This Ordinary House Has an Outrageous Interior

This ordinary looking middle-class house in Newport, Oregon, with creamy white siding, yellowed brick, and a two-car garage, blends perfectly with the neighborhood, but once you step inside, it’s like visiting a Renaissance palace. Owner Almine Barton, the Right and Honorable Dowager Countess of Shannon, bought it in 1979. Born in South Africa to a member of the South African Parliament, Barton moved to Oregon after her father died because she wanted to be near her brother, who lived in Newport. When she bought the house, it was an ordinary suburban home. Barton wasn’t going to leave it that way, and began renovating immediately. Admittedly, somewhere along the line she went a little overboard. She left the outside as drab as possible “so as not to attract the tax men.” In 2014, she suffered a stroke and ended up having to downsize to a smaller home that was more manageable. It went on the market for $399,000.