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Realtors could be a huge catalyst in the Turquoise Table Movement

The Turquoise Table Movement is designed to revive the neighborhood feeling, and Realtors could be a huge catalyst for the movement.

turquoise table movement

What began as a simple picnic table has become a movement towards increasing community connections and positive, neighborly relations in Austin’s Northwest Hills district, and worldwide.

It all began when Kristin Schell, writer, blogger, and mother of four, came to the startling realization that after ten years of living in her Austin home, she hardly knew any of her neighbors. Schell bought a picnic table to provide more seating for her guests at a backyard barbeque. After the event, she moved the table to the front yard and painted it bright turquoise.

The awkward first step: Will anyone join in?

Schell knew she wanted the turquoise table to be a place where she could connect with her neighbors, but how to begin? “It was awkward at first,” she admits. However, she was determined to put herself out there, so she came to the table with her journal and some art supplies, and within three hours, a curious neighbor she’d never met before approached and joined her at the table. Before she knew it, the turquoise table had become a neighborhood hotspot, and strangers became friends.

Now, the turquoise table has become a place where neighborhood kids come to play, do their homework, work on arts and crafts projects, and practice their budding entrepreneurial skills with lemonade stands in the summer time and hot cocoa stands in the fall. Grown-ups gather to meet new neighbors, get to know one another, exchange advice, or enjoy a glass of wine after dinner.


Bringing back the ole neighborhood feeling

Says Schell, “the turquoise table has become a meeting place – kind of like the old village well – for neighbors, friends, and even strangers, to hang out and do life together.”
The trend spread throughout the Northwest Hills neighborhood, and has even spread internationally, with turquoise tables popping up in Montana, in the UK, and even in Uganda. Schell promotes the neighborhood movement with the hashtags #theturquoisetable and #frontyardpeople, and distributes a Turquoise Table newsletter. She is actively seeking story submissions from others who have used the turquoise table to increase community connections in their neighborhoods.

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This “front yard revival” has great potential to encourage positive neighborhood relations, which in turn can help increase property values. Austin Realtor Paul Reddam is promoting the movement by giving away a free turquoise table to the winner of a home video contest.

Here at the Real Daily, we’d love to see more Realtors blog about this community movement, or include the story in their move-in packets or mail campaigns. Imagine offering home buyers a free turquoise table at move-in: buyers would not only help improve the neighborhood feeling, but be remembered for their contribution. That’s a branding win.

As many houses no longer have front porches, the turquoise table has become the new neighborhood gathering place. Said Nicole Vickey of the Austin restaurant Dinner Elf, the “table is a bright, kitschy signal that we are ‘front yard people.’ This means we are people who want to know and live in community with our neighbors.”


Ellen Vessels, a Staff Writer at The American Genius, is respected for their wide range of work, with a focus on generational marketing and business trends. Ellen is also a performance artist when not writing, and has a passion for sustainability, social justice, and the arts.


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