An 1880s Italianate Home in Albany, Oregon
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Rooms and floor plans

This page contains before and after images of rooms we have restored. At the bottom of the page, you will find floor plans showing how the house is laid out.

Table of Contents

Entryway and upstairs hall

Before After Comments

Before (June 2003): The original entryway had red hand-painted stencils and a dark brown painted floor.

After (August 2003): Refinishing the floors made a huge difference. Also, we found a large antique-style mirror at CostCo.

Before (August 2003): Over the years, the paint job deteriorated as people patched the plaster without touching up the paint. The pink Newell post matched the front door.

After (December 2004): Barb selected a monochromatic color palette with four colors of beige-peach. From light to dark, she painted walls, ceiling, door trim, and stair treads both in the entryway shown here and upstairs in the hallway.

Before (June 2003): The entryway viewed from the parlor was austere. Note the pink front door.

After (December 2004): To break up the large expanse of wall, Barb ordered matching wall paper and applied 8-foot-long panels.

The molding we used has quite a history. The molding began as cull logs on our timberland. Since over half of these huge logs were rotten, they would have cost more to ship to a mill than we would have been paid. So we had a dump truck drop them at Gene Cooper's ancient sawmill in the coast range. Gene is an ex-logger with a 50-horsepower circular saw mill. He cut the logs into 6 by 6-inch cants. Next, the cants were shipped to Pacific Rim Remanufacturing where they were into 2 by 6s, sorted, and kiln-dried. The best ones were cut into 1 by 6-inch clear wood which we took to Dave Helton's in Carlton. We used his Grizzly Planer/Molder to make the beaded moldings. Barb used his drill press and a carbide-tipped tool to make the corner rosettes. So we are rather proud that these moldings and rosettes were made from local wood using similar processes to the ones used in the 1880s when the house was built.

Before (June 2003): The hallway light looks nice.

After (December 2004): All of Barb's hard work really shows up in these views -- the entryway has a warm, inviting feel.

Before (June 2003): The upstairs hallway toward the bathroom and guest bedroom.

After (December 2004): Warmer colors, replacement period light fixtures, and Mucha wall prints complete the hallway's transformation.

Before (June 2003): We decided to install stained glass windows in the stairway ceiling to let outside light shine down the stairway.

After (December 2004): The finished stained glass window project as seen from the stairway. This picture really doesn't do the project justice -- the depth of the stained glass is wonderful when light shines through it. This project is described in more detail on the Allen house roofing page.


Before After Comments

Before (June 2003): The original kitchen had Formica countertops that were peeling ... if you look carefully, you can see the edge strips had fallen off. Notice how shiny and nice the punched tin inserts in the doors look.

After (April 2009):

  • When Barb and I began rebuilding the countertops, we found the Formica was laid on top of high-quality maple butcher block. So we decided to use the butcher block to build a side table, and we built new countertops from two layers of cheap 3/4-inch plywood.
  • Next, I laid black granite tiles on the diagonal.
  • Over time the punched tin had rusted, so we took off all the doors and scrubbed and polished the tin inserts.
  • We added a new circuit to handle a built-in convection oven/microwave.

Before (sometime in the 1800s ...):
Our kitchen stove started its life as a functioning wood stove. Barb found a picture of it on the Internet and bought it straight from an east coast farm field.

After (2005):
These pictures show the completely refurbished stove in our kitchen in Albany, Oregon. It has new nickel plating, stainless steel oven inserts, solid surface burners, and 220-volt wiring.

Before (2005):
The stove looks out of place as it sits on a wood floor in front of flammable wallpaper. Also, the stove was far too low to be comfortable for cooking.

After (April 2009):
We raised the wood stove by placing it on a pad made from bricks salvaged from the home's old chimneys. Behind the stove we installed marble tiles with a border of black granite. As a final touch, we went to Coastal Farm Supply to buy a stove pipe. It rises all the way to the ceiling ... but it doesn't penetrate into our bedroom floor above -- so it is only a decorative illusion.

Before (June 2003): The original kitchen had few shelves. Its long hallway-like area ended with a corner cabinet built in the 1950s.

Next (July 2004): I found some nifty bookshelves for sale at the Oregon State University OSUsed store. OSU carpenters built these Craftsman-style shelves from old-growth Douglas Fir for Waldo Hall's opening in 1908. It wasn't easy fitting the shelves onto my Ford Ranger to get them home. Once at home, I removed the doors, sanded all the surfaces and applied a light stain.

Next (August 2004): Bill Cutler and I (Dave) moved the corner cabinet down the street to the Charles Royal House dining room.

Next (October 2004): The shelves have been moved into the kitchen to serve as a pantry. It took four healthy men and several tries to move this into the kitchen. We had to remove the door casings on both the kitchen and dining room doors to get it in.

After (April 2009):
We finished this area by putting the wood stove on a brick pad and refinished the floor.

Before (June 2003): The original kitchen oak floor had never been sanded or finished.

After (April 2009):
I sanded the floor and gave it a light stain and two coats of polyurethane. I also built this side table -- almost entirely from scrap materials. The maple butcher block was hiding under the green Formica in the original kitchen. So I removed the Formica, and Barb and I sanded it back to its original beauty. The 1-1/2 inch tube steel was left over from the basement strengthening project ... and the oak came from remodeling the front porch of the Sullishak beach cabin.

Front parlor

Before After Comments
Before (June 2003): Dave looks at the parlor ceiling before purchasing the house in June 2004. The ceiling was covered with embossed and painted wallpaper which looked tired. The floors had at least ten coats of paint which was sad -- they were originally built from high-quality fir floor boards.

After (August 2003): Our first restoration project was to have the floors sanded and refinished. We did this before moving in.

Before (June 2003): The parlor looked quite plain, and the walls were screaming for a coat of paint because the last paint job had not bothered to paint behind wall hangings -- but the wall hangings had been removed.

After (December 2004): New drapes, carpet on the floor, and a Christmas tree cut from our timberland make the parlor feel quite homey. The walls still need to be painted, but they look better because we have hung things in front of the worst places.

Master bedroom

Before After Comments

Before (October 2003): The walls have been primed and the floor has been refinished.

After (January 2007): (Top) Barb has hung wall paper throughout. (Bottom) Barb bought a plaster-based set of moldings that we installed at the top of the wall paper and in the ceiling.

Before (June 2003): The walls were ripped up and the floor was painted. When we first looked at the master bedroom, it looked like a construction zone.

After (October 2003): Refinishing the floors, cleaning up the construction, and priming the walls made a huge difference. The walls still need to be painted again, but at least the room is livable.

Before (June 2003): Uncovered electrical boxes were above where the bed should go.

After (October 2003): Wall paper and sconces purchased on eBay from a hotel being demolished in Chicago have made the bedroom warm and inviting.


Living room

Before After Comments
Living room (as seen from front parlor)
Before (June 2003): more missing flooring.
After (August 2003): I pulled up the painted plywood, and we had the missing flooring replaced. Note the darker square of flooring in the foreground. This likely was where the cold air return used to be. Also, if you look closely, you can see the line where metal track used to be between the two pocket doors. This helps explain why the pocket doors don't work as well as they did originally.

Living room fireplace

Before (June 2003): Missing flooring.

After (August 2003): I went to Architectural Salvage in Philomath and managed to buy identical flooring that had been removed from a demolished building. The newly replaced flooring looks just like the original.

Living room (as seen from dining room)

Before (June 2003): lots of missing flooring.
After (August 2003): Some of the recycled flooring that I bought from Architectural Salvage in Philomath was sixteen feet long. So you don't see many joints in the newly laid flooring.

Living room ceiling, part 1

Before (June 2003): The living room had a bare bulb hanging from the open electrical boxes.
After (September 2003): We bought a reproduction fixture from Home Depot and put a bezel on the ceiling lighting can.

Living room ceiling, part 2

Before (September 2003): The ceiling still needs some sheet rock work and a couple of coats of paint.
After (December 2004): Barb picked what she thought was an appropriate color from the swatch as Home Depot. It turned out to have a lot more pink in it that we thought. Still, the living room looks much better.

Outdoor garden

Before After Comments

Patio Courtyard

Patio Bunny and Fairies
  Patio Grapes
  Patio Pond
  Patio Table

Floor plans of the house today

These images show the floor plans of the house as it stands today. You might want to contrast them with early historic plans from plat maps.

1st floor
The main floor has 1375 square feet.
2nd floor
The second floor has 1196 square feet. This drawing was originally printed in 1998. Between then and 2003, an owner decided to convert the middle upstairs bedroom into a larger closet area for the front bedroom and a walk-in closet area for the master bedroom. If you look closely, you should be able to make out the penciled-in changes.
A full basement with 1207 square feet. The basement was added around 1900 by jacking up the house. Its head clearance is less than 7 feet.


The Allen-House.Com,, and websites are maintained by Dave and Barbara Sullivan who live in the N. H. Allen House at 208 6th Avenue SE, Albany, Oregon. Our home phone is 541-924-5983.