When designer Adi Tatarko and her husband Alon Cohen decided to remodel their Palo Alto home, they never imagined it would lead to creating one of the most popular applications on the market.
At least, that’s how Liza Hausman, V.P. of Marketing for the ever-popular design app Houzz tells it.
“They were just two homeowners trying to upgrade their home and were rather frustrated by the process of finding what they wanted,’ says Hausman. After searching through endless magazine photos, they decided to create a site application for people in the process of building, remodeling and decorating and one year later it became so popular, they quit their jobs and Houzz was born.
So when Houzz hosted a discussion and wine and cheese event at the uber-modern Pacific Design Center, a buzz ran through the room as designers and architects gathered to ask questions and share their experiences with the newly popular app.
One of the leading destinations for home design enthusiasts-- professionals and homeowners, the Houzz site and mobile apps features more than 400,000 high quality interior and exterior photos. What’s more, thousands of highly-engaging articles written by design experts, product recommendations and social tools to manage the remodeling and decorating process assist with all aspects of the field.
So how does it work?
Design professionals showcase their portfolios, sharing their work with a community dedicated to home and landscape design. More than 60,000 professionals upload more than 400,000 inspiring photographs, making Houzz the internet's largest database of design and decorating ideas.
Homeowners collect their favorite photos, find design professionals in their areas, upload photos of their homes and gardens, and swap tips and questions with other members.
And, according to Houzz, more than a million idea books have been created by Houzz members, and new ones are added every minute.
Both professionals and homeowners can search by project or metro area saving time finding just the right image for their projects.
Yet it is the ‘discussion section’ which Hausman believes builds brands. ‘Discussions are listed in your profile, so the dialogue is interactive,’ explains Hausman. ‘You receive emails directly about your listing keep the conversation going throughout the design community.’
“It’s funny,’ she commented. ‘Magazines are finding homes and architects on the site.” Once the foray for architects—magazines, while not obsolete, are no longer the ‘go to’ venue. Instead both architects and magazines are having a conversation through their Houzz apps.
So does Houzz represent the future of the design industry?
While a few designers expressed concern over their work being discussed without receiving full recognition. Others felt they were receiving more recognition than their professional websites.
And Charmean Neithart, interior design owner, stood up in front of the audience in favor of the app. She believes it saves her time—and money. “Instead of creating renderings, I now create an idea book, allowing clients to actually see the finished product before I start,” explains Neithart. “I don’t know how to do my job without it.”