One of the things that really stood out at the 2015 Southern Living Idea House was the combination kitchen with eat-at island and full sized dining area. I know this isn't a new concept but what struck me was that the dining area really felt like a full-sized dining room versus just a space for a table. Since there was no formal dining room in the house, this space does double-duty for casual gatherings and more formal dinners.
The kitchen had a wall of windows that made the space feel even more expansive. The cooktop was in front of the windows - guess that would work best for a neat cook. (I have visions of bubbling spaghetti sauce spattering)
The dining room also has a tv for mixed in with art.