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Online Tools for Home Ideas

Online scrapbooks and photo sharing sites are nothing new. What is new is the rapid growth of two sites with a focus on the home. Here is the scoop on these two very popular web destinations:

Houzz

Houzz touts itself as having "The largest collection of interior design and decorating ideas on the Internet, including kitchens and bathrooms. Over 250000 inspiring photos and 90000 ideas." Simply put, Houzz is a community of home design enthusiasts. Designers, architects, contractors and homeowners share photographs and design ideas. There is also an ongoing question and answer section. It is rapidly becoming the social site for the remodeling and home design industries. Anyone can sign up and follow professionals or post their own photos. Users have the ability to recommend photos, follow the progression of projects and build their own scrapbook of design ideas and favorite photographs.
The Houzz website is attracting over 2.5 million monthly users and gets over 50 million page views per month. Houzz also has an iPad app that has been very successful and has thousands of 5 star reviews on the app store. There has been talk of an Android app in the works as well.

Pinterest

What is Pinterest? According to their website: "Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes." According to recent reports Pinterest is the fastest growing social site ever. Some are calling it the "Facebook for Women" since most of it's users are female. Techcrunch says that 97 percent of Pinterest's over 1 million Facebook likes are from women. The site is invitation only but only takes a few days to get issued an invite once you sign up.

What makes Pinterest so special is its simplicity and visual appeal. The site uses a page full of sticky note sized images splashed all over the screen so users can quickly scan for what catches their eye. Pinterest is also being used by designers and contractors but is primary driven by end users sharing or "re-pinning" images at a very rapid pace. For instance, I posted a photo of an outdoor living area we recently completed and within 3 hours it had been repinned over 50 times. Pinterest is simply fun to use and its simplicity is what will make it continue to grow. Pinterest has an app for both iOS devices and Android devices

Homeowners are always asking me where they can get ideas for kitchens, baths, and other home remodeling projects. Of course I point them to my companies online portfolio but I also ask them to spend some time with Houzz and Pinterest. If you are passionate about design and construction or are just simply looking to get some new ideas for an upcoming remodeling project you should give these sites a look.

You can follow me on both sites: Houzz , Pinterest

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