How To: Pinterest and Design Inspiration

Inspiration for Design

Follow our four easy steps to find realistic design inspiration on Pinterest.

If you have never used Pinterest before, there are certain terms you should be aware of before you read this article. First, Pinterest is basically a creative share space, similar to a world-wide-web corkboard, where users can "pin" images and videos on their "wall" and organize their images on what Pinterest calls "boards." Once a user posts something that they like, other users can like their post, comment on it, or repost (re-pin) it themselves. 

If you are looking to redecorate your home or build a new one, Pinterest can be an especially useful search engine--if you know how to look for inspiration!

Step One: Follow the Professionals

Some of our favorite "pinners" are representatives from magazines like Elle Decor, Interior Design Magazine, House Beautiful, and Architectural Digest. House Beautiful Magazine has over 1,500 pins! Browsing their boards is similar to reading their magazines, but with many more images compiled under specific categories. Their boards are a good starting point in researching decorating ideas as they tend to be the pinners most involved in current trends. 

Who to Follow on Pinterest

Step Two: Search Simply

Once you know the more specific details of your remodel or redecoration, using the Pinterest search bar can help you to find more helpful inspiration pins. If you wanted to remodel your bathroom, the next step after looking through the "professional" pins would be to search a simple keyword, like "bathroom." However, say you wanted something specific, such as beveled edge subway tile, in your bathroom. You could search "beveled edge subway tile," but chances are there will be one, maybe two posts that are relevant to what you are looking for. Because most people who post on Pinterest do not label their photos they pin or re-pin specifically, search results tend to be more difficult to work with when you are trying to find that one look. Something that we have found that really works is to simplify your search. Instead of searching "beveled edge subway tile," try searching "white tile" or "beveled tile." Chances are that you will find what you are looking for if you simplify your search!

Step Three: Organize Your Boards

Once you have a good number of pins, the best way to figure out the direction you want to go with your design is to create boards. The number that you create is up to you! Some people prefer to make boards named after the room they are hoping to redesign, such as "Living Room Inspiration," while others prefer to name boards after the trends they are looking at, such as "Mixing Solids and Patterns." No matter what you decide, the most important thing is that it makes sense to you and that you can find the right pins when you need them.

Pinterest Boards

Step Four: Follow The Pinning Trail

Did you know that you can click on your pins, through to webpages? Many pins contain links to websites that can be very helpful in planning and designing. There may be "How To" articles, information on where to buy the products in the pin, or more images like the one you originally pinned! Don't forget to check out the source of your pin. 

Step Five: You Should follow us on Pinterest! 

Author: Clay Aurell

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AB design studio,  inc. | architecture | interior design | urban planning | california | new york | santa barbara | los angeles | san francisco | san diego | clay aurell,  aia, leed ap, ncarb | josh blumer,  aaia