Let In the Light - One way to make your kitchen stand out is with a beautiful curved skylight. The skylight not only lets in ample but also provides ambience to the room as well. An additional benefit of a kitchen skylight is the added ventilation.
Inexpensive counter option? If it ends up ruined - sub out a piece, refinish and re-start. In fact, how high would it be if it covered over existing counter and front was capped? Perfect for tall folks. Yum