Photo Credit: houzz.com
Started in 2009 by a husband and wife looking for better options for remodeling their own home, Houzz is the largest resource for home design on the web. The site has more than 300,000 images from the portfolios of more than 50,000 remodeling and decorating professionals across the country. Online idea books let you save, organize and share photos for every part of your home from bathrooms to patios. Photos come from remodeling and decorating professionals who are part of the site community, so you can ask questions about any photo directly to its architect, interior designer, or contractor. Product information is often available via bright green tags that appear when you mouse over each photo.
One Kings Lane takes and tapes shopping trips with famed designers and then sells what they found to you for 70% off. In one video, Thom Filicia shopped Italy and shared valuable tips on what a top designer thinks about when home shopping. You can then shop for these items at a huge discount.
How do you envision what a piece of art will look like framed in your home? The site's View in Room feature makes it easy for you to find your favorite print, custom frame it, then upload into a real shot of your own room. Here's the print I chose for my bedroom.
Ballard Designs offers a large selection of European-inspired home furnishings along with helpful tips on how to work what you love into your own rooms. So not only can you buy that great chandelier but there's a handy Style Studio column to offer advice on finding the right size -- just add the dimensions of your room, translate in inches and that’s the diameter of your chandelier. You'll even get DIY advice on how to hang it.
Olioboard is an online interior design mood board created from a library of 150,000 items that allow you to create 2D or 3D spaces using real products. You can also search what others have created for ideas for every space in your house. Click on many of the featured products to be connected to the vendors to buy them.
Scared to paint your room a new color because you can’t see what it will look like? With Benjamin Moore’s Personal Color View finder, you can upload a pic of your room as it exists then click on the surface you want the color placed and viola.
Wish you had the time to sort through dozens of back issues of a top design magazine like Elle Décor for inspiration? With stories from the magazine since 2008 now online, you can find slide shows of rooms once featured on the magazine's pages using the site's "Look Book" search.
Watch Susanna on the Today show:
Design author Susanna Salk appears regularly on NBC’s “Today Show” to discuss design style for the home. Her book "Be Your Own Decorator" debuts March 27, 2012 and is available for pre-order at susannasalk.com.