Last month I wrote about how you can use Pinterest to develop an interior design style. I hope your boards have been helpful in guiding collaboration with an interior designer. This month, I want to talk about how you can use Houzz to refine your design process. This post will help you turn your inspirational Pinterest images into a manageable interior design project.

Like Pinterest, the goal is to get a clear sense of what you like. Houzz interior design lets us be more granular with budget, room size, room style and other design factors. The website allows to be more specific and realistic than you were on Pinterest.

Feel free to use the platforms in tandem – as we’ll advise here – or separately, depending on your affinity for one site or the other. It’s up to you.

The important is making the collaboration process easier for you and your design and remodeling professional. And to have fun.

Here’s how to get started.

Say you’ve found this image on Pinterest:


First of all, it’s a fabulous bathroom. You have great taste.

Unfortunately, you notice, it’s unlikely that you’d be able to apply this design in your home. It doesn’t look like it would work with the shape of your primary bathroom. What can you do? Do you move forward anyway, paying thousands of extra dollars to bend your bathtub to your will?

I suggest breaking your inspiration image into components, like you did when you created Boards on Pinterest. You can then take these components and search for them on Houzz. Using the Houzz search tools you can narrow down your choices even further to get results relevant to your specific needs.

So, if I were to break this image into different components, I might list:

  • Black and white tile with contrasting grout
  • Exposed brick tub
  • Glass partial divider

That’s when it’s time to log into Houzz and see what you can find.

A search for “exposed brick tub” in Houzz returns the following results:

houzz results

You’ll notice on the left that you can sort by room, style, location, budget and size. Being as true to your project specifications with help you when you bring in an interior designer.

Let’s say out of the results for “exposed brick tub” and “exposed stone tub” you like these three images.

Image One: A chic industrial shower with a claw foot tub and exposed brick accent wall.

Image Two: Tub lined with stone. Moss rock dry stacked on back wall.

Image Three: Stock trough tub in a bathroom with hardwood floors and exposed brick back wall.

What do you do now?

Next, you’ll want to add your images to an Ideabook. Ideabooks are like Pinterest Boards. Creating and adding to them is just as intuitive once you know where to look. This tutorial on Houzz takes you through the steps of creating your first Ideabook. It’s called Inside Houzz: How to Create and Use Ideabooks.

You may choose to create several Ideabooks for the same room. It can be helpful for an interior designer to look at a single Ideabook on layout, another on colors, etc.

Pinterest and Houzz are similar in a lot of ways. However, some people find the learning curve on Houzz to be steeper than Pinterest or other social media platforms. In many ways, it’s less intuitive. There’s a lot more going on. This makes it a powerful tool, but also a little intimidating.

Don’t be afraid to dig into Houzz’s wide array of tools.

In addition to boasting a massive collection of interior design images, Houzz also offers a user base of 2 million+ professionals who are eager to answer your questions. If you find something you like but aren’t sure what it’s called, where to find it, or how much it costs to install, just ask.

My personal favorite area of Houzz are its long form Ideabook articles. There’s an excellent collection of Ideabooks called Working with Pros. These posts discuss the ins-and-outs about working with interior designers, architects, builders, decorators and other professionals. It can be helpful to read posts about the type of professional you’ll be hiring before you begin a project. They’ll appreciate how knowledgeable you are about their profession, and you’ll be able to fluently talk shop, avoiding misunderstandings. Both of these things lead to an easier, more productive project for all involved.

Whether you decide to use Pinterest, Houzz, or just your personal design intuition to guide an interior design project, you deserve the best in service and results. The process should be one of exciting self-exploration that leads to beautiful results in your home. The tips from these blog posts can help guide you from point A to point B.

Do you prefer to use Houzz or Pinterest to curate an interior design look? Let us know in the comments.