Big decorations add appeal to smaller home
Lots of times we see a house expanded to increase its size but it’s not often we see one downsized and divided into two houses. This is just such the case for the home of Drew Scott and Kevin Allen. Their historic Ironton home was once part of the house next door, as Drew tells it.
“Many of the houses along this street were once owned by steamboat captains. One such captain had two sisters who inherited the house, they had a disagreement and split the house in half. One lived in the house next door and the other lived in this house and they never spoke to each other again. This house became known as the Bay House after the bay window that stretches upward to the roof,” he said.
Once the story of the house split is known, it is easy to envision the two houses as one. Outside they are somewhat mirror images of one another with duplicate dormers and other similar architectural features. Once inside of the Scott/Allen house, the small foyer opens into a beautiful spiral staircase that winds to the second floor and the bedroom area. From the upstairs office window there is an outstanding view of the Ironton bridge crossing over the Ohio River. Drew related, “This is one of the few houses along here that doesn’t have an attic. We think it was a result of the house split from the one next door.”
Bordering the staircase are period paintings that have been acquired over the years along with portraits they have commissioned. Drew said, “I love portraits and try to have one for each member of the family. It probably started with the one my mother had commissioned of me 20 years ago.”
Drew tries to stay true to the historic background of the house by furnishing it in period colors and antiques. He is an admitted collector with many interests that tie in with the history of the home. From religious artifacts to movie memorabilia, the abode is an expression of his and Kevin’s artistic interests. “Drew collects all these things and I make them work in the house,” Kevin said.
All historic homes need repairs and refurbishing, and Drew pointed out several of their projects. Kevin has done some extensive faux painting throughout their home in a soft champagne that offers a neutral background for Drew’s collectibles. Floors have been refinished and the kitchen has been updated. An extra room off the kitchen houses the washer and dryer but is enhanced with an area rug and an elegant desk and chair.
Christmas is an especially enjoyable time for the guys in that they like decorating their entire house. The tree positioned in the living room bay window is a focal point they have spent much time developing. Many of the ornaments come from department stores that were once familiar names in the Tri-State. Angels on the tree hail from Stone & Thomas, sparkling monocles were once purchased at Anderson Newcomb, and Mardi Gras ornaments came from the original Lazarus in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
Every house has a story to tell and this unique house offers quite a tale that Drew and Kevin treasure and honor. Though it started as part of much larger property 120 years ago, its downsized state is still very appealing to its present-day occupants.