Calling all homeowners looking for inspiration for their homes! Where do you go to for inspiration? Do you find yourself flipping through magazines or searching on the web? Well, as you may know, in our industry we tend to be very visual people. So, as you would expect, when we talk to our clients we always ask to see their inspiration photos.

We introduce to you two great websites that contain thousands upon thousands of design ideas; they are none other than Pinterest and Houzz! I’m sure you’ve heard of at least one of these sites, or maybe you even have accounts for them already. Now, if you have no clue what we’re talking about, imagine your stack of clippings from magazines all organized into an online database that you can share with your friends, family, and… your designer! Whichever boat you’re in, we’re here to give you some great tips and tricks in how to effectively use them when looking for inspiration or design ideas for your home! Lets dig in!


Launched: 2008

Mobile app? Yes!

What is it? Houzz is a website that is geared towards connecting design professionals with homeowners. Design professionals on this site are anywhere from kitchen remodelers, to contractors, to lighting designers, to pretty much anything you need for a home remodel.

How to use it: As a homeowner, the very first thing you would do is to create a Houzz account if you don’t already have one. From there, you can search through photos, shop, find professionals, and read stories and advice.

Our #1 tip on using Houzz for design and inspiration:

One of the best ways of gathering ideas for your project is using the ideabook tool. The ideabook allows you to create categories where you can gather photography from other projects found on Houzz. This is super convenient and such a simple tool that keeps everything in one place! The best part, you can add collaborators or share your ideabooks with whomever you want, such as your designer!  See step by step below on how to create an idea book:

  1. Log in to your account and click on “Your ideabooks”
  2. A new page will open, and you click on “New Ideabook” and fill out a name and a description (the name could be anything describing your project). You can also set it to private or public, then click “Create”
  3. A new window will open where you can add collaborators. If you want, you can skip this step and add people later once you have your ideabook ready. Either click “No thanks” or “Share”.
  4. Congratulations! You now have an ideabook created and you can begin adding inspiration photos to it!
  5. In the search bar, you can type in any descriptive words describing elements you would like to include in your ideabook. Honestly, this can be anything. You can do a search with very narrow descriptive words, or you can use broad descriptive words.
  6. A library of photos will open up, and you can sift through the pages until you find something you like. Once you find a photo you like, click on it, and click on “Save”. A small window will open up where you can save it to the ideabook you want. In this window, you can create additional ideabooks as well.
  7. Now, repeat these simple steps and start building your ideabook!

Check out one of our projects from our Houzz account to get you started!

Our next great tool we want to discuss is Pinterest!


Launched: 2010

Mobile app? Yes!

What is it? Pinterest is another great visual tool that allows you to create “boards” where you can collect design inspiration and ideas.

How to use it: The first thing you would need to do is create an account. Once you’ve created an account you will be able to search high and low covering many categories. The main difference between Houzz and Pinterest is that Houzz is specifically geared towards design professionals and homeowners, whereas Pinterest is geared towards everyone no matter what you’re searching for. Warning, pinterest can be addictive!

Our #1 tip on using Pinterest for design and inspiration:

Pretty similar to Houzz’s ideabooks, but with Pinterest you’re essentially “pinning” ideas to your “board”. With each board you can create different categories that you can add collaborators or share with others. This is also a super convenient way to collect all your ideas into one place. See step by step on how to create your boards below:

  1. The first thing to do is to log into your account, then click on “My Profile”
  2. A new page will open and you click on the red plus sign and “Create Board”.
  3. A small window will pop up and you can name your board. You will be able to decide if you want this to be a secret board or open. Click “Create”
  4. A new window will open and it will take you to your new board! Here you can add collaborators if you’d like by clicking on the grey plus sign. If not, you can add them later once your board has been built.
  5. Now you’re ready to build your board. To do so, go to your search box and type in any descriptive words that come to mind and hit enter.
  6. A library of images will pop up that you can save to your board. If you click on an image, it will pop out and you can do a variety of things with it. What we will do is click “Save” and you can save it to any of your boards. Here you will also be able to create new boards if you like.
  7. Repeat the steps 5 and 6 and continue building your board!

Check out some of our pins here!

We hope you have fun with these sites and they give you the inspiration you’re looking for! As mentioned earlier, in our industry we are very visual people. It’s just like bringing a photo to your hairdresser, we also like to see images of what you like! These sites are both amazing tools and we couldn’t recommend them more!