Most people seek out photographs of interiors to help them create their dream living spaces at home. This usually means flipping through magazines or searching Google to get ideas for their  remodelling or furnishing project. Paul Ten-Bokum, founder of Designbook.co.za, spent so many hours after frustrating hours doing that for his own remodelling project that he decided there must be a better way.

Launched to the public on 14 January 2013, Designbook  provides tens of thousands of professionally photographed interiors and exteriors of beautiful South African homes all in one place, painstakingly categorised and keyword tagged to make it easy for interior design and decor enthusiasts to search for inspiration for that new kitchen, bathroom or entertainment area. For those people who are too busy or lack confidence to do DIY décor, the site showcases the work of top interior designers and provides links to contact them directly. The site allows users to create “designbooks”, workspaces for collecting photos and product ideas all in one place.

It doesn’t stop there – want to know where to get that funky couch or Oriental rug, or looking for top shutter suppliers and installers? Designbook.co.za has implemented Facebook-like photo tagging technology that links the items in the photos to a product catalogue, allowing the browser to source the products and services to make their design dream a reality. “It is a really fun and intuitive way to discover new products, and early indications are that people are loving the content,” says Paul. In the first month after the launch the site has been visited over 6 000 times  by South African users, viewing  over 80 000 pages over that period.

What does the future hold for Designbook? Dave Nemeth,  leading South African  trend forecaster and furniture retail specialist is excited about these latest movements in the online space: “If we look at trends and the rate at which technology is moving, it is no wonder we would want to find products and inspiration all in one place. Designbook has addressed this, with this really exciting online application. I am really looking forward to Designbook’s growth and continued innovation.”

Paul says ultimately he would like to see Designbook as a catalyst for the South African interiors industry, supporting a culture of local design, local manufacturing and sustainable practices. “We have so much great design and manufacturing talent in South Africa, we just need to connect them to their customers better,” he says.

If you are an interior designer, decorator, architect or product supplier and have beautiful professional photographs of your projects, you can get a free profile on Designbook showcasing your work. Designbook will do the loading for you, just email [email protected] to get started.

For those companies who supply products as well as design services to the public, you may be interested in Designbook’s product tagging functionality. View the brochure

Check out designbook at Designbook.co.za