For many of us there is nothing more terrifying than staring at a blank piece of paper. Whether it’s writing a story, drawing a picture, or building a house, the blank page can be a frightening proposition. Even the most creative among us have their sources of inspiration: a relationship, another piece of work, or a beautiful setting. Having six kids I can attest to the pressure of coming up with creative and meaningful names for each of our children. Fortunately, smarter people than myself have come up with books and websites that have endless lists of names to choose from. They are even categorized by popularity, nationality, origin, and meaning. It makes a somewhat daunting task almost enjoyable.
Now imagine trying to design a house! When you are designing a custom home, almost EVERY aspect of that home requires a decision. A decision that has to be made by the homeowner: paint colors for walls, ceilings, trim, cabinets, and exteriors; bathroom fixtures like faucets, shower heads, drains, towel bars, towel rings, and robe hooks; electrical devices like switches, plates, fans, light fixtures, recessed light trim. The decisions can be endless and overwhelming. That’s why it’s nice to start with something more than a blank page. Fortunately, there’s a number of great resources to get you on the right track, and many of them are free. My favorite right now is houzz.com. It’s “the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community powered by social tools. Houzz is the easiest way for people to get the design inspiration, project advice, product information and professional reviews they need to help turn ideas into reality.” That’s the truth. You can create your own scrapbook of ideas to help kick start your home project. And as you will see, many of our projects can be found there as well.
So don’t get caught staring at a blank page; let the rest of the world help you design your house.
–Matt Henke, builder