The adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is especially true when trying to describe your dream garden to a landscape professional. One way to  express your design aesthetics visually is to create an “Ideabook” through!

Step one is to sign up by creating your own account with a username and password. When creating your profile you can make it private to only share with your designer or public to share with others in the Houzz online community.
Creating an Ideabook
On your profile page you have different tabs to choose from, but the most important one is the New Ideabook tab. When you click on it, a dialogue box will pop up asking you to name your Ideabook,  which you can label with your last name (e.g. Orr Backyard). After you create your Ideabook it will be set as your primary folder when you browse pictures.

Adding pictures to an Ideabook
To view pictures you want to  hover over the ‘Browse Rooms’ tab and then use the pull down menu to select the ‘Outdoor’ option.
Next use your filters on the left hand side and narrow your selection by using on or more of the following:

Space (e.g. Pool, Deck, Patio),

Style (e.g. Contemporary, Traditional, Eclectic),

Location (Metro areas around the US.)

Once you find a garden picture you like, hover over the image and an option to ‘Save to Ideabook’ will pop up. Please makes some notes on why you like the garden such as ‘I love red flowers that are big and bold’, ‘I would like an arbor for shade just like this one’, or ‘I love this stone that they used on this outdoor kitchen’

If you know exactly what you want to search for,  you can use the search function at the top of the page. For example if you were looking for arbors but could not find just the right image, try typing in some keywords inside the search menu.

  • White arbor
  • Louvered arbor
  • Sun sail arbor

Once you find the right picture save it to your Ideabook.
If you have your own picture that you took or scanned you can upload it to your Ideabook. To do so go back to your profile page which can be accessed at the top right of the page. On your profile you will see your Ideabook with thumbnail images of the pictures you saved. Click on your Ideabook and it will open a new page that will show all the pictures you have saved, click on the “+ Add a Photo or File”.  A dialogue box will ask you to upload a picture from a either a website or a folder on your computer.
Before you send your idea book to designer, take one last look at it and please edit it to your top favorites. For example, if you saved four pictures of fire pits but one picture is clearly your favorite, simply erase the others.

Share your Ideabook
To share your Ideabook, on your Ideabook page you will have options to email your Ideabook to your landscape designer or ‘Collaborate’ which allows you to share with your landscape designer giving them access to suggest other pictures.
Houzz is a great way to visually communicate your ideas when you have trouble describing them in words. It serves as a great forum to ask questions of other designers, architects and contractors and is amazing tool for any remodeling project!