I have done several renovation and decorating projects in our home over the years. At first it all seems really exciting – to be able to choose things for your home that you love, not having to make do with that crabby old tile that somebody else put down, or the design of something that you just hate. To be able to start from scratch and do things your way is just really exciting! BUT THEN THE REALITY SETS IN! You want beige bathroom tile and your other half wants grey. You want wooden flooring in your kitchen, but your other half wants lino. Then there is the choice – just too much of it! How can you possibly decide between all those tiles that you love?, how can you possibly know what that flooring will look like until it is installed?
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I would flick through magazine after magazine (and those magazines can get pretty expensive you know!). I would try to watch TV shows on home renovations (but the houses they featured were never anything like my little house), or I would go and visit others homes who had just recently renovated (and I just left feeling confused!).
Our kitchen renovation several years ago did not turn out how I planned. I still look at it today and know that it isn’t exactly what I wanted. It wasn’t that I didn’t look around for products and ideas, it was just the entire circumstances surrounding the whole project. Our builder needed us to pick a tile for the kitchen back-splash – fast. Between working full time and having two small children I just didn’t have hours and hours to run to all the different tile stores to pick the ultimate tile that I wanted. So I made a decision, and it wasn’t the right decision. I found that out afterwards!
So with little time, too much choice, differing opinions and limited budgets, how on earth do you choose the products and decor for your home renovation and decorating projects?
Luckily, when I recently decided to re-decorate my dining room, I was chatting to my neighbor one day (who had just recently practically ripped out her entire lower level and re-done it completely) and she told me about a website called Houzz. Then I went to dinner at somebody else’s house who had just re-done their kitchen, and she told me she got her ideas on the Houzz website. I have to say both renovations that those people did look fabulous (and they don’t seem to have regrets like I do about my kitchen tile!), so I went online and checked it out. I am so glad I did, because that website saved me so much time, and gave me so many ideas.
Houzz is a website especially for home remodeling and design projects. It really is a fantastic resource for getting ideas and suggestions, and then being able to purchase products (only if you want to), or hire a professional. You can do all that in one place on Houzz. You can use it for large projects – like kitchen renovations, basement renovations, or even your whole house, or just a little project – like looking for a washbasin for your powder room, or even just a new rug for your living room.
So how did it help me exactly with my dining room project? I first went onto Houzz and checked out the photos that it has for ideas. There are photos for every room in a house, photos for outdoors, photos for storage and closets, home gyms, even home bars etc. By looking through the photos for dining rooms on there, I was able to narrow down the sort of look I wanted. I could search by style – either modern, traditional, mid-century etc, location (which includes ideas from all over the world), size, color, even the wall color and floor material. My dining room has a wooden floor, and before I re-decorated it had green walls. The green was a lovely sage green color that was very pretty, but because the room faces in a certain direction, it never really felt ‘warm.’ I wanted a color that would add light in the day, and a warmth in the evening. I found a picture of a dining room that I really wanted! I could even click a button to show the paint colors used in the room. Through doing that I found the ideal color for my dining room walls, and knew it would work well because clicking on the color took me through to the paint manufacturer’s website where I could see details, view the color in other rooms and even buy a sample of the paint if I wanted. I could even ask questions of the interior designer who had placed the photo of her project on the site. But the creme de la creme was that I could purchase the products that I loved in that room photo directly on Houzz! I loved a light that was being used in the photo of that particular dining room, so I just had to click on the link and I purchased it immediately!
You don’t have to be undertaking a re-design or decorating project to use Houzz. If you just want to purchase furniture or items for your home, there are numerous categories listed of furniture and items for the home, and you can just search by category and find what you are looking for. I chose the kitchen and dining furniture category, and had a huge array of items to choose from. I narrowed it down to dining tables and found so many possibilities.
I re-designed and re-decorated my dining room so easily using Houzz. I was able to find the style and a picture of what I wanted (no more flicking through numerous, and expensive, home magazines). I was able to find my paint color for my walls (that I knew went with the flooring etc). I was also able to order the furniture I wanted for my newly designed dining room. Now had I wanted to, I could have found an interior decorator on there to help me with the room also. Houzz also has links to architects, builders, electricians, pest control, even handymen, to help with your home and projects.
Houzz also features stories, home tours, and before and afters. As I was going through the entire site I suddenly saw an article about kitchen seating, which really helped me decide what to do with the bar stools in my kitchen.
I don’t think I will ever do another re-decorating or renovation project again without first consulting the Houzz site! Not only does it save you a ton of time and work having to go from store to store, flick through magazine after magazine, view house after house of your friends, it also gives you far more information and links than any of that could even do. Getting on to Houzz is also so easy. It is completely free to use, and you can sign up for an account in just minutes (and even go through your Facebook account).
Now – all I need to do is re-do that tile in my kitchen that I never liked and I will be a very happy woman!!