From the category archives:

Design Philosophy



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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?”


“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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A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

January 18, 2012

I recently discovered these minimalist children’s story book posters by Christian Jackson.  I think they are brilliant in their simplicity.  Sophisticated enough to grace the walls of any kid’s or grownup’s space.

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Architecture for Art

December 2, 2011

I recently discovered the work of architect Jim Olson through his current retrospective show at Washington State University.  A passion for Art and Nature profoundly influences his architecture.  Jim’s philosophy about his work resonates with my personal sensibility about Interior Design, as Jim eloquently states,  ‘Architecture is one big continuous environment that includes the Climate, […]

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Crafting Modernism

October 7, 2011

Living in NYC in the late sixties, I witnessed the emergence of craft studios opening in many neighborhoods.  My boyfriend, at the time, was working at a pottery studio in Greenwich Village and the earthy energy I experienced there was like nothing I had experienced before.  Being young and filled with the romance and idealism […]

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Artists on a Roll

September 28, 2011

In the spirit of great 20th century design masters, Studio Printworks collaborates with fine contemporary artists to create wallpaper; “not as a quiet backdrop, but as a stimulant for the eye and soul”.  In this tradition, Studio Printworks began its Great Contemporary Arts Collection with the goal to re-connect the Decorative Arts and the Fine […]

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Losing Site of the Big Picture

September 21, 2011

I recently was interviewed for the September 16th issue of Rochester Business Journal via a phone call with Debbie Walzer, a freelance writer.  As always, when I can preach about the value of good design to a sympathetic ear I am at no loss for words.  I didn’t have a clue what the article was […]

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“Comfort is the Ultimate Luxury”

August 15, 2011

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Team Spirit

September 19, 2009

As an experienced builder of high-end residential homes, Dominick understands the value of selecting your team members and coordinating all phases of the design before the shovel hits the ground. His approach to a project is: “Begin with the end in mind”.  When building a new home, many people begin with an architect and a […]

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Good Design Adds Value

July 6, 2009

Highlights of Architectural Digest Survey part two This is a link to a part I There are many layers of value that a talented, competent designer brings to a project. I am sure that most of you have experienced at least one home that was obvious of how much money was spent and yet it […]

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