The Truth About Houzz

Many of you may be familiar with Houzz. For those of you who are not, Houzz was created in 2010 by a husband and wife team, Alon and Tatarko Cohen. It is an online community about home improvement, design, landscape and architecture. You can find professionals to hire for a specific job you may need done or thousands of photos to give you inspiration for your next project. Thousands of designers are a part of this community. I have been for several years. However, in recent weeks, there have been things about Houzz that have come to light. Specifically, how they are using designers for their own profit.

A well respected interior designer and blogger, Laurel Bern, wrote a blog sharing the ugly truth about Houzz. She has done her research and you can read the complete blog here:

I was quite appalled when I read her blog. Since then, several other designers have joined the chorus. A petition is now circulating and I have signed it.

To give you the Reader’s Digest version, Houzz has a Trade Program for designers. However, if you look carefully, designers only get a 3% discount and this discount has to be reinvested in Houzz. Also, the furniture they sell can usually be found several different times on the sight and at different prices. It can be very confusing. To be honest, I had noticed that I was finding the same item several places on their website and at different prices. They are also selling furniture on the sight but not necessarily giving credit to the manufacturer of that specific furniture. They are also using designer’s images and placing price tags on items in the photos WITHOUT their permission. Needless to say, this has the design community in an uproar!


Now I would like to give you my personal experience with Houzz. As a designer, I created a profile and added projects to their site. As you can imagine, in Atlanta there are THOUSANDS of designers listed. In order to get noticed you must advertise with Houzz which means paying a hefty sum of money to get on the first, second or third pages. I made this mistake one time. I did choose to advertise with them and found that it was a waste of money. I did not receive any calls or get work from this. Then, last year I began getting emails and text messages from people saying that they found my profile on Houzz and wanted to hire me. As I asked questions and gained information I found that each time it was a scam! So, I reached out to Houzz to express my concern. I spoke with a very nice woman who apologized but basically said there was nothing that could be done. So, needless to say, my experience with Houzz has not been a good one. So, I have chosen to take down my profile and not order anything from them. I will no longer support Houzz in any way. Each designer is different and must make his/her own choices. This is mine. I have a difficult time supporting a company that is supposed to “care about” designers.

To add fuel to the fire, Alon Cohen made the statement:


I’m sorry but WHAT??!!! I don’t know a designer that is not a business person. In this business we:

  • Are the salesperson

  • The market person

  • We determine and maintain the budget

  • The social media person

  • Write contracts

  • The interior designer

  • The blogger

  • The project manager

I found this statement so hurtful and very unprofessional. As a designer, I feel that it is my duty to keep those of you who care about design as much as I do informed of issues within the community. I know that many will continue to use Houzz and that is their decision but in good conscience I cannot support a platform that I find unethical. I would welcome your comments and thoughts.

Until next time, happy decorating!


And The Color Of The Year Is…

Welcome to 2018! I can’t believe we have just started another year. I was recently reminiscing about the past year and my life in general. I have just celebrated another birthday so I am a year older (and hopefully wiser?).  It seems like just yesterday our children were little and running around the house. Now, they are adults and living their own lives which means I am older. Where did the time go and how did that happen? It seems to me that as you get older the time goes more quickly. But, also with each new year comes new trends in home décor. Pantone Color Institute has great influence on these trends because each year they choose a new “Color of the Year.”  And this year Pantone’s Color of the Year is…  ” The blue tone purple allows us to express individuality, non-conformity and push boundaries. Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, states, “The Pantone Color of the Year has come to mean so much more than ‘what’s trending’ in the world of design; it’s truly a reflection of what’s needed in our world today.”  We will be seeing this color in all types of home décor items from fabric and wallpaper to furniture and accessories. Ultra Violet will make a statement in any space. It may be one of tradition or elegance or one of unexpected boldness. Now let’s take a look at some accessories and finishes to help you imagine how this color will work in your home.


Pair a beautiful brushed nickel chandelier with a gorgeous vase.


Or, a gold coffee table with a jewel toned lamp.


A beautiful mirror paired with these dining room chairs will be a hit!


Bedding paired with an ultra violet rug adds a pop of color in a neutral room.


Pair a luxe gold drawer pulls with an interesting piece of art.

These are just a few of the ways you can incorporate Pantone’s Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, into your décor. Small pops of color can make a big impact. But, if you are bold, try using Ultra Violet on a wall by painting an accent wall this beautiful color or using a wallpaper that has this Color of the Year in it. This is a great way to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s a new year why not be daring! So, next time you are out shopping pay attention to how Ultra Violet is used in home décor and imagine ways it can be used in your home.

Until next time, happy decorating!


Seasons Greetings from BK Designs

I hope that you are all enjoying this holiday season. With the snow that we received on December 8th, it was as if Christmas came early. Atlanta became a Winter Wonderland, even if for a short period of time. It was so beautiful! My husband and I went to get our Christmas tree on Saturday and there was still plenty of snow on the ground. We have always gotten a live tree and for years have gone to a Christmas tree farm. The drive and actually choosing a tree in the snow this year was magical. It is something I will remember for years. So, I thought it would be fun to share with you pictures of our beautiful tree and some of the decorations we use in our home. Our Christmas tree is a Frasier fir and fills the house with the smell of Christmas. We actually put it in our sunroom so that whenever we eat at the table or pass through the house we see it.


It is filled with ornaments that are near and dear to our heart. Many that have been collected over the years. They include ornaments our children have made along with many they have received. Each year they have received an ornament from a dear friend and I have always given them one as well.  You will also find snow flakes that Dale’s mom crocheted for us many years ago. Helen is no longer with us but the snowflakes are a sweet reminder of a wonderful woman. Take a look at some of our special ornaments.


And an angel always watches from above.


Angels sing atop the piano while snowmen smile on a shelf.


We also have manger scenes that hold many memories and a special place in my heart. They belonged to an aunt and uncle. They are quite old but always have a place in our home at Christmas.


Other things you find throughout the house are candles, berries, stockings and reindeer.


These are just a few of the things you will find in our home during Christmas. You will also find us in silly Santa hats and the dogs in reindeer antlers, much to their chagrin. Other things we enjoy during the holidays are baking cookies and treats to share with neighbors and driving around looking at Christmas lights and singing carols.

I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season filled with peace and joy. I will see you in the New Year.

Until next time, happy decorating!