The Portobello Road Effect – How Instagram and Airbnb are influencing home improvement trends @Aspect_M

● 29% of UK residents want more ‘Instagrammable’ homes
● One in five has invested in making their homes more Airbnb-friendly
● 16% took inspiration from Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
● Enterprising tradespeople are often the biggest motivator for home improvement, offering discounts to neighbouring properties for getting work done at the same time

In a trend researchers have dubbed, ‘Portobello Road’ effect, in which home improvement ideas ‘spread’ between neighbouring properties giving rows of homes and sometimes even entire streets a uniform, photogenic look, more than a quarter (29%) of UK residents have invested in making their homes more ‘Instagrammable’ in the past two years, according to a new study into home improvement motivations by London property maintenance experts Aspect.

Instagrammable homes

The research found that 29% of UK respondents have spent money on home improvements to emulate an idea they’ve seen on social media. The inspiration goes in both directions too, with 20% believing one of their social media followers had copied an idea from them after seeing it on their social media channels.

The research also revealed that one in five has spent money making their home more Airbnb friendly – London, Brighton and Manchester were the most common places for this. The survey revealed that 16% said they’d been inspThe research also revealed that one in five has spent money making their home more Airbnb friendly – London, Brighton and Manchester were the most common places for this. The survey revealed that 16% said they’d been inspired by the popular Netflix documentary Tidying Up With Marie Kondo to make their homes easier to keep tidy, with London, Manchester and Edinburgh coming top.

The Portobello Road Effect

The study revealed a trend researchers have dubbed the ‘Portobello Road’ effect, in which home improvement ideas ‘spread’ between neighbouring properties giving rows of homes and sometimes even entire streets a uniform, photogenic consistency. The phenomenon is named after the iconic London street which is becoming as well-known for attracting Instagram influencers who use it as a backdrop for their photos as it is for its iconic pastel-coloured houses and famous street market.

Researchers identified a number of drivers behind the trend, including social media and TV. And although online content is responsible for a large number of different home improvement motivators, the two biggest drivers for home improvements and maintenance still happen offline.

32% of UK residents surveyed say that being approached directly by a tradesman working on a neighbouring property had 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.

Says Nick Bizley, director of operations at Aspect: “People have always been motivated to make the best of their homes and the habit of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ never went away. What we’re seeing now are just different sources of inspiration for doing so. Whether we’re inspired by a picture on social media or a TV show, it’s great for the tradespeople we employ that UK residents still show so much pride in their homes.

“The study identified enterprising tradespeople as one of the biggest motivators behind people catching the home improvement bug and it makes complete sense. A tradesperson can make significant savings on travel, transport, access costs, scaffolding and they can bulk buy materials more easily when working on neighbouring homes. So they’re able to pass some of those savings onto their customers. It’s a win-win in that regard. The resident gets great work at a lower price, the tradesperson cuts their cost and the local neighbourhood benefits too as more and more properties enjoy improvements.”

Top cities for curb appeal motivation

Manchester
Leeds
London
Birmingham
Edinburgh

Top cities for Marie Kondo effect

London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Cardiff
Glasgow

Top cities for social media effect

Manchester
Brighton and Hove
Aberdeen
Birmingham
Glasgow

Top cities for tradesperson influence

Birmingham
Liverpool
Edinburgh
Leeds
Manchester

Top cities for Airbnb effect

London
Brighton and Hove
Manchester
Aberdeen
Oxford

 

https://www.aspect.co.uk/trades/doors-windows-locks/