Looking to do a little DIY home renovation? Love learning about architecture? Or maybe you’re longing for a bungalow by the beach? Whether you have a particular project in mind or would just like to do a little daydreaming, these seven real estate-related Instagram accounts offer up eye candy, inspiration and more than a few practical tips.
DIY Home Renovation @younghouselove
Sherry and John Petersik are the cool couple next door that everyone wishes they could be a little more like. Self-dubbed “the Youngsters,” the Petersiks have renovated seven homes and written two New York Times best-selling design books. They treat their 347,000 followers on Instagram to gorgeous pics of their DIY home renovations. Their projects cover the house from attic to basement and go inside and out—they also have tips and tricks for landscaping and yard do-overs. Captioned with the couple’s signature self-deprecating humor, the posts often lead to supplemental materials on their blog, such as before-and-after photos of projects, step-by-step guides, and detailed how-to videos. And the Petersiks’ DIY solutions won’t break the bank: In a Nov. 25, 2020, blog post, John wrote that their philosophy is “live with less and be outside more.”
Tiny Homes @tinyhousemovement
Brian Hawkins became interested in tiny homes in 2014 when his brother-in-law began building one. A filmmaker and photographer, Hawkins began his own Instagram account devoted to tiny houses—which tend to be under 400 square feet. He now has 623,000 followers. Hawkins travels the country and—when possible—the world to search out unique tiny homes. He does extensive research on the homes he features, learning about the builders, the owners, and whether the homes can be rented—some of the homes he’s featured are part of resorts where people can vacation. After seven years of sharing tiny homes with his audience, Hawkins has become selective about what he chooses to showcase. “I’ve seen a lot of tiny homes,” he says, “so if something sticks out, that’s pretty rare.”
Architectural historian, preservationist, and middle school social studies teacher Karyn Norwood offers her Instagram followers a wealth of photos and information on American architectural styles. Norwood shows examples from the 1600s through the 2010s but focuses mostly on houses built before the 1950s. Government buildings, skyscrapers, and even an Egyptian Revival mineshaft headframe get shoutouts, too. Norwood includes captions pointing out details and characteristics of the architectural styles she features, and she also engages with her 32,600 followers through surveys, quizzes, and question-and-answer sessions. “I’m so glad people love learning about old architecture as much as I do,” she says in a Sept. 7, 2020, post.
Based in Barcelona, Spain, the architecture and planning firm bside visuals uses state-of-the-art virtual rendering techniques to create dramatic and imaginative contemporary designs that they share with their 14,500 followers on Instagram. The account features interiors and exteriors of homes, hotels, and public spaces so crisply and stunningly realized that you’ll swear they’re real. The team at bside visuals focuses on design rather than execution—so most of the images on their Instagram account are plans and ideas rather than actual edifices. However, bside visuals has clients all over the world who have used their futuristic designs to create real-world buildings. If you’re looking for some eye-catching contemporary architectural images to inspire you, bside visuals’ Insta has plenty of examples to help you dream. The company’s Facebook page says, “We create photographs for tomorrow’s reality.”
Midcentury Modern @theatomicranch
Don Draper would feel right at home at @theatomicranch, where every post transports you back to the middle of the 20th century. A companion account to Atomic Ranch magazine, this Insta highlights the clean, simple lines of midcentury modern architecture and the function and form of the period’s interior design and décor—not to mention a plethora of enviable accessories like dinnerware, Christmas ornaments, and even the occasional book or toy. The account also treats its 139,000 followers to images of home renovations, showcasing houses that homeowners have taken from drab to fab. As the editors say on their Facebook page, at the Atomic Ranch you can “get everything you need to bring back the style and appeal of the atomic age.”
Beach Homes @howieguja
While some only get to enjoy the sand and surf of the beach on vacation, photographer and real estate investor Howie Guja of Bellport, N.Y., gives his 45,200 Instagram followers a view of charming beachfront and beach-adjacent homes that he encounters in his travels, mostly along the East Coast of the U.S. Guja’s idyllic scenes offer his audience a mini-vacation and a little wish fulfillment. “I would love to live here,” gushed a commentor on an Oct. 23, 2020, photo Guja posted of a coastal home in Watch Hill, R.I., featuring blue clapboard siding and a curving archway. “What a dream!” Another visitor summed up Guja’s Oct. 26, 2020, post showing a tiny waterfront home along Carmans River (on New York’s Long Island) with one word: “Breathtaking.”
Sumptous, luxurious, fantastical…the handpainted and hand-embroidered wallpaper and wall coverings of de Gournay have been called “vertical haute couture,” and images from the company’s Instagram account have surely been included in many mood boards. Rendered in rich detail and lush color, plants, animals, and landscapes spring to life on walls in the family company’s posts, garnering thousands of likes and inspiring an audience of 390,000 followers. The de Gournay website, however, shows no prices, which tends to suggest de Gournay wall coverings might be a little too pricey for the average non-zillionaire. But the company’s Instagram account offers visitors plenty of beauty, color, and inspiration. London-based de Gournay, which has showrooms all over the world, prides itself on the unique work of its artisans. As its website says, “Each artist leaves a part of their soul in their creations.”