5 Tacky Trends in the Nigerian Real Estate Market

When you are on house hunting tours in Nigeria or when you are watching videos or reading posts about housing, do you often see things about the house or compound that baffles your mind and makes you scratch your head and wonder – what where they thinking?

Well this happens a lot to us. We see loads of homes and properties across the world, and today we will focus on some of the mind boggling, weird, gaudy and yes –tacky– trends that are infecting the Nigerian real estate market.

Tackiness Is Subjective

I know … beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one man’s trash is another’s treasure, blah, blah, blah… and overall style is subjective. But I hope we can agree that somethings are indeed tacky and tasteless.

This is not to point fingers and to make fun of home owners, designers and or developers, but just an attempt to identify and lament some of the trends that need to stop – asap. Below we shall list our top 5 – in no particular order.

5 Tacky Trends That Need to End

  • Black and white painted curbs (inside the compound) – Painting curbs along the roadways has a purpose, it allows drivers to see the curb and to avoid driving off the road. That makes sense. But why should you do the same inside your own compound?
Is this necessary?
  • POP ceilings with coloured lightsPOP (plaster of paris) is a construction and interior design practice that uses plaster to create design patterns and “false” ceilings and protrusions to add design and style elements to interior rooms in a home. This trend is popular in Nigerian homes and is often accompanied by coloured lighting and patterns. When done tastefully, it can accentuate a room and add a touch of design “class” – but more often than not we tend to see random, obtrusive, flamboyant designs that end up looking … tacky. I beg, please stop.
A lot going on here… seriously?
  • Massive compound with limited greenery – I love a big compound. But what makes them beautiful is when they have nice landscaping with native plants trees and flowers, it is also nice to have green grassy areas for kids and pets to play. I understand that more greenery can attract snakes and other pests, but as long as it is maintained well, it should not be a problem. We usually see a huge compound with interlocking tiles from wall to wall, which sometimes looks nice, but usually feels barren and dry.
Where is the greenery?
  • In home cinemas -In home cinemas can be a selling point for some. They do have a “cool” factor. But this trend has been around for decades and Nigerians have locked on and refuse to let it go. They are great to show off to friends and visitors, but for all intents and purposes – they rarely get used. They typically end up being a once in a while novelty that soon becomes passé. I would much rather have a nice comfy informal family room with a big screen mounted on the wall. Of the pics below, where would you rather watch a movie? Exactly – the one on the right!
  • Lack of staging and not cleaning house prior to showing – Not sure if this is a trend, or just a bad habit. But it is frustrating when you visit a house for a showing and the place is in disarray. Construction is not complete, there are tools and mess everywhere. No staging. This does not make for a good first impression. Why cant they clean up and put small furniture and finishing’s around? Look below, is it acceptable to post pictures like this?

Other pet peeves

Since we are venting, I will add a few more issues that we have seen when house hunting in the Nigerian real estate market.

  • Bars on windows – It looks bad and is unsafe. It is for security reasons, I get it – but are we prisoners in our house? Hire better security instead.
  • Chrome bannisters – This is completely gaudy and tacky. Your home is not a night club or mall, stop this trend – now.
  • Lack of pics or good pics in listings – If you are taking the time to list your property for sale, at least put up some professional pictures of a clean area.
  • The use of cheap tiles – We notice lots cheap Chinese tiles in bathrooms and kitchens, and in many cases they are mismatched and not installed properly.
  • Epoxy 3-D floors? – Please stop.

Set Trends Don’t Follow Them

The Nigerian real estate market is prone to following trends. If they see a practice elsewhere in the region or world, developers and architects are quick to copy and implement. Trends come and go, so it is important to let them go when it’s their time. Trends can be cool, but if they are “tacky”, then they can never be cool. Lets start off the new year right by not being tacky.

Roman Kingsley

Journalist based in the United States and Nigeria, focusing on Real Estate Development and the stories emerging in and around the built environment.

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