This Woman is Brightening Her Neighborhood With Rainbow Homes

Whole streets are being transformed with colorful paint.

Jun 20, 2022
This Woman is Brightening Her Neighborhood With Rainbow Homes | Whole streets are being transformed with colorful paint.

Everyone deserves to love where they live. That’s why Tash Frootko, a property developer in Gloucester, England, began the Rainbow Street project in her quiet town four years ago, reported GloucesterLive.

Frootko brought a new lease of life to her properties by brightening the outside of each home, transforming her neighborhood into a kaleidoscope of bold colors. Now, she is partnering with local street artists to take her project a step further and turn Gloucester’s city center into a Rainbow Square.

Making rental homes special
The most recent paint job took inspiration from the existing rainbow streets around Gloucester, and brought the colorful project to the heart of the city. 

“We are transforming an entire area of the city center of Gloucester on this project,” said Frootko in a recent video interview with the BBC. “It’s titled the Rainbow Square, and it incorporates three adjoining streets, Nettleton Road, St Kilda Parade, and Station Road. Twenty-five houses we’re painting on this one [project]. I’ve got such a love for doing this, transforming streets. [We] completely change the look of a street by adding these bright and bold colors.”

While some landlords in low-income communities may frown on their tenants personalizing the appearance of their rental properties, Frootko couldn't be further away from this stereotype. She feels her fantastic tenants and their neighbors deserve homes that are special and unique.

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Creating community through art
An unexpected outcome of the project was a new sense of community among the residents of these rainbow streets. “It’s brought the community together really well,” Michelle, a local resident, told the BBC video interviewer. “If it wasn’t for Tash, then none of us really would have come out and really spoke to each other.” 

The residents of the streets were able to choose what color their house would be painted, and they spent lots of time working together as a community on plans for the project.

The quiet city of Gloucester in the west of England has never been thought of as a culture hub, compared to big cities like London and Manchester. In fact, the city was once drab and a little gray, but this reputation has been completely changed with just a few coats of paint.

“I actively seek out rundown and neglected areas and turn them into huge patchworks of enchanting colors for everyone to enjoy and [add] a much-needed cultural boost for the city,” Frootko told GloucesterLive.

Bringing some paint power in on the job
The new Rainbow Square includes an even more ambitious design. Alongside the signature design of houses painted in block colors, Frootko convinced two street artists, Zoë Power and Eloisa Henderson-Figueroa, to get on board and contribute large murals to two buildings on the Square. 

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Power, a street artist, print maker, and muralist based in Bristol, has worked on community art projects across the UK, according to her website ZoePower. She was thrilled to bring her upbeat designs to Gloucester. 

Power wrote on Instagram: “This was truly a labour of love. With a uniquely designed typeface, sprayed fades, shadows and gold leaf, I hope that this mural becomes a much loved landmark of the city. Thank you to everyone who stopped to chat, provided snacks and gave me words of encouragement.”

The final result of the project was a huge success, turning a once sleepy collection of streets into a place that celebrates joy and culture. Every resident and visitor who walks by is sure to have their day brightened by the bold art of Rainbow Square. 

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Rachael is a writer, poet, and editor who is fascinated by identity and empowerment. She enjoys romanticizing the mundane, reading in coffee shops, and hiking by moonlight.