We have all seen them dotted around South Africa, especially in small quaint suburbs that have a lot of history or attract people of the creative orientation. Townhouses, duplexes and cottages lined up in a row along the street, each painted in its own particular colour scheme, according to the owner’s preference.
It’s these houses that separate that particular street or suburb from the rest of its neighbours. In general people have a tendency to just stick to neutral, safe colours for their houses such as beige, white and off white colour schemes.
Occasionally you might find one house in these plain suburbs with a touch of one other colour on the accents of their house, but the basic idea is to keep everything simple. Whether it’s because they are scared their property might not be as easy to sell if it only suits a particular group of people, or whether it’s because making their house stick out from the rest of the crowd is too daunting to contemplate, is uncertain.
However, colourful houses do exist and the amount of people that are flocking to the suburbs is growing by the day. Some historic neighbourhoods in South Africa have colourful houses due to the fact that in the 1900’s technology advanced to the point where many colours of paint could be made and people took advantage of it.
In Cape Town, houses in Woodstock, Oranjezicht, Tambourskloof and Observatory all share at least one magical lane of multi-coloured homes, and it’s these suburbs that have the largest population of alternative families, artistic individuals and out-the box thinkers.
It’s the colour that draws people to buy the house. Exterior visuals play a large part when the house is on show. It’s literally one of those “love at first sight” scenarios. When you paint your house a particular colour on the exterior you are revealing yourself to the world and people respond.
Estate Agent Andre Bottger says that colour is definitely a contributing factor in the property transaction. External colour is the first thing people see and first impressions do count. He says that in his opinion most South Africans are conservative when it comes to exterior house colour.
Estate Agent Arnie Berman says the opposite, in that he generally finds that if the exterior of a house is in colour it has a positive effect on the sales.
Each colour brings its own territory of emotions and atmospheres and while the garden, fencing and structure do add to the ultimate end result, the base colour is the true origin of the over-all theme and feel. This is probably why certain colours work better when it comes to the sale of a house.
Each culture has its own philosophy about what a colour of the rainbow brings to the table of tastes and emotions, but the theme of the house should also be examined when choosing. While your favourite colour might be purple and green, that doesn’t necessarily suit an old Victorian styled house.
Recently earthy colours such as burnt orange and desert yellow have become quite popular in neighbourhoods that previously had reputations of clean white walls and picket fences. If you look at the psychological symbolism behind these two colours in comparison to global issues and where South African is today, it’s not really a surprise that people feel more comfortable coming home to these shades.
Orange is a mix between red and yellow and therefore it’s meaning is a balance between the two. Generally its association shares the same as red, although due to the yellow added, it doesn’t share the intensity. So while red is hot, orange would be warm. It’s the colour of comfort, cheer and activity. Yellow, which is the more popular of the two, is the colour of hope, communication and optimism.
Purple is more specific, as it usually deals with the spirituality of a person, which is why it only attracts certain people. Purple also refers to the mental state of a person. Turquoise is a popular colour for trimmings on a house and this colour has to do with inspiration and calmness, which is why a lot of people use it.
When you paint your house a particular colour it might not be approved of by everyone or attract everyone either, but the fact is that when it does, that person will love it for its colour, just the same as you do.