This article was written by our friends, Dan and Pat Hurst who co-own Hurst Design Build Remodel located in Northeast Ohio. They both have 20 years in the remodeling industry and Hurst is an award-winning remodeling firm and has been recognized Best of Houzz each year since 2012 for service and design.
Pinterest and Houzz Change the Remodeling Process for the Better
Online design-sharing sites are helping remodelers communicate and collaborate.
“’l know what I like when I see it.” Sound familiar? Whether you have a knack for design or you have absolutely no concept of how to create an updated space in your home, one thing is for certain, pictures are still worth a thousand words. New technology and idea sharing sites have made the home remodeling design process even more comprehensive and collaborative.
Can you imagine trying to describe the kitchen of your dreams to your home remodeler or designer using only words and no pictures at all? Colors, door styles, flooring options, lighting, tile choices…even for the most accomplished designer, describing the perfect kitchen would be a major challenge.
A Visual Industry
Home remodeling is a visual industry. Like art, design is entirely subjective, there are no absolutes. What is visually appealing, whether it’s a sculpture or a bathroom vanity, is completely different from one person to the next. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if you could start the design process with a collection of photographs that help define your idea of beautiful? There are several idea sharing sites that are gaining popularity and enabling our design teams to communicate and collaborate with clients in a whole new way.
No matter how exceptional a designer may be, the most challenging part of their job is to help a client translate their own personal style or taste into a design that suits their unique space and their individual personality. To do that we ask clients to come to us with photographs, ideas from websites, magazine articles, and even their own sketches to help us get a sense of their style and their renovation inspiration. Large three ring binders used to be a common site at early design meetings filled with photos from magazines, pictures from friends and family’s homes, and even pictures of beautiful hotel rooms where they have stayed.
Taking it to a Whole New Level
The launch of idea sharing websites such as houzz.com and pinterest.com has enabled us to take idea sharing to a whole new level. For years we have been encouraging our clients to create idea books on Houzz and share them with us so that we can communicate and collaborate on styles, products, colors and materials.
Houzz and Pinterest continue to grow and become an even more valuable resource to the remodeling industry. According to Houzz, today there are 35 million unique monthly users on Houzz and eight million photos in their photo stream. While that may seem overwhelming, the site offers tools to focus your search down to the smallest details. For example, Houzz users can search for a modern style kitchen with stainless appliances, concrete countertops, chrome fixtures or any other combination of ideas to narrow down the results.
According to Mashable.com there are nearly 50 million active Pinterest users in the United States right now, eighty three percent of which are women. And home remodelers are finding that sharing their good work on Pinterest is beginning to draw more potential home remodeling clients to their sites than ever before.
Businesses Can Share Their Work
Houzz and Pinterest enable remodelers to share their work with people all over their market or all over the world. Clients also provide reviews of professional remodelers so potential clients can see the quality of remodelers work and read about the quality of their service all in one place. On the flip side the ability to use client’s idea books and Pinterest boards to help us discover their unique design aesthetic is one of the greatest values this type of idea sharing sites can provide.
While some of this new technology can be intimidating, The Houzz site is fairly intuitive to navigate. We have many clients that come to us with idea books already created and others who need a little help getting started. A new client had been working on her kitchen idea book for years. She had hundreds of photos. Our design team was able to spend time reviewing the images and ideas with our client and bring them into focus so we could create a final design that incorporated all of the things she loved.
A Fun Way to Get Families Involved
On the opposite end, we created an idea book for a family who had never been on Houzz. We got them started based on our initial design consultation and they went on to add a few photos that caught their eye for each of the rooms they were remodeling. Idea books can also be a fun way to get the whole family involved – you can ask children to share their ideas for the media room, basement, playroom or homework station, while mom and dad find kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling ideas that inspire them.
To us a beautifully designed and constructed home is like a work of art. But there is no question that design is subjective so getting to know as much as possible about a client’s style and design preferences is a vital part of the design process and the best way to create a remodeled space that our clients will love. The internet and these idea sharing tools have changed our industry for the better.