what looked like 2 fireplaces but in fact were unfortunately inoperable.  It had a small bathroom with a shower downstairs that took up a fair amount of room so we  removed the shower, and jiggered the space around to make a 1/2 bath and small pantry.
The house had 5 bedrooms but 2 of them were tiny.  Also it had a serious lack of closets - common in an old house.  With 4 people trying to get ready each morning we wanted to add a 2nd bathroom and move the laundry upstairs.  You can also see the hall was not well proportioned and there was no natural light coming in due to the oddly placed closet in front of the window.

We pretty quickly came up with the layout for the first floor as far as my office, the kitchen, pantry and powder room.  There were 2 points that kept us up into the wee hours. 
 First was whether to put in a chimney where the old unworkable one had been in the living room.  At first we leaned towards this plan.  

It left for some interesting design details I had been lusting after such as this -
 But in the end we realized that A. we are not dining room people and B. the space was small and by removing the divide it would be sunnier and feel way larger.  We also had quite a lively debate about the group of windows on the east side.  We tried 4 single windows running down the side, 4 windows ganged together, french doors on the east side, and finally 3 windows in what will be the living room side with one at the dining room side.  This seemed like the best way to let in light whilst allowing for art and furniture space.  We also added a french doors in what was the kitchen bringing in light and views of the garden.

As you can also see we played around with options for the alcove as well, finally deciding that the space should be totally open to the living room.

For the second floor, we played around with this arrangement, one of the things that is lacking in our current home is an office for my husband.  We tried this-
 And then after quite a few more iterations, we settled on this plan.