A DAD has revealed he let his eight-year-old daughter pick the colour of their house – leaving some neighbours fuming with the bold shades.
The schoolgirl opted for three unusual shades, and Sam Hewitt’s home is now a vivid green, yellow and orange.
The artist claims he adores the bold design and loves that it makes their terraced house stand out.
But some of the family’s neighbours think it’s a little too over the top for their quiet, conservative community.
One even described the brightly-coloured frontage as “dreadful”.
Sam, 50, spruced up his property in Brighton, East Sussex, after growing fed up with the “dull” appearance of the row of ordinary-looking homes on Millers Road.
He let his daughter, then eight, choose the design, and she opted for orange window frames, yellow headers and a green main hue.
The front door is also a vibrant orange with yellow trim, while the gable roof has a green and orange striped pattern with a yellow and orange border.
Sam, who has lived in the house for 17 years, said: “I got really bored with how dull all the white houses looked on the street after a while.
“I thought, ‘what happens if you mix things up?’ Well, this happens.”
The DIY project cost Sam just £50 and only needs to be touched up every five years.
As an oil painter by trade, he did the work himself, spending the cash on paint – which he had to get specially made to make it as attention-grabbing as possible.
“We couldn’t get the particular green we wanted so I had to go into a paint shop and design it myself,” he said.
“It was important for what my daughter wanted, but also as an artist I’m very colour sensitive.
“The three colours we chose really set each other off. It’s very powerful.
“And it’s brilliant because there isn’t a country’s flag or anything else with those three.
“Most things that have an impact have already been used, but this seems to have one without being affiliated with anything specific which I really like.”
While the dad-of-one, whose professional work is exhibited around the UK, insists the statement mural is a huge hit with kids, he admits not everyone is a fan.
Sam said: “It certainly divides opinion.
“We’ve had nothing from the council about getting rid of it, but there has been lots of reaction from other people.
“Kids particularly love it. I watch them go past grinning and laughing.
“But people do scoff at it and say ‘that’s ridiculous’ and ask ‘what are they thinking?’.”
It certainly divides opinion.
One neighbour, a retiree who has lived on the street with his wife since the early 1980s, is among those less convinced.
He said of the paintjob: “I think it’s dreadful.
“It doesn’t fit in with the other houses at all. It’s awful, just not in keeping with the rest of the street.
“I think he should paint it white like everybody else.”
The man added: “I’m sure kids love it but my wife and I don’t think it’s particularly nice looking.
“Lots of people walk past and take pictures and laugh.
“I’m conservative and older, but I suppose he’s a bit younger and an artist so he probably doesn’t care, just does what he wants.
“I might have done it 40 years ago, but I wouldn’t do it now.”
Another resident, 20, said: “It’s not my favourite, it’s a bit garish. But I like the individuality.
“It’s three colours that don’t necessarily go together, it’s quite bold.
“I’d rather it was bright pink or something.”
While a third also said it was a bit too out there for him.
‘IT’S A BIT WILD’
Dirk Schubert, who has lived on the road running parallel for 23 years, said: “For my taste it’s a bit wild.
“I wouldn’t do it to my own house but if he likes it then he shouldn’t be made to change it.”
Others are more in favour of the paintwork, agreeing that it always brightens their days.
Sarah Tripp, a university student who has not long moved to the road, said: “It’s a nice area and it’s a good thing that people can have their own colours and not be made to change them.
“It makes the whole place a bit more lively.
“I’m renting, but if it was my house, I think I’d paint it something brighter too.
“Maybe not go all out like him, but one bright colour.”
Philippe Bergna, who has lived in Brighton since 2018, agreed, adding: “I like it, I think it’s beautiful. It’s not a problem for me.
“If he wants a purple house, a green house, I don’t mind.”
Alessia Basoli, a Co-op store manager from Italy who moved to Millers Road four months ago, passes the house on her way to work every day.
She said: “Every time I walk past it I think, ‘oh wow, this house is so nice’. It’s so different from all the other ones.
“I would love to do something like that to my house, maybe paint it bright red or something.
“If you buy a house and you own it, you should be able to do whatever you want to it.”
Kate, who has lived on the road for just over a year, agreed it was a “nice, colourful addition to the area”, while Ambi Newboult, who is renting a flat on the street, said: “It’s nice. It reminds me of Studio Ghibli.”
Even those whose homes overlook Sam’s say they don’t mind the striking addition to their view.
One resident, who can see Sam’s house from his living room window, said: “It’s beautiful and so lovely because it’s so different from all the other houses.”
Another, who has lived in her bungalow for 27 years, said: “I don’t mind it. It’s nice and colourful.
“I think people think it maybe sticks out too much, but I think he did that on purpose.
“I would never do it to my own house, but I look straight on to it and I like it.”
And one man, who lives on nearby Inwood Crescent, said: “It’s bright in Brighton.
“I often notice it from my window, but I don’t mind it.”
While it was a shock when Sam painted his home in 2018, many say they now barely bat an eyelid at the gaudy colour scheme.
Tony Bowlen, who moved to the street in 2005, said: “I honestly don’t notice it anymore.
“Brighton is a colourful place so it’s OK with me.”
Another man, who did not want to give his name, said: “We’re just used to it now. It’s become part of the road – and it’s much better than the graffiti we get elsewhere.
“It is bright but it’s smart, and it cheers people up.”