For this Home Flooring Pros post we thought we’d do something a bit different and share with you our favorite home improvement websites.
Of course the main part of our job is to give unbiased information and advice on the different types of flooring for your home, and to keep an eye on trends in home flooring so that you can make the best choices for your renovation.
But of course home flooring doesn’t exist in isolation, you will want the floor you choose to integrate perfectly with your overall interior design and to help you with that process you should visit some of the great home remodeling websites that we recommend below. We consider these home improvement and renovation websites to be the among the best for anyone looking for home remodeling and interior design inspiration, advice and information.
They are not listed in any particular order, they are all great in their own way!
You’ve got to love a home improvement website whose slogan is: “saving the world, one room at a time”! In fact, this extremely comprehensive site was launched in 2004 by Maxwell Ryan; in his role as “part interior designer, part life coach”, he saw the need to provide people with the information they need to make design choices that work the best for their lifestyle.
Today, some 11 years later, Apartment Therapy covers several areas of home life including style, DIY and renovations, homekeeping, family life and tech through numerous different types of blog posts such as home projects, home tours, “best of” list articles, design trend articles and renovation tips.
The site is massive – you could get lost in it for days – but a great starting point, especially if you’re new to home décor and renovation is the “Décor Styles” section (half way down the left hand column). Here you can explore hundreds articles that relate to eight different contemporary design styles to see what you like best and get inspiration for your own projects. There’s also a super cool classified section where Apartment Therapy members can advertise décor and furniture for sale.
For modern design and architecture aficionados, the Dwell magazine has been an essential reference point for 15 years. For those in the know, the Dwell online store is the place to get your hands on cutting edge, modernist furniture, fittings and soft furnishings, and are particularly great during their warehouse sale times!
If modern design is your thing, this is a great website for inspirational images and ideas – and it’s true is that Dwell do live by their declaration that good design should be “an integral part of real life”. The type of modernism they espouse is highly functional, very beautiful, but also “livable”.
There are tons of great articles on the site, and we particularly like the Renovations section that often features wonderfully clever designs that blend old buildings with new remodels and additions perfectly. The site covers design and architecture from across the globe, so there are lots of international design inspirations too.
New kid on the block, RenoCompare was launched earlier in 2015 with the aim of creating an online library of home improvement articles, renovation and remodeling project comparisons, ideas and pictures. The ultimate aim for this home improvement website is for both homeowners, bloggers and professional home improvement contractors to showcase their work, providing everyone the ability to review, research, and compare all types of renovation projects.
The site is broadly divided into Interiors and Exteriors projects by room or area, and then there is a further section detailing all the many individual projects that go into renovating a home, including flooring projects like staining concrete floors or installing underfloor heating.
And, for us, the site’s other big advantage is the blog where the RenoCompare team offer up diverse articles for the home improvement enthusiast; we particularly like their posts on home décor trends in which they source the most inspirational images they can find from all around the web; this post on attic bedrooms is a good example. We’re looking forward to seeing how the site evolves over the next few years!
The Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) website is, of course, the online version of the paper magazine that has been around forever – since 1922, in fact! This grand dame of the “home and lifestyle” genre is currently the 5th best selling title of all magazine genres in the United States, and the top magazine in the home/ life arena. As such, its appeal is very broad and best suited to families looking to create comfortable, inviting, warm home environments.
The BHG website is currently divided into several sections including decorating, home improvement, gardening as well as lifestyle favorites such as recipes, entertaining, pets and beauty. Every day a new, featured article from one of these different sections is posted which is then linked to others on a similar theme; and every month you can also explore articles that appear in the latest print magazine.
But the most useful way to use the site is actually to scroll down the home page to the bottom where you’ll see links to some excellent article collections about home decorating, home remodeling, garden and landscape. Here you’ll find tons of inspiriting articles and images, as well as clever tips and tricks and links to various how-to guides.
With 26 years between them, House Beautiful is an even longer established dame of the interior design magazine world than Better Homes and Gardens. From as far back as 1896 this fabulous magazine has been advising homemakers and designers on how to best keep up with the fashions and trends.
Covering interior design, renovation, popular culture and lifestyle articles, today’s House Beautiful is also available online as a home improvement website providing a good reference point for design ideas and imagery. Regular features online include house tours, real estate articles, DIY projects, design inspiration and tips. Plenty of ideas to help inspire you when deciding what kind of flooring to go for!
As you would imagine from a brand that has stayed the course of time, the general tone of the inspiration at House Beautiful is elegant and stylish. Most of the homes featured here are classically and comfortably furnished, as opposed to being cutting edge or high-design; naturally, all of them are gorgeous!
If you’re new to the world of renovation websites, Ron Hazelton is a leading authority in the DIY home improvement field, and is the host of his own home improvement series, Ron Hazelton’s House Calls, which is now in its twelfth season.
The fact is that Ron Hazelton rocks! Anyone who has ever tried to lay a pre-finished hardwood floor already knows this. The hundreds of detailed step-by-step projects that he covers on his site, complete with videos, are an invaluable source of helps for DIYers of all levels of experience.
With all kinds of interior and exterior projects covered, as well as a ton of information about laying flooring of all kinds, this is an essential site for DIY lovers – and also very good for ensuring that you understand all the processes that your contractor is talking about.
Most of our favorite home remodeling websites are focused on inspiration and practical DIY instructions, but what about the most important aspect of any remodeling project…cost? Dreaming about all the home improvements you want to make is great but without a clear idea of your budget and a realistic knowledge of how much the project will cost a dream is how it’s going to stay.
Costimates gives you in-depth, non nonsense, clear and concise price estimates for a huge range of remodeling jobs around the come. From the cost to clean your gutters to installing new sliding glass doors Costimates has got you covered. Turn your next project into a reality with this price comparison website.
What’s especially helpful is the DIY Vs Professional cost breakdown for each project. You can see how much money you will or won’t save doing the job yourself and a clear idea of when hiring professionals is defiently the wise course of action.
The self-proclaimed creators of the first interior design online library, Rolly Rouse and Tom Ashbrook have indeed created a truly comprehensive reference for interior designers everywhere and a great addition to your home remodeling websites list.
Founded in the 1990s – before anyone else thought of using the internet in this way – today Home Portfolio is a leading directory of home design products, with an online library that contains close to one million high-end products from 2,200 manufacturers and 100,000 retailers across the globe!
With such a huge library of images it would be easy to get completely lost in the site, but thanks to excellent design (of course) the site has been very well organized. On the homepage there is a main navigation to three main sections – Photos, Design Ideas and Products; and there is a further sub-navigation bar categorized into 15 subsections for each room or area of the home. Within each main section there are further categories for room type, product type, color or style, so you can easily drill down to the inspirational images that you really want to see.
One of the best sections from our point of view is the Products section; here you can click on Flooring, for example, and get listings of over 800 different types of flooring (and there’s a whole other section for over 4000 rugs)! There are also a wealth of useful articles, hints and tips etc, including a pretty good How-to and DIY project section which you can get to via Design Ideas.
If you’re renovating your home and haven’t yet come across Houzz, then I can’t imagine what exactly you’ve been doing online? Houzz, in their own words is “a platform for home remodeling and design, bringing homeowners
and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community”. What that translates to in real speak, is it’s a great home improvement website crammed with great images of great homes!
The site is divided into three main sections: Photos uploaded by homeowners and professionals (such as architects, interior designers, landscapers, construction contractors); Find Pros where professionals can showcase their business and where you can search for contractors that meet your criteria; and the Shop which is a marketplace set-up on Houzz where you can buy high-end home products from independent manufacturers and brand designers. The site also has an editorial section with numerous articles posted on various interior and design themes.
From humble beginnings the site now boasts an online community of more than 35 million homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals—across the country and around the world! If you’re looking for design inspiration, this is where you’ll find it!
Coco, the owner/ writer/ designer behind COCOCOZY has pulled off what all interior design bloggers must surely dream of – creating a fantastic blog that then allows you to launch your very own super chic interior textiles and accessories line! Home improvement websites don’t come classier than this, congratulations Coco!
But, as well as linking through to the online store and getting some gorgeous home accessories, the main reason to visit COCOCOZY is to be inspired by the numerous house tours and interior design ideas that are featured on her site, including of course Coco’s own remodeling projects (currently she is remodeling her Malibu home).
And for quick access to acres of very tasteful interior design ideas, have a good browse of the COCOCOZY Pinterest boards – there are over 50 of them filled with the most wonderful things Coco has come by over the years.
So if you know anything about the home improvement TV show arena, then you’ll be very familiar with the very likable Mr Bob Vila who has starred in numerous home renovation shows including This Old House, Restore America with Bob Vila, and of course the sitcom, Home Improvement. Before TV, he ran his own home remodeling and design business and the Bob Vila website is a vast repository of DIY, remodeling and design knowledge.
The strap line of the site is “help you need for the home you want” and for sure some of the best features of the Bob Vila website – particularly for keen DIY enthusiasts – are the How To Center and the Find Answers section. In both sections you can drill down to the room, project type or homeowners problem you are interested in and then get detailed information to tackle them. There is also a Video section with links to clips or full episodes from various Bob Vila shows.
Like many home improvement websites the Bob Vila site’s main focus is on how to build stuff, but there is also a pretty good home décor inspiration section called Get Ideas where you can choose different areas of the home to see articles offering design ideas and solutions.
Sherry and John are another one of those lucky few that have transitioned their hobby blog – chronicling 3 home renovations and thousands of DIY projects – into a successful business selling their interior design books and home décor items. As remodeling websites go is great for those who like a personal approach.
It’s no wonder that they’ve been so successful – they did great work creating family friendly remodels, and their home décor products reflect their fun-loving, colorful attitude to life that is so lovable. And along with their own home tours, they also have a great series of articles filed under the tag “House Crashing” where they visit other people’s impressive and inspirations homes.
Aside from drawing inspiration from their beautiful homes, browsing the huge archives of articles on their site you’ll find all kinds of gems, like the article where Sherry photoshops an image of her office space, trying different variations of curtain, rug and paint colors – it’s a simple solution for when you’re trying to visualize which things work together.
But really what’s best about Young House Love is that all the homes featured are from real people’s lives – not celebrities or the uber-rich; just regular people, with messy families, and tons of good taste.
If you’re renovating your house with a view to flipping it, then this is a must-go-to website! Written by Liz and charting no less than the 10 house flips (and two rentals) that she has already done, the blog gives a true insight into the whole business of flipping houses.
The tag line for the site is “adventures of a serial home improver”, but what is also clear is that Liz has a very good vision of how space can be improved and also very good taste in choosing fittings that are broadly appealing and very marketable. The whole blog is very well put together with before and after pictures, detailed accounts of the works in progress, lessons learned, and the nitty-gritty of each sale.
As of this summer (2015) Liz is now currently involved in a whole new thing: building from scratch and that project is also being recorded on the blog as we speak! It all makes for a lot of very good reading!
Started in 2004, Design*Sponge is a magazine-style design blog created by Grace Bonney; the website has become a major reference point for anyone looking for interior design inspiration and in 2008 it was actually hailed as the “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” by the New York Times!
Indeed, the featured interiors do tend to be those of this generation’s upwardly mobile, young couples and families. The looks are generally very cool, often quite eclectic and nicely “real” – in the sense that you can actually imagine people living there, rather than some of those magazines that show homes that are impossibly minimalist or way too carefully put together.
As well as other non-interior design sections (such as Food & Drink, Travel) and a Life & Business section that is notable for featuring a host of impressive women entrepreneurs) the site also has a dedicated Before & After image section, a fun DIY section that is more about craft ideas than big remodels and a further How to 101 section covering a number of DIY and craft projects.
One of our favorite remodeling websites, the editors at Remodelista have come up with a brilliant tagline – their site is a “sourcebook for considered living”. That sounds fantastic, but what does that mean in terms of design?
Well, delve a little deeper into the site and they say this: “We favor classic and livable over trendy and transient; streamlined interiors over cluttered environments. Our style is minimalist but not monastic.” Considered living is all about “thoughtfully designed products over mass-market, disposable goods.”
So, if you’re like-minded, this is the website for you – and what you’ll find is tons and tons of really, really cool design inspiration! Think urban loft apartments, hipster meets Scandinavian design, modernism meets shabby chic, eclectic global influences and lots of effortlessly chic muted tones. It’s the kind of design style you’ll either love or hate.
If you love it, one of the best features on the site is the Steal This Look pages (which you reach via hovering over Inspiration in the top navigation). Here the featured room is then broken into its constituent parts and information given as to where you can source the same or similar products, furnishings and so on that make up the look. Brilliant!
Synonymous with excellent, refined (and often expensive) taste, the Elle Décor magazine is an interior design staple that has been on bookshelves since 1989! The online version is a fantastic reference point for interior design inspiration, particularly if you like to take your inspiration from celebrity homes (or the homes they’ve had designed for them!)
Aside from utterly covetable home tours, the online website also features smaller mini-articles giving top tips and ideas on home furnishings, interior design news, and lifestyle items such as inspirational table décor for holiday celebrations.
For us, the best section is Renovate as it features a good selection of Before and After remodeling projects, highlights innovative design products and offers up design tips that are readily transferable for less ambitious budgets. On the whole, the over-arching décor aesthetic is fairly classic and traditional.
If you’re looking for a whole bunch of fantastic house tours, then Hooked on Houses is the website for you! From celebrity pads, houses on TV and cinema screens and real life, actual people’s homes, this site is all about house tours! It’s brilliant! The Houses On Screen section is particularly inspired! Imagine remodeling your home based on your favorite movie!
The site is managed by Julia, who is keen to point out that she is not a designer and has zero design know-how, but does have a total love of exploring homes of all kinds. She also has very good taste because all the houses featured are really great!
The site also has an extensive Before & After section – which provides a lot of practical imagery on exactly how rooms and homes can be totally transformed; and there is a dedicated section for adorable cottages and tiny houses which are clearly a favorite of Julia’s!
It doesn’t get any more niche than Retro Renovation where you can get help, advice and ideas on remodeling and decorating homes in mid-century and vintage style. If you love the design aesthetic of the post World War II era, then you’re going to love this site!
Whilst the focus is mostly on the 1940s and 1950s, the site does also have some articles that go back to the 1920s and 1930s as well as forward into the 1960s and 1970s.
Filled with useful information for authentic renovations, like what color stain to use for mid-century oak flooring, and offering oodles of inspiration in the form of “time capsule house” tours, the site is a retro junky heaven.
We already have a list of further home improvement websites that we will be bringing to you over the coming months so bookmark this post for further news.
About the Author:
Jamie Sandford is the Owner and Chief Editor of Home Flooring Pros (find out more). After 10 years’ experience in screen and stage set construction followed by a further 15 years working in the home renovation/remodeling business he now writes and curates online home improvement advice.
“Buying and installing home flooring should be a fairly straightforward process, but often it isn’t. After more than 15 years’ experience in home flooring and remodeling, I started Home Flooring Pros in 2013 to help homeowners navigate the often-overcomplicated process of choosing, buying and installing a home floor. The aim is to save you time and money by helping you to make better floor buying decisions.”