Back in The Digital Dark Ages, there were a handful of house-related publications that informed current design, architectural, and building practices. The publications were easy to miss while walking through the library or book store, and much of the trade-specific knowledge was concentrated in tight professional circles.
Now we are inundated with seemingly endless web content about this flooring or that paint, numerous housing shows, and even a resurgence in books and magazines (both digital and print). In particular, the sharing of pics and stories on Houzz has elevated home fantasies to dizzying heights. The new widespread availability of pics, stories, and advice has led to what we generally call the Houzz Effect: raised expectations of what home-owners want accomplished and the task of sorting through all the options/variations so that decision-making does not slow to a crawl.
Two more points about the Houzz Effect. First, so-called contractor grade or builder's grade finishes usually don't cut it any longer. Home owners now demand more, and to meet these demands, some builders now consult with interior designers or other specialists. Second, the explosion of house-related content can leave the home owner lost in a bewildering number of choices. Experienced guidance is now more important than ever to keep the budget and schedule on track.