thanks all - finally completed the project last night. New light fixture, fresh paint, and a good cleaning.
Dining room area... you mean in front of the large window? We're going to go with a minimalist design and get a square table with some highback leather chairs. I am going to built some vertical wine racks to attach to the walls... the racks that hold the bottles by the neck.
The wife is telling me now that she found some other backsplsh tile she likes better than what we have. . . i handed her a chisel and told her to get crackin'