Hey it's a new house and he didn't say what kind of workshop it was. It could have been the last owners scrap booking room for all we know.
Gratz on the new house!!!
All my HT research on projector gear is now 2 years old. I do hate my Buddy's hanging screen though. I definitely say fixed. If you use WilsonArt designer white laminate like I did, it can also be used to throw your spaghetti at to see if it's cooked then wipe it right down.
I also did something similar to your bar stool idea. Behind the 2nd couch, I built a bar behind it that attaches to the raised platform. It helps make the raised couch look like it belongs instead of being on a raised Island. I have a couple of wooden saddle style bar stools behind it. Great for when you want to watch a movie and snack or for like you said, guests you hope will leave early.
Things I wish I did differently... Only one thing. Although I used 2" conduit for my HDMI cable run to the projector on the ceiling and I was careful to use obtuse rounded angles where it needed to corner, Somehow I just got my cable stuck very solidly in it. It always acted up a bit (it's a long run) and I wanted to try a replacement I ordered. It must have looped inside there somehow in order to fetch up. It went through sooo easy the first time, I can't imagine how else it could have gotten stuck. I'm currently trying to rig a strong metal hook to the end of an old metal fish to try and salvage it.
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.