Here is what we are currently working with between kitchen and dining room. Ryan started the cabinets but then realized he didn't have the tools he needed to do the doors and drawers the way we wanted them to look. Which is just as well because now we are rethinking along the lines of something like this:
Here's Ryan's rough sketch for an open bottom shelf solution. It will actually have 4 legs instead of 2, and feel like a sturdy harvest table with an shelf underneath. The guy who planed our wood is coming over to the house to get a feel for our style because he's going to make the piece for us. He suggested a partial maple butcher block top with the rest being concrete. He showed us some amazing cuts of reclaimed Ash, Maple, Cedar, and Black Walnut that we can choose from to incorporate into the piece to complement the rest of the wood we've used in the kitchen.
The boys loved watching him plane another board for us to use as shelving in the boys' room.
We have an antique wood tool box that will sit on the divider wall behind the piece to hold olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, and some utensils, and on the dining room side, we'll have a concrete breakfast counter with stools. It's a better use of the space we have and will be nice since that area is where everyone gravitates when meals are being prepared.
Our wood flooring is really cool- planed so that some of the original barn red paint is still showing in places. Our friend Kate is helping us find a good environmentally friendly finish that will seal the wood but not ruin the look of it.
When it's all said and done, we'll throw a big party. I'll make fried chicken and a big fat chocolate cake and you are all invited!