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Keep your home F.R.E.S.H

Updating the exterior of the home with a fresh coat of paint is a great way to refresh the look of a property and make it more attractive to buyers. 

“In fact,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, “a new coat of paint does not only add to the aesthetic appeal of a home, it can also have an influence on the perceived value of the property. However, it is important to select the right colour to complement the home and its surroundings.”

He notes that while choosing the colour for the home will largely be based on the homeowner’s personal preference and sense of style, 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 include the permanent design elements of the home such as the foundation stone, brick facades and pathways. “Very often there will be a colour that is common to all these elements which should be identified in order to find the right colour paint that will enhance it,” Goslett explains.

R – Look at the regional colours in the particular area in which the home is situated. These colours will usually be based on elements such as the surroundings, styles and building materials used.  Neighbourhood consistency will make the area more inviting and aesthetically pleasing to buyers.

E – Consider the environment in which the home is located, as the chosen colour will need to complement its surroundings, whether that 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. Have 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 in with any environment; however the homeowner can opt to paint the home in a contrasting white to make it stand out. The colour white is known to show off the architectural details of a home. 

S – Style of the home. Some colours work well with 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 on how the home should look and feel.

Goslett advises homeowners who are unsure of any colour, to test several swatches of the colour palette on a 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,” says Goslett. 

He concludes by saying that while the home’s 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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