9 Allan Square

Home owners sometimes put a lot of work into the appearance of their front door, but Don and Doris Hillier of Allan Square have turned the outside of their townhouse into what some would call a work of art.

The entire front of the house is painted red and white and every part from the posts to the mailbox is decorated with intricate wood carvings.

The step has a nautical theme, with carvings of sailboats, ships’ wheels and wind ornaments. Don carved the designs in his spare time over a two year period, finishing the bulk of it over a decade ago.

Doris says a lot of people stop to take pictures of their house, especially during the tourist season.

“People are really amazed at how it’s painted and designed,” she says.

Don and Doris are originally from the Burin Peninsula and moved to Allan Square 35 years ago. Don did most of the carving in his basement workshop, using the skills he learned working in construction.

Some of the wood came from an old couch and lawn chair they had thrown away. Inside, Don has built cabinets and other furniture in a similar style.

A passerby liked Don’s work enough to steal a wooden house he had on display outside, but Don says people usually just bring home photographic souvenirs.

“Some people get up on the step and get their pictures taken that way,” he says. “We had a crowd here from Australia that took some pictures and when they went back home they sent us back one. They were pretty fascinated by it.”

— Shawn Hayward