Houzz – Your On-line Design Resource

by Robin Muto on June 12, 2012

in Design Philosophy,Interior Design,Remodeling,Residential Design

Hello everyone! My name is Becky and I’m a contributor at Houzz, a home design site focused on helping design professionals and homeowners manage the remodeling and decorating process. Thanks so much to Robin for having me!
Robin asked me to explain how homeowners can use Houzz to communicate with their designers and viceversa. This is a topic I love because I interview architects, interior designers, contractors and homeowners all the time who tell me how they are using the site. To start, you can find a local professional from a wide range of home fields on Houzz by searching “Professionals” and then your Metro Area. You can check out their portfolios and see recommendations from other Houzz users. Next, let them get to know you via your ideabooks.

From the homeowner’s point of view: Say you are planning a bathroom remodel but you don’t even know what you want. When getting started with a designer you’re just getting to know, make an ideabook called “favorite bathrooms.” Browse through the Houzz photo database and pick out every bathroom that tickles your fancy and scribble down a reason why, like “garden tub opens to courtyard” or “Elvis tile mosaic” (O.K., I admit I have yet to see that one, but I’d like to!) You can then share the ideabook with your designer. This is a quick visual way for him or her to get to know your taste.

From the designer’s point of view: Designers can save photos to show clients to get a sense of their aesthetic and their likes and dislikes. They also can be very specific as the project progresses. Designers can leave notes in the captions like:

“Ms. Becks, here is the marble-topped oval Saarinen table I told you about earlier. What do you think of pairing it with woven French bistro chairs?”

or

“Ms. Becks, I know you said you thought plaid was too stodgy, but what do you think of this soft subtle blue wallcovering? I thought it was very you.”

Client and designer share editing access in an ideabook: You can share editing access with each other in your mutual ideabooks so that you can both write notes and add photographs to the ideabooks. For instance, this one might go something like this:

Designer: Ms. Becks, what do you think of these steel-case windows?
Client: Great, but can we integrate some doors? I’d like to walk out from the eating nook to the patio.
Designer:Yes. the ones I’ve seen have larger panels; I’ll track down some more pictures and add them to the ideabook tonight.

This is a great way for clients and designers to touch base on a regular basis during the design process without having to talk on the phone, scan anything, fax or meet up in person. I’m not saying you won’t be doing those things at all (you should be!), just that this is an easy way to keep in close, frequent touch in a low-maintenance way that will yield great results. I hope you’ll give it a try!

Find more inspiration from New York kitchen and bath designers and more design professionals at Houzz.

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