I'm sure this "after" design will evolve over time, but here is option #1...
We are going to experiment with darker shades of gray paint on an extra cabinet door we found in one of the kitchen cabinets. The laminate countertop is also new, so we are going to have to work around those colors, but luckily there are a few shades of gray in the countertop. To balance out the cooler gray tones and stainless steel in the room, we'd like to introduce some warmer wood tones by adding floating shelves and wood tops, and also adding a bright wallpapered accent wall for the new wine bar.
The bench/pet food storage option is still up for discussion, but the advice I give my own clients is to design for the way they live and not anyone else, especially if they do not plan to move in the near future. I have two animals and to have a designated place to keep their food and dishes is something I'd like to incorporate into the space.
I'll keep you posted on our ideas and progress.
What do you think about option #1?