Taking Your Gardening Dollar

Do You Houzz?

Houzz

I have a serious case of “exciting new website launch” fatigue right now. Every day a thrilling new announcement lands in my inbox about some groundbreaking new digital initiative that I absolutely must get in on–now, right now.

And I just cannot bring myself to care about any of them.

Some of these amazing new digital initiatives have turned out to be actual Big Deals (Tumblr, Google Plus, Pinterest), but I can’t bring myself to do much more than glance at them from time to time. And many, many more of them are just dumb ideas that will go nowhere (Tumblr, Google Plus, Pinterest.  Kidding!  I’m thinking more of the My Garden Friends -type sites where somebody we’ve never heard of wants us to set up an account and start sharing pictures of our garden or clicking on images of Proven Winners and Monrovia plants we might add to our fake digital garden. Please, people.  Make it stop.)

But what about Houzz?  I think this is pretty cool.  I read this article in the San Francisco Chronicle about a landscape designer who has some out-of-town and even out-of-the-country clients thanks to Houzz. So I decided to give it a closer look.

Houzz is a sort of Angie’s List-meets-Yelp-meets-Pinterest for home and garden contractors. You can go to Houzz and browse photos to get an idea of what sort of thing you might like to do at your place–then you can find a contractor who will do that for you. You can buy products that turn up in the photos (stepping stones, a bench, light fixtures) .  You can browse or create your own idea books — such as this one, about hiding trash cans, which I actually found quite useful.

And there are discussions where you can ask questions or get more specifics about an idea you see or whatever.

So here’s my question–are there any landscape designers out there using Houzz, and if so, houzz it going? (sorry, couldn’t resist.)  I see Michelle Derviss, and it looks like Gen Schmidt just joined–anybody else?

And what about people selling stuff on Houzz?  Or–anybody using it to figure out how to redo your deck or build a new patio or a chicken coop or some such thing?

Finally, to all you writers of garden designer-ish books–are you using Houzz to promote your books?  Here, for instance, is an Idea Book about edible garden design that features Rosalind Creasy’s book on the subject. That is a very cool idea.

What do you think?  How’s Houzz?

(okay, sorry. I’ll stop.)

Posted by on March 28, 2012 at 6:36 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.
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7 Responses to “Do You Houzz?”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve yet to explore the more useful sides to Houzz, but I have been using it to share inspirational images of things that I definitely want to try in my house and garden (aka house porn) with friends and family. Most of the images in the ideabooks/galleries on Houzz seem to be pretty high-end (from my perspective, anyway), but that doesn’t mean some ideas and products couldn’t be taken from them. As a landscape architect, I enjoy the professional-network aspect to Houzz. Their email newsletters tend to be actually readable and somewhat interesting, as well.

  2. Deirdre says:

    I was immediately attracted by the picture of the chicken coop, but I’ve developed a potentially fatal reaction to bird droppings (Bird fanciers disease or bird dung lung), so I have to get rid of my chickens.

  3. Michelle D says:

    While at the recent S.F. Garden Show I spoke to a landscape designer who had two new garden design projects come in via Houzz.

    I don’t have that many photos on their site but after learning about my friends new found marketing strategy, I am going to update and add some photos.

    As usual, I am always late to the social networking party.

    From a personal perspective I love the eye candy on Houzz because it is architecture and landscape architecture centric.

    Pinterest doesn’t really appeal to me. Too much hair , nail and baked chili dog stuff. – Just give me good garden design, architecture and finely built landscape architecture and leave out the hair barrettes and neon fingernails .

    PS – thanks for the Houzz recognition.

  4. Haha, I just got on facebook last month! Definitely a late adopter, I avoid these things as long as I can.

    I might get on Pinterest in 2014, if they haven’t been sued to bankruptcy.

  5. Genevieve says:

    I adore Houzz, and like Michelle, have recently heard of a number of designers getting clients and media attention through them, so I put it on my to-do list to join up and add some pics.

    I also just started writing for them, like, last week, and want to put it out there that the more photos we as designers put up, the likelier that our profile will be featured in an article and that we’ll be found. In order to write an article I need to find about ten photos to include on a topic, so chances are good that if you upload a lot of photos you’ll be featured at some point.

    I think both Pinterest and Houzz have a lot of potential because they’re so visually-oriented. When I’m looking at gardening or design stuff, I want to see lots and lots of photos! And both sites provide that.

  6. I love Houzz — for ideas and inspiration and creativity. Just type in garden and see the photos that pop up. If I can add another one, try TourWrist. You can stand in your home, hold up your iPad, and stand on a city street, a garden, a villa, a cathedral — and you’re able to look all around you and up and down. A mini, gorgeous vacation.

  7. I hadnt heard of Houzz before, but will check it out. Like Phil above i was late onto Facebook but have already joined pinterest. Will be interesting to see which sites last the next few years.

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