How to make your property stand out with bright colours


Anyone who brightens up the lives of their neighbours is well on their way to becoming a local hero. 

So it is no surprise to learn that, on Nettleton Road in Gloucester, Tash Frootko is enjoying celebrity status. 

Frootko, 39, an artist and landlord, has persuaded the residents of six adjoining houses, including two she rents out herself, to paint their properties in bright pastel shades, in thrilling contrast to the redbrick properties that line the rest of the quiet suburban street.

Community spirit: Residents of Nettleton Road, Gloucester, love the new look

Community spirit: Residents of Nettleton Road, Gloucester, love the new look

Community spirit: Residents of Nettleton Road, Gloucester, love the new look

Neighbours were consulted, but as the street is not in a conservation area, there were no planning hurdles to overcome.

The transformation is not just easy on the eye, but has reportedly brought residents together, with locals thrilled to be involved in a funky community project and visitors from neighbouring streets coming to admire the makeover.

Perhaps the dramatic new look in Nettleton Road will encourage others to join in and come up with a colour-coordinated street.

Colours are, of course, so personal, dividing people as well as bringing them together. 

I grew up in a luridly painted blue house in Surrey in the Sixties. 

People winced as they walked past. Never again.

That’s why estate agents tend to urge caution when sellers try to brighten their homes with bold tones.

‘Bold colours certainly help properties stand out on websites, but we would generally advise neutral colours on the exterior of a property, with perhaps a freshly painted front door if owners want to make an impact,’ says Max Cutsforth, of Essex-based Cheffins.

Emma Roe, of Arkwright & Co in Saffron Walden, tells a cautionary tale about a large period property in her area painted a deep raspberry shade.

Pretty in pink: The Pink House, on a row of colourful townhouses in Lymington, has four bedrooms and a walled garden with terraces

Pretty in pink: The Pink House, on a row of colourful townhouses in Lymington, has four bedrooms and a walled garden with terraces

Pretty in pink: The Pink House, on a row of colourful townhouses in Lymington, has four bedrooms and a walled garden with terraces

‘It languished on the market for nearly a year when we suggested that the vendors re-paint it cream. 

‘They found a buyer almost immediately.’ 

Plus, it’s worth bearing in mind that local planning authorities have the power to serve notices requiring owners or occupiers to remedy the condition of their property if they think it adversely affects the amenity of the area.

But you’d have to be very puritanical to object to the new-look Nettleton Road. 

There are similarly colourful enclaves dotted around the country and, in general, they compare well, in terms of desirability, with drabber neighbouring areas.

Well minted: This minty coloured detached family home near Saffron Walden has four bedrooms and two reception rooms

Well minted: This minty coloured detached family home near Saffron Walden has four bedrooms and two reception rooms

Well minted: This minty coloured detached family home near Saffron Walden has four bedrooms and two reception rooms

Not far from Gloucester, in Bristol, the little suburb of Totterdown, perched on the side of a hill, is known for its cheery outlook. 

Its serried rows of Victorian workers’ cottages were once nondescript, but Totterdown is now a magnet for young, bohemian types.

Observatory Street in Oxford is another tastefully decorated street.

‘I wouldn’t say that there is a premium attached to the properties, but its unique appearance has made it a popular place to live,’ says Teresa O’Hara, of James C. Penny estate agents.

In other countries, particularly ones that get more sun than Britain, there’s greater acceptance of perkily painted properties. 

Bold in blue: In the Kemp Town village area of Brighton is this blue terraced house. It has three bedrooms and a large living room

Bold in blue: In the Kemp Town village area of Brighton is this blue terraced house. It has three bedrooms and a large living room

Bold in blue: In the Kemp Town village area of Brighton is this blue terraced house. It has three bedrooms and a large living room

One of the most colourful is the fishing town of Burano in the Venetian lagoon, where every house is painted a different vibrant colour.

According to local legend, the painting of houses dates back to a period when fishermen would return home in heavy fog and needed a simple way to identify their cottage, particularly when drunk.

Now the houses are a tourist attraction in their own right, tightly regulated by the Venetian authorities, who stipulate which colours are admissible and insist that properties are regularly re-painted.

Nettleton Road in Gloucester has a long way to go before it pulls in as many tourists as Burano, but it is a shining example of what neighbourhoods can achieve if they dare to look a little different.

 



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