It was only a matter of time. For years, the best way to find good ideas for remodeling was to purchase magazines. And I don’t mean one or two. I mean stacks of them, piled up on your bedroom floor, dog-eared and tired. If you were lucky enough to find a kitchen or bath in them that you liked, and crossed your fingers that it wouldn’t be completely out of your budget range, you could bring that single photo to your architect or interior designer and say, “I want it to look just like that.” Kind of like bringing the photo of Julia Roberts to your hairdresser and saying, “I want to look like her.”
It was an imperfect system at best. The Internet has brought a revolution to both locating and sharing photos of things you like–of course www.pinterest.com now has a corner on that market. But before Pinterest, there was (and still is!) www.houzz.com.
Houzz made it easy for architects and contractors from around the world to upload as many photos as they want (subject to certain guidelines) of the beautiful work they do. Then they made it possible for homeowners to open a free account, browse photos by category or keyword and then save them in “ideabooks” that can then be shared with as many people as they choose.
What this means for the average homeowner is that if you are remodeling your kitchen, you may have access to photos of a kitchen you like from 5 or 6 different angles instead of one. Let’s say you want great pantry ideas. Search for pantry, and find dozens or even hundreds of examples to choose from. And let’s say you’re searching for an architect or contractor. Instead of searching online and having to wade through dozens of websites, you can go to Houzz.com, search for professionals in your metro area, and see hundreds of examples of work done right where you live–not in area with completely different housing stock and styles.
The online response has been tremendous– 80 million monthly page views, and 3.5 million monthly unique users. We regularly recommend the site to our clients when they are starting to collect design ideas. And we admit to spending a little too much time browsing the photos ourselves–it’s hard not to when there are almost 400,000 of them to ogle.
This year Houzz.com recognized the growth and popularity their site has experienced by awarding “Best of Remodeling 2012” to architects and remodelers who have project photos most regularly saved to ideabooks by their 1.2 million registered members. Ventana Construction received an award for “Seattle-area Entry” (link here ). We have been astonished by the number of people across the country and world that have saved and commented on photos of our projects. We have even received phone calls and questions from other states about the color of the paint, or the size of the fireplace, etc.
The awards and the growth of the site are testament to a good idea being implemented well. It’s also proof that collaboration and idea sharing benefits us all. Thank you, houzz.com, for the award and to your members for recognizing the great taste of our clients, and the talent of the architects with whom we work!