A St. Cloud house listing — in all its pink and teal glory — is setting Twitter all aflutter. In fact, the Minnesota bungalow was so distinct that it caught the attention of Zillow Gone Wild. The popular Twitter account spotlighted the home, garnering tens of thousands of likes, thousands of retweets and a nickname: "The Barbie House."
"Perfect for Barbie and Ken" read one comment. "Is this where 'Barbie' [the upcoming movie] will be shot?" asked another. Someone else wondered, "Who are these people?"
These people (well, this person) is Cody Horton, who purchased the house three years ago. He was stoked by the 1940s bungalow, with its turret-inspired entryway, rounded archways and built-ins that included benches and a round banquette.
But he wanted to infuse his personality into the home as well.
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"When I got it, everything was all white [and beige] and I can't do that. So I went with some color," he said. "I didn't know if I would like it or not; it's pretty loud. But that's just how I am."
So while he set out to create a strong palette, he wasn't going for a Mattel dollhouse aesthetic. Instead, a 1980s surf apparel brand known for its bright colors was the inspiration.
"When I was growing up, Ocean Pacific was super popular and I just loved getting their shirts," Horton said. "So I decided I just am going to make the inside like the Ocean Pacific thing. If I wanted to have another Ocean Pacific shirt, what would it be? Teal, pink, yellow, black and gray. And that's what I did."
Pinks and circus themes
The house already came with a bit of whimsy. Horton inherited a bathroom with murals — one of a circus tent painted on the vaulted ceiling, and another of a giraffe, kangaroo, zebra and other animals on a sliding shelf. The kitchen had a pink countertop. An upstairs room was lined with a bold-print wallpaper.
So he added to that.
For the kitchen, he had a professional painter pal paint the walls pink and the cabinet knobs and handles black. Horton also installed diamond-patterned flooring in pink, black and white.
"I had a pink kitchen before, when I lived in south Minneapolis," he said. And "I think pink and black just go together well."
In the living room, Horton had the walls painted pink and installed red carpet over the cork flooring. In the upstairs sitting nook, he played off the existing green and white leaf print wallpaper by adding teal carpet. The exterior of the home was also given a West Coast beach vibe, going from white to sea-foam green.
"It's sticking with the Ocean Pacific theme," Horton said.
Now, the sun is setting on Horton's time in the home. He's ready to return to his roots, and has listed the three-bedroom, two-bathroom place spanning 2,100 square feet.
"The winters here are just a tad too much," said the Texas native. "I like to ride motorcycles, and you don't get to do that throughout the year here."
Listing agent Dolly Langer said not only does the home on Riverside Drive have views of the Mississippi River, but it's walkable to the Munsinger Clemens Gardens.
But the home is special in other ways.
"I think one of the things, outside of the decor, that makes it super unique is the material. It's made of cinder block, which is pretty rare," she said. "Another unique aspect is it's only had two owners, which is pretty great for a home that's over 80 years old. So it's still very much intact."
For all the talk on social media about the home being a Barbie house, there are also remarks such as "it is the perfect home" and "I love it."
Horton is taking his house being an internet sensation in stride, getting a kick out of some of the comments, and a sense of pride from others.
"I can't get too caught up in what people think; to each their own," he said. "But I would say the best compliment I got was from a friend that said it's blowing up on the internet and is making people happy. That makes me happy that it's bringing others joy."
Dolly Langer (email@example.com; 612-280-8898) of Edina Realty has the $250,000 listing.