We had a 12ft cabinet with a solid work top done to fit into the tiny space. The thing we splurge on was for a high oscillation cooker hood so the oil and fumes from cooking will not be all over the place. We only did the bottom level for the cabinet, not the top. if we need more space, we'll just go to Ikea to buy add-ons.
We used a shelf from Ikea as display cum partition between the kitchen and living room. This makes it more interesting (rather than see right through from the main door) and the lamps that we placed on top of the shelf provided extra lighting for the dining area (incidentally, we do not use ceiling lights, with the exception of the toilets and store room).
There is a ceiling fan in living room, kitchen and both the rooms so it eliminates the use of an air conditioner.