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Upstairs, the grand Palladian window features prominently in the couple's bedroom. A nearby chaise langue encourages reading by natural light. The "hangout room" doubles as the second studio, with a soaring ceiling and wide windows that remind the couple of boathouses they have seen on Martha's Vineyard. Glossy marine tones overpainted on the original floors and a son's surfboard evoke the island. Pride of place belongs to an antique life preserver Barbieri painted with the name of the couple's boat, Aurora, named after Hannifan's mother. The walls have a stippled finish that creates a nearly imperceptible suede effect.
Describing the Essex house, Barbieri says, "I tried to make everything in our house beautiful and authentic, with a sense of the past but where people live today. It has elegance and a modern sensibility, but at the same time is very rustic in its charm." Nathaniel Jones Pratt would take comfort in the love that fills this treasured home.