1) I could swear I knew the difference between exalt and exult (not least of all because they were separate entries in the thesaurus, and I looked up both of them), but it all seems quite confusing. I've decided to get rid of the whole problem by going with: they'd had a ceremony in which they'd rejoiced in their relationship. That sounds quite strange without the rest of the sentence around it, but it does work, honest. Now I just want to get rid of the earworm of a certain song from the "Mission Praise" Christian songbook, which includes the line "so exalt, lift up on high the name of Je-e-sus". :)
2) Rowan's idea for this rocks. He moaned faintly, closed his eyes for a few moments and collected his thoughts. ... He looked at his husband and began to list the points.
3) The answer to my kitchen dilemma struck me on the bus this afternoon, which is where I've taken to thinking through the story. (I've found that, unlike the many hundreds of livejournal entries I've written in my head on the bus and then forgotten about or not got round to writing, fiction seems to work. I have no idea why, but I'm not complaining.) They bought a "new fitted kitchen". That makes it clear I mean the actual units and appliances; and not, as is very possible in The Sims and even slightly possible in real life, a new room built onto the existing house ;)
4) I'm keeping my use of "ashen" as it is, and that's all I'm saying, as it would be highly spoilerific to explain why it's a possible pun under the circumstances.