Today’s blog is about window treatments, specifically drapery panels. While draperies and window treatments are my passion (what better way to showcase gorgeous fabrics?!), and a large percentage of my business, I don’t think that I’ve specifically addressed the trade lingo and facts about draperies in my blog yet. Well, it’s high time!
Draperies are a classic and current decorating medium to control light, soften a room, and well, finish it completely and perfectly. As stated by Erin Gates, Boston Interior Designer, author of Elements of Style and her own line of area rugs by Momeni and other beautiful home décor products:
“Nothing makes a room look more polished and finished than custom tailored window treatments.”
Erin is so right, and regularly features tailored, crisp, and elegant drapery panels in her design projects. So here’s a quick tutorial on the terminology of drapery panels:
Stationary Panels: Draperies that are not specifically designed to close fully over the window, but hang at the sides of the window in their “as-designed” configuration. Stationary panels serve to add color, interest, and a soft edge to window and are often layered over a privacy shade or sheers that cover the window.
Here's a photo of a dining room I designed with stationary panels layered over relaxed roman shades. I used the butterfly pleat (2-prong) to give some interest to the textured fabric, and the panels hang about ¼” off the floor. No high-water panels in the custom realm! I just love that deep teal color on the walls (Benjamin Moore 2123-20 Caribbean Teal), and this dining room has a Chinoiserie vibe that complements the artwork (not shown) selected by the owner on a trip to Hong Kong.
Operable Panels: As the name implies, operable panels are wide enough to be drawn across the window and close over the glass area if desired. Operable panels might be hung via rings that slide on a rod, or a traversing rod system which has a rope loop to pull at the side. The width of the window, and the width of the “stack back” area (to each side of the window), determines the amount of material needed to cover the window for operable panels. Often, we have operable sheers and stationary side panels, as shown below.
Fullness: Fullness refers to how much fabric is incorporated in each pleat. 2.5x fullness is fairly standard, meaning that when pleated up at the header, a width of fabric that is 50” wide gets pleated into a usable width of 20” at the top. So, if you are covering the window with operable draperies, the 20” is the parameter that will matter in determining how many “widths of material” (WOM) is needed to cover the window. Sheers are often pleated at 3x fullness for a rich elegant look like the above photo. It doesn’t make sense to do skimpy with custom! Like your mother told you, if you put in the effort to do custom, you do it right.
Custom: Well, I don’t need to educate you on what custom means in general, but for window treatments, custom is clearly obvious at first glance. They fit! And they’re proportional! And the quality craftsmanship is visible…….
In addition to my other business memberships, I’m a member of the Window Covering Association of America (WCAA), a national organization whose mission is to promote the professional education and standards in the window coverings industry. If you’re interested in the details of what truly constitutes custom fabrication techniques, here’s the area of the WCAA website that shares the standards in our industry: http://www.wcaa.org/industry-standards
To summarize the WCAA standards that set custom draperies apart from ready-made, here are the top 5 differences:
1) Lining: Quality lining that hangs separately from the main fabric, and is hemmed. Quality lining is readily apparent at first inspection. It does so much for any window treatment. When one considers that quality lining differs by only $10 total PER PANEL over a thin, ready-made panels, it’s a no-brainer to use quality. After all, you are going to have your custom window treatments a long time.
2) Pattern Match: Patterned fabric is matched at seams, seams are hidden as much as possible, and the pattern must be consistent at the header across multiple treatments/panels in the same room. Custom workrooms like Center Stage (ME!) put particular effort into pattern placement for optimal effect. For more information on “pleating to pattern,” another custom technique, see my prior blog post.
3) Weighted hems and double fold side seams: Weights are inserted in the hems to help the draperies hang straight and correctly. Custom draperies have side hems that are folded over, not “pillowcased” like ready-mades. These side hems serve to keep the draperies from “hiking up” at the edges. Like you, we like “even, level, and smooth.”
4) Interlined if silk or delicate fabric: Interlining is a cotton flannel fabric that marries well to light gossamer fabrics like silk that need more substance when made up into drapery panels. Therefore, silk panels from the Center Stage workroom have three layers: silk, interlining, and cotton sateen lining. Plus, I always insert interlining in the hem of my silk draperies to give some added softness.
5) Banding: Oh, banding is a favorite technique of mine to add luscious umph to drapery panels! Whether with a fabric, or an applied tape/braid, banding is a highly-sought decorative feature that sets custom draperies apart from ready-made, There are many examples of my banded panels in my portfolio area. Below, I share a photo from the cover of Greenwich Style by Cindy Rinfret which shows the incredible decorative power of banded draperies.
Finally, here’s an important note on proportion. The proportion of draperies to the architecture of the room and other elements is essential - and exactly what you hire a professional for! This is a large topic that deserves to be addressed separately, so I plan to do that in a future post.
So, that’s all for this week on “The Case for Custom Draperies.” Sounds like a good courtroom drama…well, maybe not so exciting. Suffice to say that custom equals quality, and that’s what Center Stage endeavors to bring to our clients.
I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying a lovely and bright Fall day like we have today in Sudbury, MA. Thanks for reading my blog post. If you are reading my blog and enjoying it, or have any comments or topics that you would like me to address, please drop me a line through my contact page.
2018!! My goodness, can we possibly be ready to flip the calendar again? Let’s just say the color trend folks are always timely, so the announcement by Benjamin Moore of AF 290 "Caliente" as their 2018 Color of the Year comes right on-time. Well, at least right on time for High Point Market which started on 11 October, as discussed in last week’s blog post.
Caliente!! What a beautiful red it is. Here’s Benjamin Moore’s announcement:
"Caliente is the signature color of a modern architectural masterpiece; a lush carpet rolled out for a grand arrival; the assured backdrop for a book-lined library; a powerful first impression on a glossy front door. The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes. Harness the vitality.”
—Ellen O'Neill, Benjamin Moore & Co.
You just have to watch Benjamin Moore’s video, it will get your whole body and soul in tune with RED:
“Color of the Year 2018 | Benjamin Moore”
If you want to see how it all fits together, here is Benjamin Moore’s entire Color Palette for 2018:
For those of you that follow the color trends, you will note that Caliente is very different than previous years, where soft and muted colors were all the rage. For comparison, here are the “Color of the Year” selections by Benjamin Moore and Pantone from the past 5 years.
So, how should you use "Caliente" and other vibrant reds in today’s interiors? Well, this is probably a good place to cover a topic that I’ve been meaning to discuss for a while. Since many of my clients have gorgeous red and blue Persian and Oriental carpets in their houses - 2018 could be the year to show off, celebrate and embrace the vibrant hues in these woven treasures.
For example, here is a photo from a home office project I recently completed with a client where the carpet was the main inspiration for the colors in the room:
If you are a lover of Persian/Oriental rugs, you are undoubtedly familiar with the variety of motifs, scale, and colors used in these rugs. Blues and reds are commonly seen together, and decorating rooms with these hued rugs demands careful and deliberate attention.
To help get it right I love to refer to a wonderful book by Arthur T. Gregorian entitled “Oriental Rugs and the Stories They Tell,” first published in 1967, and updated in 1978. If you recognize the name Gregorian from the Gregorian Oriental Rug Company in Lower Newton Falls, MA, it’s the same family. This book is a treasure, and excellent reference guide to explain the designs, weaving practices, and tell-tale motifs to discern between a Sarouk, Kazak, Herati, Heriz, Kerman, Keshan, Turkoman, and other types of rugs. According to the author, to really understand the styles and weaves, one has to have an accurate knowledge of the geography of the countries involved (Iran [formerly called Persia], Afghanistan, Turkey, Caucasus, Turmekistan, Armenia, and a handful of other locations whose names have shifted with the political winds in the past 50 years). Arthur Gregorian is right-on with his statement: “You who live with Oriental rugs never think of them as something foreign to you, for they are native to your Western culture, and make a strong, rich, colorful contribution to your home, your everyday living, and your happiness in life.” My clients with Oriental rugs really do consider them treasures, and often, they form our starting point on color schemes and room arrangement.
For more information on designing with Oriental Rugs, you should check out a recent article from the Boston Design Guide, Jan 27, 2017 by Carly Stewart, who also references the expertise and beautiful rugs from Gregorian Rug. In her article Carly cites the following six main reasons for owning Oriental Rugs:
1. Lasting Appeal
So, bravo to Benjamin Moore for going BOLD this year with Caliente, AF 290.
I always enjoy designing with red, and hope the selection of Caliente will entice the world’s fabric houses to design more fabrics with red this year.
While we typically think of there being four seasons weather-wise and activity-wise, there are really only two grand seasons in Interior Design: Fall Market and Spring Market in High Point, North Carolina. The High Point Market is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world, meeting for a week in April and a week in October every year. What a feast for the eyes and inspiration for your decorating soul! At Market, manufacturers, artisans, and purveyors of the perfect bring their very latest designs and products to showcase to designers, retailers, and the world…fabrics, furniture, lighting, rugs, accessories, you name it, if it goes in a home, it’s all there. Well, maybe not sheetrock…that’s what the International Builder’s Show is all about. But you get the idea – the High Point Market is THE place to be to see what’s new in residential furnishings.
This fall’s High Point Market runs Oct 14th-18th 2017 and will involve over 2,000 exhibitors and over 75,000 attendees across 180 buildings. Sorry to say it’s “To the trade only”, but you (and me, since I’m staying in MA this time) can take a peek at the trends and new products via their website (http://www.highpointmarket.org/) and the many bloggers who write about the event.
Here’s a press release that lists the lucky bloggers that were selected for the Design Bloggers Tour of Fall High Point Market:
High Point, NC, September 6, 2017 – “The High Point Market Authority (HPMA), in partnership with Esteem Media, is pleased to announce the participants and sponsors for the Design Bloggers Tour for Fall Market, October 14 – 18, 2017.
Returning for its fifth Market, the High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour program will bring ten (10) leading design bloggers to High Point Market for a 2-day tour of sponsoring showrooms. Participating bloggers will visit each sponsor for an up-close look at the exhibitors’ company, showroom and products during a 45-minute presentation and tour, after which they will then feature and discuss their inspiring finds on their individual blogs and social media accounts.”
The bloggers for the Fall Market include:
I had the opportunity to meet Jana Platina Phipps, the “Trim Queen,” last year at an event at the Boston Design Center, and she is a wonderfully stylish designer and artisan who designs passementerie (trimmings such as tassels, borders, braids, gimp and fringes) and directs their manufacture in Europe. Can’t wait to read her blog from High Point Market, as she is sure to feature fabrics and trim as well as case goods.
So, how does Market affect the purchasing public? Well, you can be assured all your favorite high-style brands will roll out new products in Fall and Spring to introduce at High Point. My favorite art, mirror, and occasional table manufacturer, Uttermost, just introduced about 25% more products this week, all in preparation for High Point. Check them out…they are beautiful and well-crafted pieces, some trendy, some timeless.
As and aside, I just love Uttermost mirrors and art, and when you need a really large piece, Uttermost is perfect. When I saw their products in person at the Las Vegas Market last year (another market held twice a year), I was struck at the large scale of their pieces. Love, love, love Uttermost. You can see more at: https://www.uttermost.com/default.aspx
In fact, during the past two weeks I have been busy setting up a design center showroom for a luxury residence community in Needham, MA (I’ll talk more about that in a future post), and I have used Uttermost artwork and lamps as shown in the photo below.
Hopefully you now know a little more about what your designer means when they say “I’m going to Market.” Or, very possibly they could mean the “Stop and Shop”, but I doubt it….. High Point Market with a capital M!
The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) are urging parents and caregivers during October to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords that can pose a strangulation hazard to infants and young children, and to retrofit or replace them with today’s safer products. These organizations recommend that only cordless window coverings, or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children.
For more information, here’s a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission “Kids and Cords Don’t Mix” page:
Center Stage has many cordless options for cellular, roller, and sheer shades, wood blinds, and roman shades, including MOTORIZED control, and my vendors are offering significant sales in October and through the 4th quarter for cordless products.
You will be amazed at all the new products out there and the low prices for motorization. It’s now mainstream, just like most consumer electronics. And you can even recharge the batteries with a USB connector, which need to be done only about once a year, …how cool is that?
Call Barbara to get more info on all the promotions! Imagine the convenience of motorization and the peace of mind for your kids’ safety too.
From 22 September through 22 October I will be having a special 20% off sale from one of my favorite vendors; Greenhouse Fabrics.
Greenhouse Fabrics features an unsurpassed inventory of over 10,000 beautiful fabrics, and they never stop searching for magnificent new additions for their collection. Whether you're looking for leading colors, stunning patterns, or intriguing new styles, you'll never be short of inspiration at Greenhouse. From deep berry-red to the ghost of last year's lavender, you'll find every imaginable hue and style in their fabrics which have an endless array of solids, patterns and textures — you'll be sure to find some new glimpse of possibility.
Although Greenhouse only sells to designers, you can take a look at their website to see all of their beautiful fabrics. I especially like the "Open up the color spectrum" feature on their home page since it allows you to click on a color to see all of the solids, patterns and textures in that hue. Their website is located at:
This is a fabulous sale on some stunning fabrics, so call Barbara to get all the information.
Shiplap! These days I hear this term frequently from my clients and nationally known designers like Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper; you know that hot HGTV show from Waco, Texas that’s all the rage for great style, warm personalities (Joanna and Chip seem so nice and happy!) and a cottage but “today” kind of look. Shiplap is a dominant theme in this look, especially great for farmhouse, rustic, urban industrial and coastal settings. So let’s see what shiplap is all about, starting with a favorite look of mine from Joanna’s vast repertoire of shiplap: over a fireplace mantel.
What is shiplap anyway? As you can see in the photo above, the horizontal boards above the mantel are shiplap, painted out in white. In some pre-1950 homes, shiplap boards were used for structural integrity of walls and insulation as a layer underneath plaster or drywall. That’s why in many of the older home renovations, you will hear them say, “we exposed the shiplap underneath and decided to paint it.” Apparently cheesecloth was sometimes applied on top of the shiplap, to smooth things out, so your own “unearthing” process might be several layers deep.
But, what about if you have a newer home, or one with a different construction method, which requires you to apply shiplap on top of your existing walls? Well, your local Home Depot store can come to the rescue. Below you can see, the rough pine shiplap boards that I found at my local Home Depot store in Marlborough, MA in the lumber aisle…yes you can get it yourself easily, and don’t have to pray to “discover it” during your renovation!
As you can see, the shiplap boards are cut with a notch so that they can be overlapped one on top of each other. Sort of like tongue-and-groove, but a little bit different. When the boards are run horizontally for shiplap (a difference from beadboard paneling that is vertical, and lots of tongue and groove panels that are also vertical), one can’t see the wall underneath. So, this shiplap can go over anything…lathe, framing, brick, etc.
Shiplap in New England Interiors
Have I seen shiplap around Boston? Yes, in many coastal homes, and now the look is trending away from the shore in the suburbs. It’s a bit of a casual look, great for a family room, and I prefer it whitewashed (painted white) over stained. I particularly like shiplap over a mantel to really define a focal point, especially if your fireplace wall is long, and needs some architectural interest to break things up a bit. It’s a bonus if your family room already has some white millwork and crown molding to carry on the crisp look and make the shiplap cohesive in color. There are many excellent DIY sites on the internet to show you how to build-out your own shiplap over-mantel area. And, there are loads of inspirational photos out there for this look…Google “shiplap mantel” and you will see some beautiful projects.
Here is the link to Joanna Gaines’ shiplap projects:
And, for more great information, read the funny and interesting blog of carpenter Scott Sidler at
Scott Sidler is a general contractor who specializes in old houses and his site and blog are great…I always learn something. In this post Scott and his readers debate the “is that real shiplap, or fake shiplap, or something else” and it’s a very informative post. Scott blogs every week like me, and posts on Mondays.
Hopefully you enjoyed this short introductory post on shiplap and consider it for your next fireplace or family room renovation. And…yes…if you want to put your flat-screen TV over your fireplace, and you need a place to hide the wires because there’s masonry behind that wall, because, well it’s a fireplace with a chimney, then building out with shiplap can be just the ticket!
With fall on our doorstep, and the kids already back-to-school here in Sudbury, our thoughts are shifting to preparing for the colder days ahead, and to getting our kids in a good frame of mind for some serious learning at school. And what’s essential to a good learning environment and happy days for everyone - a good night’s sleep!
For good sleep, many people want their bedroom as close to blackout as they can get it, and room-darkening cellular shade with cordless control are one of my favorite solutions for the privacy layer in these bedrooms. Especially for kids! Comfortex Window Fashions makes one of my favorite cellular shade offerings in their NY plant - the Linen Weave cordless shade with ColorLux custom color, in both room-darkening and light-filtering fabrics.
Two weeks ago I wrote a blog about my tour of the Comfortex Window Fashions plant (“Comfortex Shade Production Facility Tour” - 8/23/2017) in Watervliet, NY. In an odd twist of fate, while I was at their plant discussing their products Comfortex interviewed me (and some of the other designers) about their ColorLux program. Here’s their short video: “Color Lux: ThinkColor. ThinkGreen”.
Since I find their product so good at controlling light I recently suggested a Comfortex Linen Weave shade in a room-darkening configuration for a client’s son’s room. As you can see in the picture, the shade fits nicely inside the window frame, and we put a crisp striped faux roman cornice on top for impact. The shade is perfect for a good nap or night’s rest for this most adorable and fun toddler, and the parents can rest comfortably knowing the cordless control is child-safe.
If you want to learn more about the shades and the colors it comes in, here’s a link to the ColorLux program which offers cellular and roller shades in over 800 colors. Wow, talk about custom!
ColorLux Designer Cellular & Roller Shades
I hope you’re ready for a wonderful crisp Fall, my favorite time of year!
How the Play “Hamilton” Led to Some Historic Drapery Inspiration
We recently returned from a summer driving trip across New York, Ontario Canada, Vermont, and the Adirondacks. What a terrific vacation! And so reminiscent of driving trips of my youth when my parents would pack up the 5 of us in August and drive cross-country somewhere for 3 weeks to explore the beautiful landscape, see the sights and appreciate the great history of the United States; recharging our batteries before we headed back to school for more formal learning. Although I must say that I learned plenty on those trips!
Historic Window Treatments at the Schuyler Mansion
So, a bit about historic window treatments. When I moved to Massachusetts in 2001, I fully embraced the amazing history of the Georgian and Federal period architecture all around me, and I began researching and creating historical window treatments. I enjoyed giving talks to interior design audiences and writing for trade magazines on this subject. This led to a significant amount of interior design work for me at the historic Wayside Inn in Sudbury, as well as for clients who appreciated and desired the classic period-correct look. As an engineer and perpetual student, I found several crucial texts from the period (written by upholsterers, for drapery was their domain back then as well) for construction of these intricate treatments.
Here are some photos of the parlor from the Schuyler house, the most formal room for entertaining guests, and actually the location of Eliza and Alexander Hamilton’s wedding ceremony. You can see the drapery panels are in the “Italian strung” design where a cord runs between rings sewn to the back of each panel, allowing the drawing up of the drapery.
Below is a photo from the outside of the Nathaniel Hawthorne “House of Seven Gables” in Salem, MA which also demonstrates the cord design of Italian stringing.
Finally, here is a photo of a similar treatment at Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts, taken about 7 years ago. You can see that over the years I have dragged my daughter to lots of historic places, and now she takes me! (And for the record, that is not me next to my daughter, it’s the docent at Old Sturbridge Village in period costume).
I am indeed fortunate to live in an area with spectacular history and plenty of homes and historic buildings to explore all year round. I’m also looking forward to seeing the “Hamilton” musical myself when it comes to Boston in 2018. Now that we played the musical’s soundtrack in the car non-stop the whole vacation, I know all the songs (but wouldn’t dare actually sing…since I am not a great singer). I even cracked a history book upon our return to learn more of the story with that Aaron Burr guy…grrr…...
Anyway, this post shows that design inspiration comes from the most unlikely places! I hope that you found some inspiration, peace, and tranquility yourself this summer!
Last week I was invited to a special open house and production facility tour at one of my favorite vendors, Comfortex, at their main plant in Watervliet, NY. I am a big fan of Comfortex for their quality, innovation, customer service, and their “made in USA” production. Plus, with their plant so close to Sudbury, they are practically local, with fast shipping times and turnaround.
The tour of the production floor was terrific! As an engineer, I just love seeing how things are made, and the Comfortex plant was a technical marvel. The thing to remember about this plant is that every item (very shade and blind) is CUSTOM MADE, with its own specifications, material, dimensions, and destination. So, it was fascinating to see how a factory (where you typically think of mass production runs turning out identical units) produces unique custom pieces in a timely manner and gets everything right and shipped out the door.
Here are some photos that show the Comfortex plant’s production line in action.
In addition to the tour, the Comfortex management personnel and their teams gave us an incredible showcase of their new products and fabrics - and their latest innovations in motorization. Below you see Nobina Preston, Senior Product Manager at Comfortex, demonstrate their new “wand” operated roller shade. It has a bit of a “Harry Potter” touch in addition to a cordless, child-safe operation. Touch the telescoping wand to the headrail, and you can control up, down, and stop. Combined with Comfortex’s ability to put any photo you like on a roller shade, I can see lots of possibilities for custom window solutions for the younger crowd! I was very impressed with the Comfortex custom photo printing capability, one that we typically see used to display company logos at coffee shops and other retail vendors. But how about shades for your child’s room with photos of your favorite vacation beach?
Although I really enjoyed seeing their new products, I was most impressed with the Comfortex production facility, their whole management, sales, and production team, and their dedication to producing a top-quality product made in the USA. Thanks, Comfortex, for inviting me (and lots of other professionals in the interior design business) to see your operations in action.
“Are you on Houzz?” This is a common question I ask my interior design clients during our first meeting. And, sometimes, they ask me the exact same question. Well, if this seems like Greek to you (what is a “Houzz” anyway, it sounds like a Dr. Seuss character!?), then hopefully this blog post will introduce you to the fabulous and free Houzz application and website which has MILLIONS of inspirational and SEARCHABLE photos (actually 14,690,857 photos the last time I checked) from which you can draw design inspiration. (Sorry for the shouting…but I LOVE Houzz…….there I go again).
First, some background. Houzz is the largest, most popular website that’s specifically designed for home interior remodeling projects. It consists of photos of interiors and products which are contributed by industry professionals (interior designers, like me, architects, and other trade professionals) who have their own pages on Houzz and post high-quality photographs of their projects. So, yes, Center Stage Interior Designs is “on Houzz” in the “Window Treatment” Professional area at:
When you go to Houzz here is my CSID page that you will see:
So what do I mean when I ask my clients, “Are you on Houzz?” I’m asking if you have already found Houzz as an on-line resource since you can register on Houzz for free and browse all the inspirational photos - even though you’re not in the design industry. You can look at sites like mine, look at the “Stories and Advice” area, post your own questions, shop, and best of all, collect all your favorite photos into “Ideabooks”. I have done this same sort of “inspiration mining” on Houzz, and in addition to photos of my own work that I’ve collected into my “Project” folders, I have also categorized interesting photos found on Houzz into a set of “Ideabooks”. Anyone can assemble photos into Ideabooks (similar to the Pinterest model) and then you can invite others to share and collaborate on your Ideabooks. Because of the way it is setup it’s a perfect platform for a client and designer to share ideas!
So, where did Houzz come from anyway? According to Wikipedia, “Houzz co-founders Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen launched the site in February 2009 as a result of their own remodeling projects. In addition to finding it difficult to communicate their vision for their home, they found it difficult to find the right professionals for their projects. What started as a side project to help with their own home remodel soon spread by word-of-mouth, and they began to receive emails from homeowners and home professionals outside the San Francisco Bay Area asking them to open more categories on Houzz and to expand to other areas. Houzz became a company in the fall of 2010.”
I first heard about Houzz in early 2011, and having lived in Silicon Valley in California until 2001, I saw why these tech guys would turn to the power of computing and the internet to squeeze every bit of decorating utility out of every square inch of the expensive real estate in northern California. It is incredible how Houzz has expanded over the years. In 2014 they “only” had about 4 million photos. Now, they have over 14 million photos and you can even buy furniture and home décor products directly from them. But let’s discuss the best part about Houzz for you: a searchable database of inspirational photos.
How to Search on Houzz:
2. For a more targeted search, I put in the following search criteria on the top search bar within the Dining area:
“Buckland Blue” “wing chair” traditional grasscloth
I’ve found that using a very particular name for a Benjamin Moore or Sherwin-Williams color (like BM Buckland Blue) will really zero in on rooms with a general color scheme that you are searching for, like teal. If you just put in “blue,” well, that will help a bit, but Houzz will still return thousands of photos. And voila, using this set of search terms here is the result below, down to 177 photos.
Look at that gorgeous color…would you be surprised if I told you my own dining room is teal (Benjamin Moore 2123-20 Caribbean Teal)? Just so soothing in a dining room, and a bit unexpected, and goes nicely with wood tones. Anyways, I digress, back to navigating Houzz…
So, how do you sign up to start poking around on Houzz?
Go to: https://www.houzz.com/ - and here's the home page that you should initially see:
There are so many features, you will just have to explore the site a bit.
Personally, I think that the real strength of Houzz is in connecting you with designers (like me) and local home improvement contractors. See the “Find Professionals” button on the bar across the top, right under the search bar. You can see samples of past projects to learn about the company’s skills and capabilities, ask questions, and read reviews from clients to find a home professional that is right for you.
If you are experienced using Houzz, you might wonder why you seem to get “outliers” in your targeted searches, inexplicably different than the style you are searching for. Well, like facebook and most other “free” websites Houzz has to have a sound business model to remain economically viable while serving the design community, and the insertion of additional “hits” is akin to advertising and the “adword” concept on Google. These “outliers” are generally paid placement ads that are on-target geographically (meaning that they will present additional local designers and home professionals to you from your area).
My 5 Tips for Using Houzz
Here are my top 5 tips to make the most of using Houzz for your home remodeling project:
I really encourage you to check out Houzz and all that it has to offer. Let me know if you have any questions……… and I look forward to connecting with you on Houzz!
Barbara Phillips, interior designer and owner of Center Stage Interior Designs, has delivered impeccable window treatments and design services to both residential and commercial clients in Massachusetts since 2001.