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In looking at homes all the time so I see properties in all conditions. In my area most homes are well kept but only a small percentage of homes I see are “wow” properties. In order to get to the “wow” status a house must be upgraded, decorated and cared for in an integrated way. It is hard to make this happen. Many times I see a home with a beautiful upgraded kitchen but it stands by itself like Yao Ming in an elevator. While the kitchen is beautiful the baseboards are old and beat up. There are only a handful of furniture stores in Houston that offer truly competitive pricing on all their products. The hall bath is circa 1970′s and the furniture in the living room has nothing to do with the artwork. In a word the house is disjointed.

One way to move your house towards a “wow” is to look at examples of other beautiful homes and pick up ideas that would work where you live. Technology has made this much easier and recently I found Houzz.com and the Houzz app. This site allows you to search through almost 1 million tagged photos of beautiful homes and save your favorites to what they call an Ideabook.

Here is a screenshot from my iPad of my ideabook titled stairway railings.  When I searched for stair railings the app returned 51,177 results of beautiful pictures of stairway railings.  I can then focus my search for stair railings in a certain metro area. So for example I chose Denver, and that reduced the list of stair railings to 853 photos.

The searches can be even more esoteric. I recently searched for “blue paint” and came up with 109,970 photos. I narrowed it down to blue paint in a home office and came up with 2,449 photos.

On the iPad app, once you choose one photo you can scroll through the photos by swiping your finger. As you look through the photos many of them have little green tags which are links to information on that product. Since I was looking for blue paint I found a wall color I liked, clicked on the green tag and found out what color it was and where to get it.  A much better process then going to the paint store and holding up small paint squares.  Here are some screen shots showing that process.

I wanted to share this with you because I know I have found it helpful with many applications recently. If you are looking to upgrade your home I would recommend Houzz.com as a great starting place.