Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘home improvement’ tag

March 26th, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Get Your Home Improvement Idea Fix on Houzz

Are you a home improver? Looking for ideas for updates, decorating or renovation? Books, magazines, and HGTV are great sources but I’ve found a website that is fabulous for inspiration. is an encyclopedic website that has literally hundreds of thousands of images of rooms, landscapes, products and design ideas.

The site is simple to navigate. From the home page you can browse by type of room, read up on discussions, find local builders or check out Ideabooks. These are photo portfolios based on categories such as Home Tech, Architecture and DIY. And as you browse the photos, you can create your own books with all your wishlist items.

There’s also a weekly newsletter with articles on the many aspects of home improvement. These have really helpful advice for whatever project you might be embarking on.

We recently began the process of designing a kitchen remodel and Houzz has been a great source for ideas. Everything from types of storage to backsplashes, lighting and cabinet colors and styles. Whenever I saw something I liked, I just added it to my kitchen Ideabook.

An even more helpful feature was the ability to share my Ideabook with my kitchen designer so he could see what things I like and get a better idea of how I envision the end result. The contractor also uses Houzz to post their own Ideabooks and projects so I can see the results of their work.

This is my idea of a great way to collaborate.

There’s definitely a danger here. With so many great examples, it’s really easy to go beyond your budget, so be prepared to compromise and/or get ready to do some of the work yourself.

Have fun with this!

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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January 29th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Making Your Home with YoungHouseLove

Here’s the ingredients. A young family. Their second home-in-need-of-work. A budget. A boatload of creativity. A sense of style. And a great sense of humor. Put them all together and you have

Sherry and John bring you inside of their lives and share everything from the results of their home improvement projects, to their wedding, to the fun and funny things that go on in their daily lives via their family blog. They have a daughter and a dog and lots of friends and fans who take part in this mashup of home, family, crafting, gardening, entertaining and making a life. These two are a great example of how you can use all of the low cost resources out there to mix up a brew of style, creativity and fun.

Thanks to their site we can all watch them turn their finds from tag sales, thrift shops, discount stores and furniture outlets, into fabulous decorating and design solutions for their home and garden. They use smartphone apps, arts and craft supplies and everyday items to personalize and customize their surroundings.

They share what they see, what they do, and what their fans and followers contribute. The site is full of links and references to other resources that can help you reach some of your own home improvement, craft and organizing goals. They engage their followers in challenges and have even written a best selling book.

I love this site. As a tag sale junkie myself I can totally relate to many of the cool things they’ve done with their finds and the the really nifty ideas they have for projects they design and make themselves. Their house is their design palette and with their incredibly creative, low cost and practical solutions, they bring individuality into everything they do and the results are terrific. I applaud their success and look forward to continuing on their journey with them.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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