POLL: Topics for a Live Houzz Chat?
Houzz Polls
June 13, 2013 in Polls
Here's a fun question for you. If you had the opportunity to participate in a live chat in the discussions on Houzz, which of the following topics would you like to see discussed?

Comment with other topics you would like to see or to add questions about the one you selected!
Curb appeal basics and tips
Kitchen counter choices and materials
Flooring options and tips
Tricks for getting the most out of small kitchens
Smart investments for kitchen and bath remodeling
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I'd be interested in furniture arrangement discussions because as a frequent commenter on the subject I see that lots of people could benefit from advice before they purchase furniture instead of seeking advice after the fact.
June 13, 2013 at 6:16pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Margo
I think it would be fun to talk about how people repurpose unused or unusual items.
June 13, 2013 at 10:06pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Darzy
I'm with Carolyn Albert-Kincl..furniture scale and arrangement! It's too late when someone says.."I just bought this leather sofa, loveseat and matching chair and having problem with arrangement. Too late!
June 13, 2013 at 10:15pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Darzy
I do like, as Margo metioned, to see how people have repurposed or up-cycled "trash" and made to look like a treasure.
June 13, 2013 at 10:17pm     
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LB Interiors
Design on a dime. Trash to treasure.
June 13, 2013 at 10:19pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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LB Interiors
The strangest most unexpected item to design a space.
June 13, 2013 at 10:20pm     
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Ellen Schafer-decker
Lamps seem to be an after thought in most rooms...Lighting should be talked about, along with scale and arrangement.
June 13, 2013 at 10:21pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Sharon
I feel as though a couple of the suggested topics make pretty frequent appearances in posts or idea books anyway so maybe something different to what's often discussed. Furniture placement sounds good!
June 13, 2013 at 10:25pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Carole Westgaard
Definitely furniture arrangement, placement, re-arrangement. Too many place all their furniture against walls!
June 13, 2013 at 11:20pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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inkwitch
I need to vote for all of them! Being in the middle of a reno, all these issues are foremost in my searches in houzz. I thoroughly enjoy the articles on how-to and cost of products, available options. Especially the gardening!

I also agree with all the other commenters: furniture placement and the process of getting there (so agree with you, Carole! One of my pet peeves!), recycling trash, dealing with decorating problems (low ceilings, for instance, or awkward windows), and curb appeal. So many people have no idea what to do with their curbs!

Let's do it!
June 14, 2013 at 3:46am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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charleee
Color! Especially paint color! I see a lot of discussions re: "What color should I paint my...."
June 14, 2013 at 3:55am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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tkjs68
As suggested by others - furniture placement.
June 14, 2013 at 4:02am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Wow Great Place
This is a tough one.
Participating in a live chat is far different from the forum where you can post anytime on any discussion. I'm trying to imagine the type of advice people would seek.
Already, so many questions are so ambiguous, often lacking even the most basic information to offer a thoughtful reply, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to respond to people!
Adding a live chat option, the person with the dilemma would have to be uber-prepared, regardless of the topic.
Perhaps schedule a live chat ABOUT live chat topics, and see where the conversation goes!
June 14, 2013 at 4:07am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Wow Great Place
And wouldn't the OLLD's LOVE to be able to schedule a live chat!!!!!!!
June 14, 2013 at 4:12am     
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charleee
Ohhhhh, I don't know about that! We'd probably just out talk each other! hehehe
June 14, 2013 at 4:13am     
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Wow Great Place
True, but at least then you could put a voice to the OLLD! I'll shut up now, don't want to hijack this discussion....
June 14, 2013 at 4:15am     
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charleee
Hahahaha!
June 14, 2013 at 4:16am   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Wow brings up a good subject regarding how we get so many questions that lack sufficient information . Rarely do we know on what continent, much less what state or country someone lives in. Sometimes it's not important, but more frequently it is as we struggle with gardening questions or suggest furniture not available in the country where the person lives.
June 14, 2013 at 4:22am     
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mefor
All of the above. I see questions on all these topics all the time, do a live chat that changes weekly. Or even daily. And yes!!! People should be required to be prepared. Sounds awful, like getting ready for an exam, but it would really help things to move along.
June 14, 2013 at 8:59am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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charleee
I would like to see Houzz require at least a Houzzers country, if they don't want to get specific about where they live. Just knowing the country would be really helpful.
June 14, 2013 at 9:01am     
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Emily Hurley
Glad to see people are excited about this!
June 14, 2013 at 9:19am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Sarah Padilla
I definitely think furniture arrangement as well as storage ideas. Not everyone has money to decorate and remodel, but everyone has some piece of furniture that is off, or is having trouble functioning in some portion of their home due to storage issues.
June 14, 2013 at 9:21am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Sarah Padilla
And a live chat could be the equivalent of having all your friends and family over helping you address the issues in real time. Immediate results, I really like the idea.
June 14, 2013 at 9:22am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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anne dee
I'm not sure this applies but how about "Design on a Budget". A lot of the dilemmas posted are by people who are concerned with cost issues.
June 14, 2013 at 9:38am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Potter Construction Inc
Our customers are always looking for smart investments to make kitchen and bath decisions, would love to see what this discussion involves!
June 14, 2013 at 2:06pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Keitha
These are all great topics but I have noticed that many of the dilemma threads are repetitive so when something a little different comes along it's refreshing. I would like to see Houzz do feature articles on some of the designers and creative talent that help Houzzers through their design problems. To see pictures of their homes and get a glimpse of their personal style would be awesome!
June 14, 2013 at 2:27pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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decoenthusiaste
I think users could benefit more from a chat on how to use HOUZZ. So many post double and triple threads because their Dilemma moves off the front page so quickly. They don't know how to comment, use the AI button, or upload pix of what they like from other sources. We could all be more efficient at this and if like me, most are not inclined to read through a boring FAQ. Why not an open forum on becoming more proficient at making this site do what is designed to do? Then Newbies could download the archived discussion before they jump in and make mistakes. I could use a few tips to simplify what we do here. After that, we might get some of the users who utilize specialty programs to draw floorplans, mood boards, paste products etc. to do a chat so all of us could learn about these programs and hear the pros and cons before investing in any of them.
June 14, 2013 at 2:35pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Actually the average houzzer owns a home valued in the mid $400,000 range, but yes, we do get a lot of low budget questions because most of us need to watch what we spend. Of course that really points out how important it is to consult a professional designer who can help you avoid making expensive mistakes in the home furnishings you purchase.
June 14, 2013 at 2:41pm     
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anne dee
re decoenthusiaste you can add the many posters who show room/rooms only to discover later that we are commenting/suggesting on an MLS
June 14, 2013 at 2:42pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Marilyn Wilkie
"Actually the average houzzer owns a home valued in the mid $400,000 range,..." Well that's interesting but I like to see the "common" homes as well. I am more impressed with the creativity and artistic decorating that I see on here that doesn't involve a high priced designer to pull it off. I think people need their confidence boosted so that they can create the surroundings they enjoy despite their income.
June 14, 2013 at 2:51pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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anne dee
At times SOME people buy homes they can't afford thus the term House Poor. It happens more often than we think. Look over some of the pics posted here and we see these large kitchens large living rooms/high ceilings
2 story foyers large interior McMac houses and looking to furnish and accessorize but more often than not the stores mentioned for point of purchase are Target, Overstock ,TJmax , Pier I etc. and added to that hopefully the item is on sale. This is why I suggested Design on a Budget. People with disposable income are more likely to use the services of a professional such as Carolyn A-K D, LB Interiors, Margo at ASOHK Travis Interiors decoenthusiaste and KPOD and other very talented people that I can't remember off the top of my head. You know who you are. So when they post on Houzz they are very fortunate to receive your expertise
June 14, 2013 at 3:09pm     
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Dana Veach
Decoenthusiaste...I love your suggestion. It took me quite a while to learn the ropes on Houzz when I first started on the forum. I also have to say that I'm not at all sure that the "average" Houzzer falls into the $400,000.00 home ownership bracket...design professionals, yes, but for the rest of us, myself included, that is far far out of the reach of reality. The value of the Houzz community for me is primarily education, networking with other creative minds, and "idea mining" for "some day!"
June 14, 2013 at 3:52pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Dana, the home value of houzzers was info given by the head houzzer honchos, or the HHHs, not just a figure I made up. I'm not sure why you think it's us design professionals who make up the bulk of those $400,000 folks.
Yes, we have great taste and knowledge about interior design, with the taste being a combination of an innate talent, plus widespread reading and education. But we may not be those folks living in the $400,000 homes.

Instead it may be a hardworking New Yorker living in a tiny apartment, or a single woman working in San Francisco and commuting from her condo in Oakland.
June 14, 2013 at 5:22pm     
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Marilyn Wilkie
I thought Dana meant that designers were designing FOR those people not ARE those people necessarily. Also, I would not say that all designers have great taste and knowledge necessarily. Taste, to me, is in the eye of the beholder...and credentials can differ. Just my take on that. But back to the subject and the poll.....
June 14, 2013 at 6:23pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Ah we'll, perhaps I stretched that a bit, but for the most part we are hired for our good taste and our knowledge and our ability to use it in furnishing someone else's home. I don't think we're hired for our bad taste.
June 14, 2013 at 6:31pm     
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Dana Veach
Carolyn, If the HHHs have those solid figures, I won't attempt to argue with statistics. I was not trying to be offensive, nor did I mean to suggest that only designers could afford the homes you spoke of. . .I know better. I am also a design professional, though not in the architectural/interior design realm. I am a writer, painter and fiber artist, and a potentials coach...that is, I deal purely with the field of creativity itself...with human potential and "gifting". I also have the training and talent to move with the best of the best...and because of prolonged battles with illness, I no longer move in those economic circles...and may never do so again. That is simply my reality. But forgive me for digressing...I'm not trying to make this about me. I apologize.

I only meant that there is perhaps a larger population of Houzz users than suspected who can't afford this echelon of home and who frequent this site for the wonderful education and exposure to creativity afforded by the Houzz community. I love this site. It enables me to interact with other artists and designers that I can't have physical access to. It also keeps me aware of the questions and struggles of people who...without, perhaps, innate taste, talent, or training...or opportunity...are looking for help in making their living environments as comfortable, functional and attractive as their individual budgets permit. I hope that Houzz will continue to address that whole spectrum of needs as well as it has in the past.
June 14, 2013 at 8:53pm     
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armygirl1987
Well personally why don't Houzz make it so that before you post there are specific blocks that you have to fill out. i.e., name, location, the things that we have been asking that posters post. It wont change if they do not make it a pre-requisite. But I definitely agree on the placement of furniture, lamps, pictures, etc.
June 14, 2013 at 8:56pm     
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armygirl1987
Another thing could be to see what type of questions are trending and then that should dictate the talk fest.
June 14, 2013 at 8:57pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Sharon
What about a 'common mistakes' forum with regard to picture hanging height/placement/arrangement. Same could be said for curtain and rod placement.
And finally, the basic "rules" with floor rug sizes.
And what does MLS stand for?
June 15, 2013 at 1:54am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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anne dee
MLS stands for multiple listing service in real estate.
June 15, 2013 at 7:33am     
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JAN MOYER
TMI too many times can confuse. Houzz is a collection of ideabooks. I once had a client who struggled making decisions. No amount of information provided her was enough. I finally said,,,"there isn't going to be a photo of your exact bath, your specific choices, your light, your layout.....your anything. Not until we do the bath, and take a photo! I think this scenario often happens in the dilemmas posted by homeowners. What is the exactly right answer?Welllllllll there isn't just one. This is the very reason people get professional design help. The loose idea needs to refined, the choices narrowed, and the "dream" executed on whatever the budget is to accomplish the task, and most need help in figuring out what that budget should be, or how to adjust the "dream" if there isn't enough budget. It's a great site, but "magic" is subjective and personal and varies widely. More "answers" aren't always more help.. but they can be a lot of fun! Then too, are the many people who will see a thousand photos, and a matching number of ideas , and it just won't help.....and "more" simply makes it harder for them.
June 16, 2013 at 4:06am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Cheryl Scrymgeour Designs
Most of the people that I have chats with on Houzz are interested in sourcing the items that they see in my project pictures. I think a forum where you pick specific items or surfaces and everyone can weigh in with their sources for that item would be very helpful. Then you could offer a high end versus budget choice
with the same look option. This could also lead into hints about how to yard sale or thrift shop that item and refurbish it to be beautiful/ useful once more.
June 16, 2013 at 9:13am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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decoenthusiaste
Who was it on here that once commented they used to do the Hi/Lo projects for a blog? That may be what we need to institute for those who'd enjoy doing it.
June 16, 2013 at 10:13am     
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Denita
That is a terrific idea about the Hi/Low projects. I would love to see it in action on this site.
June 16, 2013 at 10:38am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Margo
There use to be a show on HGTV that showed an inspiration room of let's say $30,000 and recreated the room for a fraction of the price. Anyone remember the name? I many times liked the room done on the budget better.
June 16, 2013 at 12:16pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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armygirl1987
Design on a Dime was a goo one, not sure if that is the one that you are talking about..
June 16, 2013 at 12:18pm   
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Margo
No, I think that one is still on. It was called Designer something, or Design something....???
June 16, 2013 at 12:54pm     
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Margo
I want to say "Designer Challenge" or "Disigning Challenge"
June 16, 2013 at 12:56pm   
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Denita
It's called the High/Low Project with Sabrina Soto
June 16, 2013 at 12:57pm     
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Margo
Maybe now but it was called something else a while back but sounds like the same concept.
June 16, 2013 at 1:00pm   
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mslori
I agree with the majority here, but in my opinion, practical and easy instructions would help most people from the dreaded "All the furniture against the walls" look. For example: Put your couch right in front of the TV. Now, you need a place to put your drink, look for a side table. Now, want to put your feet up, lets place a coffee table in front of the couch, etc.. I see so many beautiful architecture in homes, and awful interior designs inside!!! I think the word is "enjoy" decorating instead of being afraid of it. I loved when my husband decided to put color on the walls, now I could never go back to white. He used colors named after food, he is a chef, and they went together perfectly!!!! Point is: GO for it!!!! Worst case scenario is you have to repaint, or move things around until they feel right!!!
June 16, 2013 at 1:35pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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JAN MOYER
I am guessing a lot of designers will agree...... I would be very happy if HGTV, and every do it yourself "cheap and fast" how-to show, went the way of television tube testers at the drugstore. The landfills are full enough. Elbow grease, a good de-cluttering and cleaning, clean and open windows, fresh flowers, crisp sheets, a couple buckets of paint, a savings account, and some patience are better than most fast food "fixes". Okay, you can beat on me now.......: )
June 16, 2013 at 2:42pm     
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Kathleen
Would like to see more garden tours. More details and info on what was important to the home owner in the over all design. My definition of garden tour does not necessarily mean grand patios and pools but the basics of planning and growing a beautiful garden and how it relates to the home and area.
June 16, 2013 at 3:12pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
While this comment doesn't relate directly to the live chat idea, I do wonder how houzz will determine which commenters will go live.

Do most houzzers realize that the list of commenters is not made up based on the quality of the comments, but totally on the quantity of the comments. Some of our finest commenters are toward the bottom of the list because due to the increase in building in the US, they no longer have the time to devote to houzz design dilemmas that they used to have.

This is not to say that some of the top listed commenters are not giving excellent advice. Some indeed give marvelous advice, but some seem less informed.

.
June 16, 2013 at 6:25pm     
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Linda Harper
What about home maintenance. The easy part is th building/Reno. Keeping it beautiful, updated, nd working well is harder.
June 16, 2013 at 7:29pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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olldroo
Houzz is so Global now, one would have to consider whether live chats would be limited to the US market or whether they would be intended to benefit all Houzzers. What is the intended outcome for such a venture? For this reason, specific products would have to be explained or extended to cover all options available in other countries too, many readily available products in the US are not so available in other countries and are therefore far more expensive. This of course could be extremely educational for everyone which wouldn't be a bad thing, I see far too many kitchen dilemmas here that seem to revolve around the use of granite or marble like there is nothing else, at times it seems no kitchen is right unless it is in granite or marble. Maybe the US market has a lot it can learn from other markets, especially when it comes to being a bit more laid back about decorating.

Quite frankly, I think it would be a real eye-opener for US readers to see how the rest of the World lives - already in comments above I see shock at homes valued at $400,000 being considered average. In Sydney, Australia, the median price for a 3 bedroom home is $657,000 and it only goes up from there!!!!
June 17, 2013 at 9:29pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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marjie1059
I am so amazed at the diversity of ideas and opinions! Here are a couple--no, several--of mine:
--$400 K home is so far beyond my wildest imagination I can't describe it. Our house is worth twice what we paid for it 28 years ago and it is still less than $100 K value (Ohio, USA). But it explains why it seems there's a breezy assumption that one will call professionals in for most things. No, I can't afford an interior designer, nor a landscape designer/architect tho I need one. So it's very helpful to read info that helps me become my own designer--which is one reason I like Houzz so much.
--That being said, I can't remember how I found out about Houzz but I love it. The wide range of topics, the info so freely shared by experts...I don't "get" the crabby people, but that's okay. I will never be able to utilize most ideas I see, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to see beautiful homes, beautiful materials, great ideas, and creative designing of homes and outdoor spaces. I never fail to learn something new, or a little "aha!" of why I always, for example, like or dislike something.
--What I would like to see: more money info shared, along with where the project is done, since I know prices vary widely depending on where one lives.
--I enjoy knowing what is "trendy" although I am not a trendy person, and what is becoming passe. I do wonder, though, why so many seem to want to copy what they see on a Houzz post. Unique is good.
--LOTS of photos help, as I know photos often leave one with a faulty impression.
--Before and after info is really helpful. (It's also irritating, like when a bath is double in size--well, of course their new bath looks great!)
--Posts that give us warning of things are so very helpful and will prevent many regrets, such as the recent one on why marble might not be a good idea, or things your contractor won't tell you.
THANKS for the opportunity to share!
June 17, 2013 at 10:18pm        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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JAN MOYER
The US is just as diverse as most of the first world. If it takes 657,000 to buy a home in Sydney Australia, take comfort that the median home price in Southhampton NY has risen 19 percent, to $1,378,900. Orange County California is 500,000, To rent a little two bedroom in Manhattan could require as much as 8000.00 per month!. But parts of the middle of this country may indeed yield homes for under a 100k. Median is of course, different than average.....so fully fifty percent of the homes in Southhampton would be above that 1.4 MILL median. Far, far above!! Ohio has many homes in the 400k range as well, but a 400k home in Ohio, is going to be a lot nicer, than a 400 K home in Southhampton, which would likely be the size of a tool shed. The desirability/availability and a host of other factors in any market will dictate prices.
The US is loaded with vinyl flooring, with laminate counters, and it is a myth that this country( or any other) is totally awash in fabulousness! The internet is both a wonderful, and not wonderful thing. It expands horizons and at the same time, can fool one into believing that "everyone" has that, or is doing this, or contemplating buying....whatever. They are not. Some are indeed, but vast chunks of this country and the world have far larger worries.
Houzz is for all. Whether you're making the best of a bad thing, or tweaking your very fortunate fabulousness.... there is something for everyone. It's a tiny slice of the internet, and hopefully lots of adaptable ideas result in some you can use locally, wherever local may happen to be. Any attempt to make one size fits all solutions, will simply be impossible. There is no "one size" on this Houzz, your house, or any house, ...anywhere.
June 18, 2013 at 3:32am     
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architects fulton + salomon
As a regular visitor to Florida, I am astounded at the poor basic design of US houses. Probably the fault of the "cookie-cutter" home builders. To those that I see on this site seeking interior advice, spend a day at IKEA (I'm not Swedish!) but everything you see there is good design.AND its much cheaper than most of the stuff you see in your 'designer" showrooms and recommended by your "interior decorator" consultants. For some different ideas, have a look at www.containerarchitecture.co (not com)
June 18, 2013 at 5:55am     
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mefor
I think anywhere you travel in the world, you can be astounded at poor design. It's a worldwide issue, not just here in the US. I've been many places where I've seen buildings that are meant for families that look like prisons. And hastily built builder specials are everywhere there's a popular resort. Not only Americans can have "no vision" :)
June 18, 2013 at 6:01am     
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onecb1
Hey it looks like the discussion already started!
June 18, 2013 at 6:06am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Margo
architects fulton +salomon- perhaps you too should download Dale Carnagie's tape on "How to win friends and influence people" just say'n
June 18, 2013 at 6:20am     
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Jayme H.
I chose Curb Appeal, but think many of the other topics would be fine too. Agree with others that it gets hard to comment sometimes with lack of info from posting person.
June 18, 2013 at 6:28am      Thanked by Houzz Polls
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JAN MOYER
Rather than bash what one may perceive as "design" in all its various iterations ... a trip to the past periods in history, on a site like 1st Dibs is helpful and an education. From 18th century, to mid 20th century, you can see it all. Nothing!! against Ikea, or a French or English, or American reproduction for that matter. It is helpful to know where the design originated..... : )
June 18, 2013 at 6:43am     
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olldroo
Jan Moyer, you make a very good point about the US being loaded with vinyl flooring and laminate counters (and I am sure many other basic, lower end products) and this is something that disappoints me with Houzz when, say, counter tops, for example, are being discussed. Sure, it is great for Houzz to display the high end products in ideabooks, there are always cheaper alternatives for those who can think outside the square but when readers create a dilemma asking for help it seems everyone jumps in to promote the high end products like there is no option. Sadly, it seems many, many, people can't think outside the square but while there are those who come onto this website for 'free' advice without trying to help themselves, there are many more who obviously want to learn and want the satisfaction of achieving themselves. No one seems to consider readers like Marjie who live in a home less than $100K in value - putting in a $50K kitchen would be craziness, even a $20K kitchen is overcapitalising but this is something that is always totally overlooked and unfortunately, professionals are the worst offenders.

A live-chat that assists readers understand values and the risks of overcapitalising, of helping readers decorate to achieve the best results according to the value of their home, to me sounds invaluable and certainly a challenge to any professional who wished to be involved.
June 18, 2013 at 6:51am     
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Margo
olldroo- you hit the "nail on the head". When I first came on to Houzz and a poster would post a photo of their home with a dilemma question, I would literally roll my eyes and LOL when someone would reply back with a "showcase" home photo which was so obviously way out of the posters price range,due to what the poster is relating as to what is staying in the room. I do think when going to post a design dilemma Houzz should have a basic questionaire to fill out with the budget included, then hopefully the advice will be given according to that budget not just some "dream" home photo idea.
June 18, 2013 at 7:04am     
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JAN MOYER
oldroo,
I think this site and countless others, are LOADED with ways to achieve pleasing results on a budget. It's a fact that designers will share and likely agree : Even the most challenged budget folks, don't want certain materials. We could blame the designers, but ask any realtor in the USA what it is like to take an aspiring thirty-something couple out shopping for a home. The things declared "not acceptable", on even the lowest priced homes! Then too, consider that in instances like countertops, and kitchen re-do's.... labor can often remain rather constant. It's a bit like hanging wallpaper. If you're going to pay to have it hung, make sure it's a lovely paper versus some so-so thing you'll regret. I think we all agree, there is no one size fits all answer for a surface, for paint, for what makes a thing a great investment, or possibly a poor one. Even "poor" investments have a value, if another choice may make a homeowner crazy. And the vast internet is the Sears wishbook of our time........WE WANT. It is indeed a luxury of other basic needs met, isn't it?
June 18, 2013 at 7:06am     
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JAN MOYER
And one more thing ? : )....great design, proportion, scale, color, shape, texture and the rest exist at ALL price points. How you interpret information and visual stimulation is up to you. Nobody but nobody, can teach you to "see". It's a thing you learn by looking, and absorbing, and more looking and absorbing. Designers, all of us, .do exactly the same thing unconsciously. We see an out of reach thing, get a pang of lust,.... and re-interpret for a client. Visuals get memorized and we don't know why. It may be more second nature to us, but when you see, you learn. It is up to YOU to interpret what you see, as it applies to your circumstances and your needs, be you rich or poor, or in between. What is frustrating to most DIY'ers..is there are just so many good and right answers to any situation.
June 18, 2013 at 7:18am     
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Jayme H.
I agree...with there not being enough for the middle class homeowners on a budget...I once mentioned I had Laminate flooring...You would have thought I had the plague. Not trying to make generalizations....however, I have had this experience..Some of the most fun threads are making something gorgeous out of a sow's ear...and on a budget, IMO!
June 18, 2013 at 8:51am     
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olldroo
Agree Jan, but as you say, things are second nature to many of us but the problem is that to others it can be like a foreign language. I have read many comments here where readers have thrown their hands up because they can't afford what they see in photos - they have no idea how to interpret those photos into something they can afford.
June 18, 2013 at 9:13am     
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judianna20
Jan Moyer, very nice comments added to very nice comments (minus one).

I can only speak from my location…East Coast, MA. Our property values are higher than other parts of the Country; not as high as others. We just had a house in town sell for over $18,000,000.00. Our median price range is over the $400,000.00 mentioned above. I can guarantee that some of those $400,000.00 homes do not look as lovely as marjie1059"s home. It is about lovin' the house.

I try to respect each poster's dilemma. You often can tell, right off the bat, the budget available. No sense showing a $175.00 throw pillow to compliment a hand-me-down sofa when there are other ways to bring ideas to the table.

I work as a" designer", but, my degrees are not in design. I attract clients who know that, like what I do, and the amount of money I charge for my services. I also know my limits and I would never cross that line pretending to be more than what I am.

So, long story short, based on that I need the networking. I need the true professional to do what I cannot do. I need to consult with the electrician, the tile installer, the kitchen designer. I have lots of ideas but I need the stamp of approval. Over the years I have discovered some wonderful people.

I need the networking available here on houzz from some of the good pals I have met: bobbi, roo, mpaulsom, Darzy, creeser, michi, Astraea, ez, Keitha, mforr, studio1001, handymam, AVS, Dy, kimdee, Judy M (I sound like I am at the Oscars)and all those listed contributors who popped in everyday or only once in awhile. Then, the gift of the true professionals who generously share their ideas with us is amazing.


Oh, the original question? I would love to see a live chat where you can pop in with your question of the day, be it simple or complicated, and get a quick (honest but respectful of your needs) response without beating the dead horse. (If I am looking for a good white paint color, don't tell me that I need to buy a new sofa:>)

Oh, and I have to comment on Martha O'Hara. She does such beautiful work and is so gracious about sharing everything.
June 18, 2013 at 9:15am        Thanked by Houzz Polls
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
A live chat could certainly be interesting but we wouldn't be able to show photos which are so helpful in explaining what we are trying to do. This came to mind because I was just thinking that a chat about how to properly hang pictures would be good, but then I considered the difficulty of explaining verbally vs. demonstrating with photos.
June 18, 2013 at 10:18am     
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JAN MOYER
So many posters have made the point/posed the question, which is essentially how do I get it to look like the photo or the magazine shot, or solve whatever it is that is the problem, on my budget? Sometimes ...... you can't. But you can make whatever you have, even with limitations, look better. It isn't a totally "fair" world. (Not even for designers!!) Someone will always have more resources than you, or fewer than you. Maybe you're stuck with the lumpy sofa, or the landlord won't let you paint..... but a few new toss pillows, some elbow grease on the gungy spots and presto...! The pillows don't have to be Trina Turk silk, maybe you stitch a few up yourself, or browse the Maxx and Marshalls. Lord knows I have scooped up some super pillows at bargain prices. Designers absolutely do feel your frustration, and if one of us accidentally posts a pillow or chair outside the reach of your budget....we simply mean "sort of like this, or that", and most of us don't have the time to search for the EXACT thing. So, because we love what we do,because we're fixers at heart, we proffer suggestions. But. You must interpret. Or even ask, why that one, why that sort of stripe, or why that shape or color.... and there will be answers. It's a "feel" that you're after. And a great feel can come from a million different combinations of all that goes into a room. That's the long and short explanation of why, when we're sometimes asked... "Can't you just TELL me quick, what to do and get, and I will go do it??!!" Wish it were that easy : ) Design is not a chicken casserole recipe. But that's a good thing too, there's plenty of room for improvising, and experimenting, and a million !!! ways to love a result.
June 18, 2013 at 11:51am     
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JMittman Designs
How would you coordinate a live chat across so many different time zones?
June 18, 2013 at 12:01pm   
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marjie1059
JMittman Designs, in all the seriousness of these comments, you made me laugh. :) You are so right with such a simple point. Can you imagine someone getting up at 3 a.m. for the sole purpose of taking part in a live chat? Well, maybe someone would, but it wouldn't be me.
June 18, 2013 at 10:51pm   
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mefor
I might get up at 3:00 if it were interesting enough, I get up too darn early anyway!! It's 5:18 and I've been up half an hour already. Seriously though, if the topic was important enough to me, then I would probably make an effort to participate. Have to admit that things would more than likely end up as regional live chats. And those, who are not in the middle of their night, could join in.
June 19, 2013 at 2:21am   
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inkwitch
I was thinking about this discussion (as I sanded a table), and a live chat would be hard to accomplish, given everyone's busy lives. And wouldn't it sort of be "preaching to the choir"? Live chat would end up being the same thing going on here: people chiming in when they have time to sit down at a computer and consider the issue.

More useful would be to post an issue (lord knows there are plenty) such as one of the topics discussed above. However, again, without a specific real issue ("What should I do with ...?"), once you've said it, there's no where else to go except repetition. The "rules" are the rules (rug size, color, furniture placement, etc.) as much as anyone can say there ARE rules. And all these rules are relative to a real situation, so the rules don't really exist! That really will confuse a novice!

So, as much as this sounds like a great idea, I don't think it's going to realistically work. Just saying.
June 19, 2013 at 3:45am     
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JMittman Designs
I've participated in many a tweechat on Twitter. They are fast, dynamic, and last only one hour. I am picturing 982 opinions without time for any resolution or discussion!
June 19, 2013 at 6:21am     
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mefor
True
June 19, 2013 at 6:38am   
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inkwitch
"Speed decorating" -- sort of like speed dating? Sometimes I have to think about an issue before a constructive comment rises. Not often; most issue are fairly obvious, and I'm just an amateur.
June 21, 2013 at 6:28pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
It is fairly easy for a good designer to go into a client's home and using just what she/he finds, make marvelous improvements to the home. This is done by editing and rearranging.

But creating a new interior takes time and thought, learning what the client likes and wants, exploring the possibilities, placing orders, and then awaiting the awesome final product. Speed decorating is, in this case, a myth, unless the client is willing to give the designer carte blanche and a credit card, and is willing to settle for what's in stock, and can even then, wait 2 to 5 days to get the job done.

What they do on HGTV in remodeling a house while the couple is out for dinner seems absurd to me, and just not possible.
June 21, 2013 at 6:58pm     
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olldroo
Carolyn, if HGTV is anything like our shows, they don't even wait for the paint to dry.
June 21, 2013 at 7:59pm   
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lorik914
Most of us are closet designers so I think a live discussion solving other people's design dilemmas would be cool. Of course it would have to be structured...
June 21, 2013 at 8:05pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
@olldroo, to what shows are you referring?
June 21, 2013 at 8:06pm   
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olldroo
Better Homes and Gardens is the main one I watch.
June 21, 2013 at 8:26pm   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Is it produced in Australia?
June 21, 2013 at 8:29pm   
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LB Interiors
Speed Decorating ... IS possible. I've done it many times. The client is informed and must be aware that there are no orders taken, no custom items that takes more time than the client approves. Purchases are made through on the spot phone calls and photo emails for client approval. Everything is purchased wherever and whenever it's found. This is happening along with co-ordinating construction, painters, contractors for any other needs that is discussed and approved of with the understanding that time is of the essence. Clients need to trust the designer.
June 21, 2013 at 8:34pm     
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olldroo
Yes local show. Very good in many ways, have lots of great ideas and not over the top budget-wise.

Totally renovated a bathroom in a weekend one time about the time I was getting quotes for my bathroom renovations. My builder took 3 days to do the waterproofing and then left it over a weekend as well to ensure it was totally dry before laying the tiles. When I jokingly said to him about it he blew his top and said they were giving builders a bad name for doing a job properly, when he quotes he allows 2 weeks so of course people question why it takes him so long when this young woman on the show can do it in 2 days.

Here is a link to watch episodes if you are interested - http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/
June 21, 2013 at 8:35pm     
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Thanks, olldroo. I'd love to take a look!
June 21, 2013 at 8:41pm     
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ikebanoun
Exotic paint!
June 22, 2013 at 9:29am   
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JMittman Designs
Talk about speed, I was invited to participate on an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. Nothing like watching a house torn down and new one built from scratch in 7 days. And, btw--on the final tour, I did get wet paint on my sweater!
June 22, 2013 at 7:04pm     
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JAN MOYER
Okay Houzzers!!...... see today's ideabooks from Houzz. I'm thinking of the one on improving your sex life via master bedroom decor, while wondering how long the thread will get by weeks end......
June 23, 2013 at 4:30am     
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Emily Hurley
Hey everyone, Big News! The first live discussion is scheduled for TODAY at 11am PST. The topic today will be curb appeal and we have a few pros from the site that are scheduled to come by. I'll be back with a link to the discussion a little closer to 11am, but wanted to let you know. :)
June 27, 2013 at 8:49am     
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Emily Hurley
Hey there! We're going to get started in about 10 minutes with our Curb Appeal discussion. Join us here: http://bitly.com/14xaLdn
June 27, 2013 at 10:51am   
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Emily Hurley
Hi Everyone, We've got our next Houzz Live discussion on Smart Investments in Kitchen and Bath remodeling starting at 11am Pacific, just a few minutes from now if you would like to join. http://www.houzz.com/discussions/554576/Houzz-Live-Chat--Smart-Investments-for-your See you there!
July 11, 2013 at 10:45am   
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