To be fair about things, I had no clue what houzz.com was about. Social Media is the force today in communication, but this particular site has remained unknown to me until now, the floodgate has opened. The shear number of professionals who belong there, and the infinitesimally smaller portion that have been awarded this special honor, is very impressive on all sorts of levels. Houzz.com has been around since 2009, and is the ‘hot spot’ to go to for residential interior design, architecture and related fields. With 16 million visitors a month they rank higher in Alexa (computer geeking ranking site) than CNBC, CBS, Wired or even NFL.com. It very much is the showcase for the world of residential design in the age of social media. It is a marketplace where people can see the work of design professionals and related firms, as well as some very skilled craftsman and artisans in a wide range of materials.

Houzz.com announces its award’s annually for the most outstanding artisans and designers. Unlike other awards plastered (excuse the building term) all over the net, Houzz bases the awards on feedback from users. I am unsure exactly how many designers, architects and artisans post their work on Houzz, but the web site has this to say about their awards:

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Customer Satisfaction and Design. Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in the previous year. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 16 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers,” who saved more than 230 million professional images of home interiors and exteriors to their personal” ideabooks” via the Houzz site, iPad/iPhone app and Android app. Winners receive a “Best Of Houzz 2014” badge on their profiles, showing the Houzz community their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals on Houzz to the 16,000,000 plus users, known as “houzzer’s”.

On a more personal note:

Liza Hausman, vice president of community for Houzz says  “We’re delighted to recognize Mark Levy Studio among our “Best Of” professionals for customer satisfaction as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

I think it is wonderful that Houzz selected Mark Levy.  From a 35-year span of work created from his Los Angeles, CA studio, and encompassing modern & contemporary, as well as traditional examples of the art-form, he certainly has the following necessary to have offered so many positive reviews and feedbacks to have been lauded by houzz. While stained glass may well be most commonly associated with traditional designs in houses of worship, the art form, in more modern and contemporary permutations and applications than I can list here, is found in airports, hotels, government buildings, yachts and residences, etc. around the globe. Mark’s works are found in every one of these categories, except, so far, the elusive airport commission. Airports are at best boring. It would be stunning to see light though some stained glass rather than the antiseptic neon light that we have all come to hate.

Without doubt this window is stunning.

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Mark Levy Studio’s portfolio, with various examples of his work, can be found at marklevystudio.com, as well as houzz.com/pro/marklevystudio. He was also the subject of a book. Although it was published several years ago it is a wonderful exploration into to the world of stained glass as seen and expressed through the eyes and mind of an artist whose perspective on the world is not of the ordinary. Even the titles of many of his work show a wry sense of humor in how he sees the world, and the desire to tell a story through the medium of glass. I happen to have a good friend who has some of Mark Levy’s works in his home. He is delighted with it . So too must all of Mark’s patrons who have commissioned him themselves, or purchased award-winning works of his from highly regarded art shows.

If you are remodeling or building a new house, give stained glass, and its far-reaching design possibilities, some thought. It’s obvious the 16,000,000+ worldwide users of houzz certainly have, and have taken special notice of Mark with this high profile award. They are in the group not occupied by me; my idea of remodeling the house is my wife making me take the garbage, and fortunately, millions and millions of people at houzz.com do not share my theory.

Happy Houzzing to Mark.

Simon Barrett

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