Dining Room Dreaming

When we moved to Wester, we lost a dining area.  The table from our casual dining set was not a good fit for the space in the new house, so we have been using our formal dining table.  For lack of a better place, my office ended up in the dining area - I can keep an eye on the kids while I am on the computer.  This seemed like a good solution, but the truth is my desk is ALWAYS a disaster area and it has contaminated the entire kitchen.

Once we started on the attic renovation, it became clear that both the kids play area and my office would be moving upstairs. (Yay!)  This is going to leave my dining are really bare.  Also?  Since it is the only dining room in the house, I would like for it to be a little nicer than our former kitchen dining area, but still comfy and inviting. 

I knew I needed to include more storage, even though my kitchen has a lot of cabinet space.  I have a lot of special occasion dishes (that it would be nice not to have to go spelunking to get to) and I would like to display at least some of my china and crystal.  Also, I need more/more flexible seating.  I need to be able to accommodate large groups for holidays and still have seating for the ways we use the kitchen.  T doesn't like to eat at the table because he says the chairs are uncomfortable, so I need to work that in somehow, too.

Here is what I came up with:

 Here are the design high points:
  • Two 'hutches' made from semi-custom cabinets.  Drawers on bottom, glass doors on top.  Black, but distressed to let the wood show through.
  • Built in banquette with long willow baskets for storage underneath.  A great place for my place mat collection and also a good place to collect odds and ends from kids projects/homework.
  • Wing chairs for the grown-ups.  I found a set of two for $100 on Craig's List.  I could so totally recover them.  I love me some leopard print, and I think it can function as a neutral, so I think I will go that direction for the upholstery.
  • Bench seating for the side of the table closest to the kitchen.
  • Large harlequin paint treatment on the walls.  Tone on tone, probably flat vs. gloss.
  • A selection of art by Rodney White.
I spent WAY too much time messing around with this design on PhotoShop today, but I love the result?  What do you think?  Any suggestions?

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