Your first and lasting impression
This area is most likely your focal or attention area of your residence. The first and lasting impression you may have. When renovating this area we like to consider the kitchen area as the theme into the residence. The style and color of the cabinetry to enhance and work with the colors of materials and furnishings in the residence. If we use for example a clear alder with a dark glaze and a shaker style door/drawer this can be similar in all the wood work of the residence, case/base trim, wood floors and or ceilings. If you have wood support beams and or ceilings this could be of lighter or darker to balance with the décor color of the cabinetry.
Take time to design a kitchen that is functional. Possible relocate the dishwasher. Convert that closet into a functional pull out pantry. Use of a farm house sink, or perhaps a dual bowl sink. Add accessories of spice racks flatware racks. Provide a prep area and seating area with the bar. Possible have the raised bar lowered or add lighting with the bar area. Is that existing trash compactor really needed? Convert that space into usable pull out with a recycle container. There are endless possibilities.
At the same time update the appliances, use of a counter depth fridge instead of the traditional? In wall oven or the microwave. Try to create more countertop space keep the clutter in the cabinets.