Full height cabinetry allows for easy concealment of brooms/mops/vacuum cleaner. Having the washer and dryer separated creates more benchspace in an already tight area. Perhaps framing the dryer with cabinetry would create a more streamlined look.
Natural light is a major mood booster, not to mention a major selling point in any home. The warm kiss of sunlight indoors will make your space feel bigger, cozier, and way more put together than any dimly lit fluorescent light bulb ever could.