Next James Treble Practical Design Workshop 18 August 2021. Enrol in the course to attend!
Next James Treble Practical Design Workshop 18 August 2021. Enrol in the course to attend!

First Impressions: The Fence

First impressions create expectations, or disappointment. This can apply to meeting a new person, judging a book by its cover or a home from its façade. Often before we enter a home we already have an image of the interior of the home largely based on the impression we have from the view of the exterior. And the fencing is one of the elements that help form an opinion from the first arrival to a home. Like finding shoes to match a dress, the fence should complement the colour and style of a house, creating a cohesive and attractive looking façade, which will increase the interest in, and value of any property.

Looking at the pictures below taken from houses in the same Sydney suburb, you can see how the front of the home conveys very different impressions of the dwelling that sits behind the fence. Old or renovated, contemporary or tired? Looking at your own fence would you say it matches the overall look of the home? What first impression does it give?


A new fence can be quite expensive and if your budget doesn’t allow for a new one, there are things that can be done to elevate the status of the existing fence.  Below are a few practical tips to help you with the impression this gives your guests on arrival:

1 – Its style should match the style of the home it surrounds and if it doesn’t, then painting it a matching or complementary colour to the façade of the house will help to bring the two together.


2 – Rendering or sand-bagging a fence made of dated looking bricks is the best way to give it a new life, especially if it is a solid one.


3 – The gate should open smoothly and match the handrails of the balconies or the grills at the windows. If not, then a new coat of paint might help unify their looks. Note: a removed gate might look better than one that’s falling apart.

If you’re planning to fix, modernise or change the fence altogether, our advice is to have a walk up and down your street and select a style that not only suits your home, but one that also suits the neighbourhood. Remember: the appeal of your home as well as its value starts with the first impressions it gives, right from the street.

Practical Design Online Course

There are many design schools offering the theory of interiors, and there’s plenty of lifestyle television and Instagram and Pinterest pages to inspire the design lovers. Yet, we know it takes more than theory and pretty images to achieve good design. The intent of Practical Design is to offer sound information and practical design knowledge.


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