Thanks to all for the kind words. To answer the question about renovation, yes, we did a complete renovation of the home. I think I had posted some stuff earlier in this thread about it; I know I did somewhere, but the pics may no longer be active as I keep moving from photo sharing site to photo sharing site.
Anyways, the one pic of the two story "salon" (I want to say "great room" but I only recently was chided for saying that because I guess it's a word that came into use only during the McMansion era) shows the only room that remained pretty much untouched from the original. We refinished the floors, cleaned everything up, put in new lighting and electrical, but the room looks pretty much just like it always has.
The kitchen is one of the areas of major work. Where you see the beam running above is actually where a wall was - and on "this" side of that wall were butler's stairs leading to the second floor, and where the camera is placed is roughly where a bathroom was. The bathroom, stairs, and closets were all torn out to expand the kitchen and connect it in an open plan to a den (with an original fireplace) that sits behind where the camera is.
Elsewhere in the house, we sacrificed a bedroom upstairs to create a walk-in closet and master bathroom for a master suite, expanded another bedroom, expanded a library, all new plumbing, electrical, mechanical, lighting throughout, and in all four new bathrooms, none sitting geographically exactly where one did before. It was a lot of work, but definitely a lot of fun.