If you are like many people, the desire to design your new home or update a space in your existing home is often met with the daunting task of figuring out where to start and the style you want to achieve.
In the past, this process would begin with purchasing a pile of magazines and design books, tearing out pages of photos you liked and placing them in a pile or folder hoping to stay somewhat organized. Then you had to somehow try and find a design professional that understood the style you were looking to achieve and a reputable contractor to get the job done.
However, thanks to websites such as Houzz, Pinterest, and HGTV, the process of finding design ideas and finding design professionals, contractors, and marketplaces to buy products is easier than ever. Whether it is deciding on a color scheme, furniture, flooring, cabinetry, or an idea for an accent wall, these websites allow you create your dream space and help you bring your inspiration to reality.
Finding Interior Design Inspiration Online
Launching in 2009, Houzz has become one of the most used websites when it comes to finding and sharing design ideas, products, and services. Houzz is generally broken down into four functions: 1) searching photos for design ideas and inspiration; 2) shop for products in the marketplace; 3) find design professionals, contractors, architects, etc; and 4) increase knowledge through informational design guides and user forums.
For homeowners, each one of these functions can be a great resource. Users can start by searching design guides and photos for ideas and inspiration. Any ideas that they like they can save to their “ideabooks.” This process can assist the homeowner with visualizing what the finished product will look like as opposed to just seeing the product on its own or just a small sample.
At the same time, users can browse the photos and profiles of design professionals, architects, and contractors. This helps homeowners see examples of the work these professionals have done and find one that fits the project. This makes it much easier to find a professional that understands and has experience with the style the homeowner is looking to achieve. Homeowners are able to communicate directly with the design professional or contractor, ask questions about one of their postings, and share their ideabook to collaborate on a design. The ability to communicate and share ideabooks can be extremely useful, especially if the homeowner’s project is a vacation home where they may not be in that location.
Another feature of Houzz provides the contractor an opportunity to create internal “design books” of kitchen and bath ideas and send them to the client for individual access. What makes this feature great is these are private design books that give the user a more personal connection when making decisions.
Houzz is not just to obtain design ideas, but also provides user the ability to search for products such as a new chandelier or piece of furniture in the marketplace. When a user finds a product they are interested in, whether searching the marketplace directly or tagged in a photo, they are able to purchase directly from the Houzz marketplace. This solves the problem where the user sees something in a magazine that they like, but has no idea of where to get it.
Houzz provides a great deal of functionality to both homeowners and design professionals. This platform can truly act as a one-stop shop for the sharing of design ideas, marketplace, and finding the right design professional and contractor to transform the inspiration into reality. It is also a great resource to ask questions and gather more info through the public forum and chat rooms.
You can check out AFT Construction’s page on Houzz.
Launching in 2010, Pinterest was designed to be a website where users can discover ideas, which has proven to be popular when it comes to interior design and home décor. In basic terms, Pinterest allows users to upload their own images, videos, and other media or they can “pin” or save images found on Pinterest or just about any website.
Users have the ability to create “idea boards” where their saved images can be grouped together. This can be a very useful feature when it comes to interior design as it allows users to create different idea boards such as one for kitchen ideas, bathrooms, bedrooms, paint schemes, etc. Additionally, when a user saves an image, the source of the image is also saved allowing the user to return to the source. This makes it easy for the user to go back and purchase a product when a decision has been made. Users are able to share their idea boards and pins with other users such as design professionals, architects, contractors, etc.
The ability to save images and create idea boards allows users to stay organized, compare ideas side-by-side, and visualize what the finished product looks like.
You can view some of AFT Construction’s projects on Pinterest.
A new feature introduced on Instagram provides users the opportunity to “bookmark” inspiration photos. This is a great feature that allows users to create a separate page on their Instagram account with all of their saved photos. The benefit of this platform is that users can also direct message to the user of the original photo to get specifics on materials and products used for the inspiration.
Although similar to Pinterest in its capability, Instagram will feature a vast array of contractors, designers, and architects that be may exclusive to that platform. Optimizing all of these platforms will give the end user so much more capabilities when decorating and colorizing their own home.
You can view AFT Construction’s page on Instagram.
Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram are just three of the many websites available today where homeowners and other users can find design inspiration and gain a wealth of knowledge. Sites such as HGTV, DIY Network, Freshome, and House Beautiful also provide a wealth of information from how-tos, design inspiration, and assistance in finding design professionals and contractors.