Trying to fill in someone else's shoes is futile. The person will at best be a shadow of the one who shoes they are trying to fill. It is best to have new shoes (their own) rather than live in the shadow of another
Love the floor plan layout. Put french doors all around the dining so it can open up, U-shaped island coming toward living with built in booth seating, make area behind cabinets a hidden pantry.I could definitely work with this layout!