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Houzz University @Surface Tiles 20 October 2015

I have only just figured out how to use my phone. Being technologically-challenged, I naturally have no clue about social media. Houzz University was a good place to start. More recently, I learnt how to blog, and hence this post.


I first joined Houzz in January 2013 when it was all American. This tied in with the design I was doing which was an industrial, Americana log cabin themed entertainment room. There was plenty to go on. I was using it as a user rather than a pro for working out concepts and art direction.

For two years until yesterday, I have not touched Houzz let alone update photos. This is because I have been running my business for twenty years without social media, and suddenly there is social media. Many of my photos are either lost or still on my hard drive or both. I had to come to grips with modern life.  I found out about the workshop through attending the Tom Dixon event @Multiplex Old Selfridges Hall.

Surface Tiles

… is behind an unassuming grey painted hoarding. Once in, it’s like a tardis. There are spiral swirls of white mosaic-tiled ‘vertebra-like’ tunnel of rings to the entrance. The surprise was that the space inside Surface Tiles is actually enormous. It keeps unravelling more and more rooms. There was a wonderful spread of breakfast and the goody bags (which included Muji pens, a pencil, a notebook and a bag of basil seeds) are eco, practical and thoughtful. No more paperweights, yay!

What's in the goody bag
What's in the goody bag


I think of all social media as take take take. They take your footage, files, content, data. Houzz is the first social media platform which has given back. To have a young person (Sophie Spence, thank you) beside me to quickly teach stuff which would have taken me a long time finding for myself, is a bonus. To have more than ten people in a room working on the same goals has also shown me that Houzz is a community.

What I learnt

I know how to upload my profile pic (though I may have to change that, as my hair is in such a terrible state, needing a cut etc, but now at least I know how to change a profile pic!). I know how to write a business description and I know what 30 keywords are important in describing a photo. I have learnt how to ask for reviews. I did send out five requests, and two clients have done reviews but I cannot view them online yet, because I believe it will take two to three days? (is that right, Ffion, or was I not listening carefully?)

Houzz summary
Houzz summary - for when I'm forgetful

Where I am going

Since Houzz is a social media platform for designers, it is a stage to showcase yourself and your stuff. No one can take away the unique nature of each professional. Creativity and personality still belong to the artist.

Not only have I gained new skills after three hours, I am excited to have gained contacts. That’s the old word for them. Today they are called ‘followers’.