You’re probably all familiar with (and if you’re not, check them out now: ) It’s an amazing repository of design images of residential projects around the world. When starting on a design project, you can start there to get an idea of what you like. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what you like: Traditional, Contemporary, Transitional. These are just labels and you’ll come to know the difference. Start by searching for the room you are working: Living Room, Bedroom, etc. Then when you see something you like, create an Ideabook. This will allow you to save the photo so that you can go back to it later. You create an Ideabook by hovering over the image until you see the +Save button on the bottom. Click it and “Create an Ideabook” by giving it the name of the room you’re working on. Then hit the green “Save to Ideabook” button. You don’t have to write a comment, but I know that sometimes I look at photos I save and wonder what I was thinking about when I saved it! So comments can be useful for future reference.

Creating different ideabooks by project categories like Stairs, Window Treatments, Lighting, will also provide a great library of items for when you’re ready to be specific about those particular items. You can make your ideabook private if you don’t want anyone to see it, or share it with someone (like your interior designer) directly when you email them.

When you’re ready, search for Pros who can do the work in your area. I am a Pro in the Interior Design directory for the NYC Metropolitan area. You can check out the various websites for architects, contractors and painters, and read the reviews to help you narrow down your selections. If you can’t get recommendations from people you know, these reviews serve to provide you with actual feedback from their customers.

Lastly, use Houzz to show your Pro what you have in mind when you are starting work together. This will give them a clear idea of the direction you want to go in. Remember that when you work with an interior designer such as myself, you will be getting a custom design. I rarely see anything exactly like what I design for my clients…and that’s what they pay for: I will create a space that is unique to them and for them. As your personality is different, your interiors will be different. I create something new and special, I select items that are perfect for the space, and I design spaces that make people happy. I know this because just last week I had a client say that he wanted to come home early from his vacation place because being in his home made him feel peaceful and happy. And that is why I love what I do!