houzz kutcher houzz kutcher Using the website Houzz, Ashton Kutcher surprised his mother with a dream basement remodel. (Photo: Houzz)

Ashton Kutcher surprises mom with home remodel

Actor and entrepreneur used the home design website Houzz to create a heartwarming moment.

In the age before the Internet, compliments on a nice home would often include the phrase "this could be in Better Homes and Gardens." The U.S. magazine was for nearly a century the standard in home improvement and design. Today, at least for anyone under 35, the best compliment one could receive on a new home or improvement project is "this could be in Houzz!"

The home design website and app, started by two Israelis now residing in Palo Alto, California, has become the new digital face of home renovation, with inspiration and collaboration from its 35 million members on anything from a home office remodel to colors for a new kitchen.

Ashton Kutcher, an actor/entrepreneur best known for roles in "That 70's Show," recently leveraged the Houzz community for a surprise dream basement for his mother. The project was not only a great way, as Kutcher explains, to say thank you to his mom, but also to show off the website's powerful home remodeling tools.

"Being able to do this for my mom it's like a lifelong dream," Kutcher says in a video detailing the remodel. "You know, you grow up and you have a good parent, and I don't know that there's anything I could ever do that really says thank you, but trying sure feels good."

Kutcher, a serial tech entrepreneur who has stakes in Meerkat and Uber, has decided to invest in Houzz. Just this week, Kutcher and Amazon's Jeff Bezos helped fund another Israel company as well.

As the video demonstrates, Houzz gives users the ability to type in some specific keywords (ie; rustic bathroom) and then receive hundreds of accompanying photos of examples for inspiration. You can then store these photos in digital idea books, the equivalent of clipping out photos from home design magazines. The website also contains contact information for hundreds of thousands of professionals – from contractors to interior designers, so that you can quickly find local assistance for larger projects.

Houzz IdeabooksAn example of some of the author's Ideabooks from his Houzz account. (Photo: Houzz)

Where Houzz truly shines, however, is the online community. Like Kutcher, users can submit photos of their current space and solicit feedback on what to keep or ditch via polls or direct comments. Have a design dilemma or questions about the right way to install something? The site's extensive forums can offer assistance. Like something in a photograph and want to know where to buy it? Houzz makes that easy, too, with digital price tags on tens of thousands of objects like furniture and lighting.

"I love having the ability to search anything, and each search comes up with amazing professional results," Houzz user Marcie Bernard of Florida told From The Grapevine. "I like being able to click on some items to see where they can be purchased, or what paint color was used. It's a really great tool for home decorating ideas!"

As Nathan Wi of New York City said, Houzz isn't just a resource for those starting a home project; it's also a wonderful place to simply spend some time browsing. "I love Houzz ... because I love to dream!" he said.

Below, check out some other people's dreams realized – from a cat playland to a 140-square-foot home:


Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

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