This is pretty much how the kitchen looked when we bought our house in 2000 except the walls were originally a weird peachy color. Again, I'm embarrassed to say that I picked out this wallpaper, but at the time it seemed like the best way to compliment the awful cabinet color. The only other option was to paint the cabinets. In hindsight that's probably what we should have done, but you live and you learn.
So when you walk into the kitchen, this is what you see to the right:
Another idea we had when we first moved in was to open up the closet on the left (which is where the stairs go to the basement) so you could see into the dining room. When we had the dumpster here for the downstairs bathroom remodel, we had them go ahead and open up the walls and patch up the drywall. So it looked like this for quite a while. We called it "the throne".This is the view looking back into the living room. Another idea we thought about over the years was removing this closet so we could have an eat-in kitchen.
So we also had the bathroom guys remove the closet walls. Unfortunately that left the tile torn up, so we couldn't even put a table and chairs here while we were waiting to remodel the kitchen.