In an effort to help clients define their design style, Andy Foot and Pete Koladich of Dwell Design Build, in Toronto, use design ideas website Houzz.com. “You can flash a bunch of pictures in front of [homeowners] and get an idea of what they like,” Foot says. The duo compiled the images into four idea books based on project type — kitchens, baths, finish details, exteriors — and one based on project style: modern contemporary.
Koladich says that clients often don’t know how to articulate what they like or what to name their style. When designing the project, Foot says that it’s helpful for his team to have a visual of what the clients prefer. “What kind of detail and trim elements, cabinetry, and millwork do they like? Do they like clean lines or more ornate with crowns?”
The two also post their own project photos on Houzz.com. “If you properly tag the photos when you upload them, it leads back to your site,” Koladich says. “If you’re putting up good photos, you could have thousands of people clicking on your link.”
Liz Hamilton, marketing manager at Jeb Design/Build, in Shreveport, La., agrees that posting images on Houzz drives traffic back to the company’s website. “It’s just another way of getting our name out there,” she says, noting that she posts images that she has found were popular on Jeb Design/Build’s’s website, such as before-and-after photos, and photos of kitchens and outdoor living spaces.
Hamilton uses Houzz.com, as well as other sites — such as Dornob.com, This Old House’s website, and HGTV’s site — to find ideas for her company’s blog. “I try to blog every day,” she says, “so I’m always looking for stuff. I browse the sites, and if I see something I think people might be interested in, I create a post. Because ultra-modern projects don’t work in our area, we try to use stuff that is more universal.”
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.