Then I stumbled upon The Graphics Fairy website and had the idea of incorporating an aged looking stencil to the table top like this. With the right amount of stain, paint and light sanding, the table top can like like a salvaged piece from long ago.
I hope it turns out as great as I'm picturing it in my head...
|The Graphics Fairy|
I'm also thinking about building a built in bench with open areas underneath to put all the cookbooks. Like this from Southern Living