The one thing about our house that I wasn't terribly thrilled with, was the lack of an actual dining room. We have a really cute little nook area that is practically begging for a built-in or at the very least, a nice rustic looking table and benches.
Here are some ideas of what I'm leaning toward (as they are close to the layout of my kitchen):
Both photos from BHG.com
While I may not have the huge windows like shown in these photos, I can definitely make some curtains to add a little bit of "oomph" to that section. I love the top photo's natural elements. I don't know if I could go with kelly green curtains, but I love the mix of natural textures. I don't think a round table will work in that space since it's pretty narrow, but I love the idea of woven chairs and some pillows.
The second photo is almost the exact same layout as my kitchen except I have one window in the center instead of two. My kitchen table is also very similar in shape and style. The bench adds a little bit more seating, but overall it looks a little too "plain" for my taste and I want to incorporate some of the items we already have, build a few pieces, and move some of the stuff we currently have for use in other areas (like the very desperately thrown-together sunroom.
Now... picture this...
We can make a simple farmhouse table with a mitered frame, stain it a dark stain color and then stencil this pattern:
Photo from http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com
Then, distress the pattern so it looks worn and what not. I think that could look really cool and it goes with the lotus mosiac in my kitchen:
Just in case you forgot what the mosiac looks like... I know, I have an obsession.
Or... you know... I could try to recreate this table on a slightly smaller scale. (It wouldn't be too hard since I have a few friends with the necessary three P's to make that happen: property, power tools and pick-up trucks)
I mean just imagine that table in the top photo's setting with some simple chairs, bench, natural fabric for linens, pebble place mats, monogrammed glassware, white square plates with wicker chargers and colorful accent plates/bowls... I know. I'm drooling too.
Maybe make some chairs kind of like this....
Did I mention how much I love Ana White? Like if she showed up I would give her the biggest hug and make her cheesecake. Anywho, I'd use different fabric, and it would be something very durable that could easily be washed/stain-resistant/etc that went along with a rustic/natural vibe.
Or, see what I can score at a yard sale/goodwill or see if I can make the captains chairs from my downstairs dining table
that I wish fit in my kitchen because it's really gorgeous work and make some cushions/slip covers/whatever.
I have my big wooden spoon and fork that hang on what would be the "shelf wall" of the second photo from BHG. There really isn't a better place to put them in our kitchen (even on our enormously long wall - which I have other plans for) so there they will stay. It may or may not end up being accompanied by some smaller (slightly silly) artwork as well.
Because the space is so small as well, I'm thinking of opting out of a rug. It would just get "shoved" into the niche and that just doesn't work for me. Other items we'll need for our little dining nook are some matchstick bamboo shades (easily enough found at Christmas Tree Shoppe for super cheap), iron chandelier (found one at Lowes that is a good size) and linens (probably will make myself).
Of course... it just has to get done. Which requires money. Which requires savings... etc and so forth.