With the huge amounts of blog posts, lush magazine spreads, cleverly decorated design stores and inspiring interiors books tempting our eyes, it’s easy to develop decorating ADD which can then lead to a decorating rut. Thing is, you have to keep your inspirations well organized in order to set any of your big plans into motion.
The more you see, the more you want, and the more you forget what you saw and loved the second you see and love something else. It’s a bit overwhelming these days to get your decorating ADD under control but like anything else that pulls you in every direction imaginable — you have to simply sit down, organize things, and FOCUS.
That’s where Pinterest can come in and I’ll briefly outline 5 ways to use this online pinboard website (also available as an iPhone app) so that it actually helps you and doesn’t become yet another tool to further confuse, distract, suck up your time and ultimately paralyze you from setting your decorating inspirations into motion.
1. Create Boards with specific titles to fit a purpose. Lots of people on Pinterest collect things into files with vague names, like “Mmmm” and “Things I Love” or even, “Rooms That Inspire Me”. While that’s fun for entertainment and eye candy and I have those pinboards with dreamy names myself, I don’t suggest naming your boards with such vague titles if you plan to use Pinterest for more than a fun past-time – for instance, to decorate your home. Instead, create boards with very descriptive titles like, “Possible Chairs For My Dining Room“, “Sheets For My Bedroom“, “Kitchen Tile Options“, etc. While it’s fine to have some boards that aren’t used for a project, I know I do, don’t forget to take full advantage of this free online tool by including some boards that you can use to motivate you to get to work.
2. As you are pinning, under “Describe Your Pin”, be as descriptive as space allows. See above image. If the picture that you are pinning shows an entire room and you only like the wallpaper, add the image to your “Wallpaper Ideas for My Bedroom” board and then in the description note the name and manufacturer of the wallpaper, a link to their site, cost (if you know it), etc. Be as detailed as you can. This can save you enormous amounts of time later when you want to actually purchase bedroom wallpaper. This way, you already have all of the data laid out before you. It also makes it easy for those following your boards to have access to the information which ultimately saves you time as it’s common for Pinterest users to ask one another where things are from that you are pinning.
3. Only follow people who have style that you love! I know this sounds almost snobby, but if you follow the entire world your Pinterest landing page each day will be loaded with such a varied mix that you’ll have a hard time finding what speaks to you personally. Follow those who find things that you enjoy seeing and don’t be shy about using the Repin feature if you see something you love.
4. Speaking of taste, frequently visit the Tastemakers pages which is sorted by category (Kids, DIY + Crafts, Products, etc.) to locate new pinners to tap into for their stylish finds. I often find some fresh faces I’d not seen before and I click on “Follow” to follow their pins. It’s smart to stay current.
5. Credit Your Sources! Always include a link back to the original source. If you notice that a pin is not sourced correctly then leave a comment so the original pinner can update it. If you find something that you’d like to pin from a blog try to find the original source vs. simply pinning from the blog but also put that you found it via “such and such blog” since they are responsible for leading you to the image in the first place. Some people think it’s okay to only credit the original source and not the blogger, but I think it’s equally important to credit them both. Crediting your sources also makes your decorating projects much easier should you need to source something from the image in the future – you know exactly where to go!
How do you use Pinterest? What do you like about it? What do you not like? What is Pinterest missing? For me, it’s missing a “hide” feature. I’d like to be able to hide some of my pinboards simply because I don’t always want to have certain projects that I’m cooking up viewed publicly. I also wish more people would credit the sources and be more descriptive, some just put “:” or “.” in their descriptions and that makes me a little nuts – especially since some of these people are photographers themselves and they would want to be credited properly so I don’t always understand why they’re so insensitive to the importance of crediting sources!
So! That’s how I use Pinterest when I’m decorating — I hope it inspired some ideas for future project planning of your own!
P.S. I’m on Pinterest - follow me here if you’d like!
(Images:Pinterest screen shots by Holly Becker for Real Simple)