Thanks everyone for the quick suggestions!!!
Bob, your idea is exactly what Joyce and I had talked about. I thought maybe a contrasting color (Mahogany?) might ADD a design element and get me past having to match the existing Maple exactly. There's a problem, though, that I failed to mention in my first post: It seems as though, when the floors were first installed, they started at the farthest point in the kitchen and then moved across and into the little pantry area.
From the foreground to the background, and into the pantry visible behind the doorway half-blocked by the fridge:
Problem was, by the time they got all the way across (about ~25'), they weren't square. In other words, the last Maple board in front of the sink base has a 1 1/2" offset between the left side and right side of the sink base.
Soooooo....... if we do a "contrasting wood" or "frame of tile" type thing, that floor that's not square with the cabinets will just become much more evident!
Joe, I have a multi-tool that I bought the other day and haven't even tried. I'm kind of committed to Ryobi tools since I have so much invested in them already, and Home Depot was running a special last week where, for $99, you got a drill, a circular saw, a charger, 2 batteries and you got to pick another tool.... so I picked a multi-tool figuring it might come in handy with all the finish trim work I have coming up. I needed a couple of new batteries, which are $70 by themselves, so I couldn't resist the deal. It's now my third Ryobi drill (anyone want one?) and my second circular saw.... but they make these bundles hardly more expensive than the batteries by themselves!
Anyway...... so I have one, haven't used it yet, but didn't really expect that it would be good for cutting ~15' of hardwood.
After dinner, I picked up a RotoZip like I linked to above. It ends up that HD carries them, so I got it and figured if I came home and everyone said it was the wrong tool for the situation, I could return it it next time I'm at HD....which seems to be pretty much everyday at this point!