What is the Portobello Road effect?
If you’ve ever noticed certain streets in your neighbourhood looking somewhat ‘coordinated’ perhaps three consecutive houses with the same paint job, or a cluster of properties with identical shutters, doors or any other external stylistic flourish – that’s the Portobello Road effect. It’s named after the iconic London street famous as much for its pastel coloured Victorian terraces as it is for its street market.
What’s behind it?
Our research suggests that a number of factors are driving this. Social media has had a huge impact on home decor and maintenance trends. While Instagram gives us a curated glimpse into the most stylish homes for inspiration, Facebook lets us take a peek around the homes of our friends and neighbours, giving us a social motivation to make our own improvements. In fact, almost one-in-three UK adults say that they’ve been inspired to do something to their home after seeing a friend’s home improvement results on social media.
The rising popularity of short-term lets facilitated by websites like Airbnb are also causing homeowners, and even tenants, to make improvements. One-in-five adults say they’ve considered making their property more appealing to Airbnb tenants. Almost half of these are London residents.
Even TV has an influence. The recent popularity of Netflix show ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ has been a driving force for 15%, who admit that seeing the minimalist’s home makeovers inspired them to get to work on their own homes.
Although the Internet is responsible for a large number of different motivators, the two biggest drivers of home improvements and maintenance happen offline. 32% of UK residents surveyed say that being approached directly by a tradesman working on a neighbouring property has prompted them to make their own home improvements, while 41% say that seeing improvements to neighbours’ homes in ‘real life’ – also known as ‘curb appeal’ – has inspired them to make changes to their own homes.