Whether you’re looking to renovate or simply freshen up your home with new paint or furnishings, Houzz is a great online tool for free design inspiration.

Houzz was started in 2009, by Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen, a couple who purchased a 1950’s home to renovate and found it difficult to communicate their vision and ideas to an architect. Living in Silicon Valley, they decided to create an online platform to showcase the work of design and construction professionals. Fast forward seven years, and Houzz is both a website and mobile app that connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts, and home improvement professionals all in one interactive place.

Millions of Professionally Designed Photos

Houzz features more than nine million high-quality interior and exterior photos uploaded by remodeling and design professionals, which can be filtered by room, style, materials, size, location and more. Photos you love can be noted and organized in your personal “Ideabooks,” then shared with others. It’s a great way to collect your likes and dislikes and visually communicate what you’re looking for with your spouse or design team. You can even use your “Ideabooks” to collaborate with one another, allowing invited viewers to also add photos or leave comments.

Ask the Experts

Houzz also offers several great options for getting input from the design community. A nice feature is the ability to ask specific questions about photos you like, such as paint color or materials used, and the photos’ owners are encouraged to respond in a timely manner. Members can also post design dilemmas, photos and questions, in the “Advice” section. Design enthusiasts are happy to weigh in with their suggestions on the elusive perfect chair, layout options, fresh new colors or other solutions big and small! You can even post before and after pictures to show off your transformation!

Shopping and More!

Additionally, members can browse and buy more than four million products directly from the site. The “Shop” and “Décor” sections can be filtered by room, category, material, price and even free shipping, and offer options for every style and budget. Some photos even have products and materials tagged, allowing you to click through the photo to get additional information and pricing. Lastly, Houzz offers a vast library of articles written by industry professionals covering everything from trends and design solutions to spring cleaning and remodeling tips.

Even if you’re not ready to jump into a renovation, consider taking some time to get to know Houzz. It really is a great tool for gathering inspiration and information…but be careful, it can be addictive!

Tim Burch is Vice President of BOWA, an award-winning design build firm specializing in luxury renovations ranging from master suites and kitchens to whole-house remodels.  A Northern Virginia native, Tim focuses on clients in the Loudoun and Fauquier County areas providing them with his 25 years of expertise in the design build construction industry. He is a third generation builder, certified remodeler, and instructor. Prior to joining BOWA, he was the Lead Project Manager of Construction for the Emmy Award winning construction reality television show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition on  ABC Television. For more information on Tim and the BOWA team, visit www.bowa.com, or call 703-734-9050. Have a question for Tim that you’d like to see covered in Middleburg Eccentric? Email him at AskBOWA@bowa.com.

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Tim Burch is Vice President of BOWA, an award-winning design build firm specializing in luxury renovations ranging from master suites and kitchens to whole-house remodels. A Northern Virginia native, Tim focuses on clients in the Loudoun and Fauquier County areas providing them with his 25 years of expertise in the design build construction industry. He is a third generation builder, certified remodeler, and instructor. Prior to joining BOWA, he was the Lead Project Manager of Construction for the Emmy Award winning construction reality television show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ABC Television. For more information on Tim and the BOWA team, visit www.bowa.com, or call 703-734-9050. Have a question for Tim that you’d like to see covered in Middleburg Eccentric? Email him at AskBOWA@bowa.com.