Have You Seen the Barbie House in Somerville?
C'mon Barbie, let's go party...in Spring Hill.
If there’s two things the Internet loves, it’s 1) crazy real estate and 2) all things Barbie. So naturally people flipped out when this home in Somerville hit the market.
As far as numbers go, it’s a pretty standard listing. The three-bed, 1.5-bath abode was listed for $1,475,000 by Shannah Hall Franckum and Carol Kelly of The Carol Kelly Team with Compass. Built in 1860, it comes with a front porch, a patio, a sun room, and over 2,000 square feet of living space.
But the photos tell a different story. Even just walking down Spring Street, you’d be bound to notice this home. This traditional Greek Revival—surrounded by lush perennial gardens—is painted bubble gum pink with purple columns and minty green accents lining the front porch. Inside, the home somehow gets even more fantastical, with a design that looks like it came straight from a Pinterest board crafted by Barbie or Chelsea from Season 4 of Love is Blind (if you know, you know).
The color palette can be described as “sherbert” with pinks, orange, and purple tones lining the first floor, mixed in with minty accents (like the front door and fireplace mantel). Even the nine-foot high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling built-in bookshelves are painted some shade of pink. These high-gloss oil paint colors were all custom-mixed, according to Hall Franckum, while the gold stripes on the wall were painted on by an artist using real gold and copper leaf.
But rest assured, it’s not all rose tones here. The home also plays with green: Think a study painted in alternating grassy shades or a kitchen painted lime with magenta trim. And no standout home is complete without some pattern play—and this home has plenty. There’s checkered floors in varying colors and styles—including some with hand-painted floral patterns—and even a leopard print in one of the home’s three bedrooms and one the stairs.
Of course, people on the Internet had opinions (as is the case with literally everything). Zillow Gone Wild, a popular account highlighting out-there places for sale, posted the listing on its Facebook page earlier this week, declaring the home to be “11/10. No notes.” Some commenters agreed (“I love that the owner didn’t let sad beige ruin their life!”), but others couldn’t resist the opportunity to snark. “It makes me dizzy,” wrote one. “It looks like a Pepto Bismol bottle exploded in there,” said another.
Many hailed the seller, Deborah Hughes who is (not surprisingly) the former co-owner of Harvard Square’s wonderfully pink Upstairs on the Square restaurant. When she bought the home 21 years ago, everything was “completely white,” according to Hall Franckum. “It’s really the brainchild of Deborah,” she says. “(She) is talented not only in the cooking arena, but also a this gifted artist who’s got vision. Everything she touches she turns to a work of art.
Love it or hate it, the home undeniably struck a chord, both online and in person. Hall Franckum said the open house brought in just as many curious gawkers as it did interested buyers. “I knew it was going to create a lot of attention, ” Hall Franckum says. “I didn’t think it’d go viral. We all need things that are a little different. There’s so much of the same which is white and black and grays in a lot of the contemporary homes being built…(This) was like people visiting a museum for the first time. It was like seeing some Gaudi-esque work of art. They were clearly just enchanted.”
Sadly, for those who adored its shades of blush, the home is already under agreement (as could be expected with a market like this). But Hall Franckum says the seller wants to keep the home exactly as it is, so the same cheerful color scheme to be enjoyed for years to come (at least from the outside).