Our Den
The paneling is from the Milby Hotel, which was built in 1909 and was located on Texas Avenue in downtown Houston (just a few blocks away from The Houston Chronicle building). The "wet bar" is actually the reception desk from the hotel. I have not been able to find out when the hotel was torn down, but this paneling was salvaged from it and installed in the den, probably sometime in the 1960s. The brick wall is from the first pharmacy in Alvin. At the lower right, you can see a postcard picturing the lobby of the Milby Hotel as it looked when the paneling was in its original location.
NEW! "Dateline" January, 2007:  Finally, "AFTER" photos of my remodeling project. I replaced the carpet with porcelain tile flooring, and tore out the Franklin stove and hearth (just visible in the bottom left photo) so now you can see the lovely antique brick wall. I had the awful acoustic tile ceiling removed and replaced with sheetrock. The ceiling was raised by 3 inches all over - the paneling is only 7'9" and I guess that's why they originally did a drop ceiling. Our contractor installed matching molding above where the original paneling ends, to meet the ceiling. He cut away joists/rafters to create a 7' square and one foot tall paneled 'bump out' in the center of the room to match other 'bump outs' in the living room, guest suite and master bedroom. We added a new ceiling fan in the bumpout, three flushmount swivel halogen lights in the ceiling and a vintage-look light fixture over the bar. And I replaced almost all the original furniture in the room with new furniture - one of the few times in my entire life I've bought NEW (as opposed to antique, thrift shop or hand-me-down) furniture. The transformation is amazing. It's much lighter and brighter and the beautiful paneling really 'pops' with the lighter floor and ceiling. It's been a huge mess, though and I'm really glad it is finally FINISHED!


The wet bar, above, was the original reception desk in the lobby of the Milby Hotel. The small French door you see was also somewhere in the hotel, although it is no longer a functional door.

How anyone could put this awful office style acoustical tile
 in a beautifully panelled room like this is a mystery to me.
But they did. And it was old and  yellowed. Truly hideous.
The carpet was also very old and worn and you can see the
stains on it. Unfortunately, we had other priorities
(like a barn and arena!) and this room had to wait a few years.

A nice shot of the hideous ceiling, the Franklin stove just visible to the right and my lovely slip-covered sofa nad love seat. We came from a house with only one living area, so the den got 'leftovers.'
I found this postcard of the Milby Hotel online, at a "famous Texas places" website.

AFTER: What a difference! These pictures are all a bit dark. It's been really dreary here lately. Come a sunny day I'll get better ones.

Here in the background to the left, you can see the beautiful brick wall that was mostly hidden behind the ugly Franklin stove and pipe 'chimney.' I think the brick wall is a real focal point in the room  and am very happy I decided to tear the stove out. We never used it - we knew it was no longer up to code and it was much too close to the built-in bookcases!

See where the paneling meets the ceiling? Richard,
my contractor,
had to add 3 inches of height to the
original paneling to meet the new, higher sheetrock
ceiling. He did a great job matching it, and it was his
idea to add the small 'dental' molding
right where the
 paneling meets the ceiling. It adds a great finishing touch.

Here is the 'bay window' in the den. The table I had already.
The chairs and sofas came from Ethan Allen. That was a long story.
You might notice the chairs do not match. They sent one in the wrong
finish - I am waiting for a new one that matches. The rug was a
bargain from Marshall's Superstore.

Here's a shot of the new sofa in front of the bar -
and you can see the new ceiling fixture we added over the bar.

At the top of the photoyou can just see part of the
 'bump out' we added to the room. It's paneled, for a
 very 'finished' look. And I really like the new ceiling fan!

This very large piece was the first new thing I bought for
 the den remodel and it's really BIG. And RED. I was
very nervous about how it would look, but this is  a long
wall and it needed something large. This came from The Dump
and is actually two separate pieces - chest of drawers on top
and a 'buffet' on the bottom. I've grown pretty fond of it.