It’s still not uncommon to meet new clients who drag in a binder of ideas, photos and notes they have been keeping for years, ready for the day when they can start their building or remodeling project.
I’m guilty too — I have a few binders of ideas. After all, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.
But I also have a bunch of “idea books” and “boards” online. And, the best part is, I can easily share them with one or more people, from friends and family to clients.
As a building and remodeling contractor, I can learn a lot about what clients like by viewing some of their idea books on sites like houzz.com and pinterest.com.
For building and remodeling, houzz is hard to beat. Do you want to see 10,000 beautiful photos of covered porches for inspiration, or maybe some two-sided fireplaces? How about copper rain gutters or industrial-themed kitchens?
If you can dream up the search terms, I can pretty much guarantee that houzz.com can provide much inspiration in the way of great photos. You can then save those photos to specific idea books to share with your builder, remodeler, designer or friends.
Better yet, you can save them by room, project type, etc. It gives you some great opportunities to dream! You can follow others for additional inspiration, and others can follow you.
Pinterest has a little of everything, from food to art to home improvement, both DIY and inspiration. Like houzz, you can search by idea, or surf the feed.
Saved pictures lead you to the website that shows how to do the task, sells the item and more. You can also have multiple boards, share them and follow or be followed.
This saves everyone time too. Well, sort of, since so much time can get spent looking at the sites. Let’s just say it can be slightly addicting.
Like anything you are searching for, you need to adjust your keywords to find what you like. Looking for a way to combine the TV and fireplace attractively, or for a shower with oversized subway tile, or a tile backsplash pattern? It’s all there, plus a lot of stuff you never even thought of.
It really helps to define the details of your project. Each site has a space for notes on anything you save, so be sure to say what you like about the space — like “love the use of wallpaper” or “great tile layout for powder room.” I hear a lot of clients say, “I can’t remember why I saved this photo.”
Whether for a DIY project, a full home remodel or a custom home, these sites are a great way to organize your design and style thoughts. They are easy to share, making your ideas accessible to your builder or remodeler and helping to ease the selection process that goes along with a bigger project.
When you go to visit your builder or remodeler, you can swipe quickly through your iPad or laptop to show what you are thinking of, or they can view your ideas as they bid or work on your project.
So get out the tablet or laptop and log-on — and get some inspiration to get your project moving in the right direction.