A country built on a firm belief in individualism? Tell that to the housing developers who stamp out look-alike houses like factory widgets. If you live in one of these habitats you might be suffering from BBF, or "boring box fatigue."
The cure? The resolve to "strike out and stick out."
Some homeowners in the U.S. and Great Britain are doing just that by personalizing their house exteriors in ways that can only be described as highly individualist (see left).
Two excellent photo galleries feature an assortment of these unconventional homes. The first, from Telegraph.co.uk is appropriately titled "Bizarre Painted Homes
." Another, on Powersiteblog.com features "Strangely Painted Homes
." Have a look.
I applaud their determination to make a statement against the ordinary.
You have to wonder how the neighbors feel about living next door to such "creative" types. Are they amused and inspired or do they fret, "there goes the neighborhood?" You also have to ask how these unusually-tricked out buildings impact their neighbors' property value. And what does it does it do for their own resale value?
Conventional staging and selling wisdom
dictates that you neutralize your home's interior and exterior as much as possible to appeal to the masses, who want to put their own imprint, subtle or otherwise, on the home they buy.
Such a house could benefit from its unusual designs or be hindered by it, depending on who happens to be shopping for houses when it goes on the market. The same goes for the house next door. Still, most owners seem to think such flamboyancy would only hurt one of their largest financial assets.
Many neighbors and planning departments who see unusual exteriors also see red.
But beyond the financial vehicle a house may be from time to time, it's also primarily the place where we live, and a very personal opportunity for self-expression.
I say, if you love it, who cares what the neighbors think?