I took the first picture after I had pulled out the range hood and spackled so it actually looked better than this in my daily life:) The second is the finished product. All I have left to do is seal it.
I wanted to get an over-the-range microwave but the salespeople keep telling me I need at least 15" between the bottom of the microwave and the top of the range. I may try to get an under counter microwave so that I can free up a little more counterspace.
See why I am so impressed with myself:)