Multiple sources of information are available to help you learn more about home design.

Taking on the challenge of flipping or remodeling an investment property can be daunting when it comes to the design side of it. Whether it’s your very first investment project or your hundredth, being creative can be a challenge.

Luckily, we live during a time in which home design ideas can be found everywhere—from your computer or phone, to bookstores and the magazine stands at your local grocery store, from your television in your own home, or even just studying the designs of the buildings in your hometown.

Sitting down with your computer or phone is a great way to begin educating yourself about the world of home design. From online classes to social media, there’s endless amounts of information available to help guide you with your next big project.

Social Media

Social media plays an important role in the home design and building industry. Platforms such as Pinterest, Houzz, and even Instagram have all become a real “go to” for many who want to broaden their knowledge about home design.

Taking advantage of social media platforms offer builders, investors, and designers a quick and easy way to view thousands of great design ideas. By collecting and storing these ideas on your phone or computer, you can have them at your fingertips for quick, easy access. Being able to refer to them right on the job site can be a valuable resource and decrease the chance for mistakes.


Books, of course, are always at the top of my list when I’m looking to educate myself. What better way to see, read, and absorb information than through a book? With their colorful, glossy pages, books are a great way to experience and enjoy the process of gathering home design ideas. Even the list of designers in today’s world of “who’s who” will more than likely have a book with their name on it in the bookstore.

Being able to carry a book around with you to look at can help you reflect on potential design ideas throughout your day. Glancing at these pictures throughout the day will help you uncover any design flaws before you start putting them in motion. Since not everyone is born with a visual mind, the more you can look at and study your design idea through the day, the more confidence you will have about the design direction you plan to go. Never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned book, not only to help educate you but to also to provide you with an exceptional tool for viewing the artwork of home design and architecture.


For years, magazines have been one of the first sources everyone reaches for to find great design ideas. Because magazines are published monthly, their ideas are fresh. They are easily accessible because they are at every checkout stand at the grocery stores.

Many HGTV and Magnolia Network show hosts have their own design magazines as well.

Magazines are inexpensive, so marking up the pages with your notes or even ripping out the pages containing design ideas you like is common. Finding a physical photo of a home design you like in a magazine, ripping it out, and taking it to the job site for the contractor to work off is always a good idea. This way there are never any questions, and everyone is always on the same page about the design you are trying to achieve, literally!

A magazine exists for just about every aspect of redesigning your home investment property—from kitchens to bathroom remodels, to finishing woodwork and landscaping. From the outside of the home to the inside, you will find magazines that cover it all. Whether you’re building a home from the ground up or rebuilding an investment property, home design magazines are great resources for any project.


Given all the home remodeling shows, of course television is going to be one of the biggest influencers when it comes to driving our desire to learn more about home design.

Being able to watch the process of design from start to finish, right before your eyes, is a big advantage. Learning what goes into making a design you like can be of great use. It can help you see the time frame you may be looking at and understand better whether a particular design will fit your timeframe and budget.

One downfall for using television as a tool for learning about new home designs is sharing the ideas you see. If you have a contractor overseeing the project for your investment property, it may be hard to explain the design ideas you learned about on television. Most contractors do better working from drawings or pictures.

Still, being able to use your television as an educational tool at home is easy and convenient.

Look Around

Finally, one of the greatest places to educate and get creative home design ideas is right in your own hometown. Historically, designing interiors came about to coordinate with architecture. Observing the homes and buildings around you may reveal great design ideas.

Paying attention to the paint colors and materials being used may help you to create a whole new home design look. But, taking this approach can be risky because you have no guidelines to follow and no pictures to show your contractor. In addition, the cost and time to create a whole new design look may be hard to estimate. Still, the reward for pulling off a new look may be worth the risk.

Taking advantage of any or all these resources will help you be more confident and more creative when it comes to your home design decisions. Expanding your knowledge of home design is time well spent if it saves you from making costly mistakes, helps your renovation or flip project stand out from others in the area, and ultimately gets you a faster buyer and better return on your investment.

Michele Van Der Veen is host of Good Day segments, including Flip It, Decorate Like a Designer, and Stage to Sell. She started her career in real estate investing more than 30 years ago.

A published author, Van Der Veen has been recognized and featured in international magazines for her unique approach to interior design. Acquiring a formal education from the Interior Designers Institute of California, her experience stems from building custom homes to flipping more than 100 homes and working in commercial real estate development alongside her father at a young age. Not afraid to push the limit on her own designs and investments, Van Der Veen will often be heard reassuring her team about her decisions by saying “Don’t worry, we are the comps!”

For more on Van Der Veen’s work or to contact her, visit