To the average passer-by, this house in Newport, Oregon, looks like every other one around it — midcentury with brick accents and a two-car garage. However, nothing could prepare you for what’s going on inside. Owner Almine Barton transformed it into what looks like the interior of a 16th century Elizabethan castle. It’s quite fitting when you hear who she is — the Right and Honorable Dowager Countess of Shannon. She’s a world-traveling artist (as well as a seer and spiritual master) and thus crafted the interior herself piece by piece over 40 years.
So why is she and this fabulous house in Oregon? Barton moved here after her father died to be close to her brother and ended up starting a family in Newport because she liked the town’s vibe. It’s a long way from where she started — she was born in South Africa and eventually became a member of the South African Parliament.
The exterior remains so understated for one simple reason — taxes. Thanks to the simple exterior, the house’s taxes are roughly $6,000, which is low considering what’s going on inside. She even has modern-looking anterooms to keep her expensive furnishings even more hidden. The reason you’re seeing them now is because she had to put the house on the market for health reasons. It’s going for a mere $399,000, and Barton is willing to throw in all the furnishings for a slight increase in the price.