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2012 Apr 15 - Keeping it Fresh!                                                                                                                          Port Elizabeth Property First Article
House Design Port ElizabethAdding colour to the exterior of a home has become a hot trend over the past few years. "While a fresh coat of paint will give a house an updated look that is always attractive to buyers and can influence the perceived value of the property, it is important to choose the right colour to complement the home and its surroundings," says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Although choosing the colour for the home will largely be based on the homeowner’s personal preference and sense of style, Goslett notes that one method which homeowners can use to give them a basic guideline on where to start is by using the acronym of the word FRESH when considering which colour to use.

F – This stands for features on the exterior of the home that are fixed. Fixed features are the permanent design elements of the home such as the foundation stone, brick facades and pathways. Goslett says that very often there will be a colour that is common to all these elements which should be identified in order to find a roof tile or paint that will complement it.

R – Look at the regional colours in your particular area, which are based on elements such as the surroundings, styles and building materials used.  Neighbourhood cohesion will make the area more inviting and aesthetical pleasing to buyers.

E – Consider the environment in which the home is located, as the chosen colour will need to complement the home's surroundings, whether it be city, beach or mountainside.  Nature as well as the built environment should be considered to ensure that there is a sense of continuity with the rest of the houses in the neighbourhood. Take a walk around the property and take in the various sites, perhaps making note of what is seen with a camera. This will allow the homeowner to see any common colour palettes and take note of elements such as the surrounding landscape, foliage, textures and adjacent buildings. Most neutral colours will blend with any environment, or alternatively paint the home in a contrasting white to make it stand out as white will show off the architectural details of the home.

S – Style of the home. Some colours complement a particular style of home more than others, depending on the overall look and feel of the property. There are also certain areas in some parts of the country that will have a specific building style and colour scheme that best suits that type of architecture, for example Cape Dutch style housing is generally white.

H – Where possible, preserve the intrinsic colours of the area's history. If the home is situated in an area with a rich history, a coastal area or rural environment, customary colours of the area should be preserved. In coastal environments, various blues are used to mimic the colours of the ocean. Very often the natural habitat of certain geographical areas surrounding the home will have a large influence of how the home should look and feel.

Goslett advises homeowners that are unsure of any colour to test several shades of the colour on section of the home. Allow the painted area to dry for 24 hours and then view it in the morning, noon and evening, as the colours will appear to be different tones depending on the time of day. This will give homeowners the chance to compare the shades to see which one is best for them.

He concludes by saying that while the home surroundings will give the homeowner an idea of where to start, each home and homeowner is different and what works for one may not work for another. Be individual and let your home be a reflection of your style and personality.


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