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How to Use Pinterest and Houzz for Design Ideas

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Inspiration sites like Houzz and Pinterest are a fantastic resource for home design projects, and are a great first step when starting a new project. They offer a limitless supply of ideas and can be incredibly helpful in articulating a client’s wishes to a designer. It’s not uncommon for our design team to hear “I saw this on Pinterest…”

The downside is that these websites can be intimidating. The sheer volume of pictures and products can be overwhelming. For the same reason, sending your design/build team a heap of pinned images doesn’t guarantee that your ideas come across the way you’d like them to.

Here are 8 ways to make sure your ideas are best translated to a designer, giving you the best possible outcome and, ultimately, a space you love and enjoy.

8 Ways To “Pin” Like a Design Pro

1. Cast a wide net

Harness the enthusiasm and energy that comes with starting a new design project and save anything of particular interest to you. If you like it save it! You can (and should) go back and review your saved ideas later.

2. Write specific descriptions for each image

Take the time to note what, precisely, you like about each image. If you are completely in love with a kitchen backsplash, write why. Is it the color? Shape? Scale? Contrasting grout? The more detailed you get, the easier it will be to sort and curate your ideas later.

3. Save things you dislike, too

What you dislike is almost as important as what you love. If you come across an image that reflects the absolute worst outcome you can imagine for your bathroom remodel, save it for reference later (don’t forget to be specific about what you dislike about it in the description).

4. Pay attention to the intangibles

It’s easy to find specific materials and items you like, but how a space makes you feel is just as important. Elements such as natural light, layout and flow, size and scale, relation to adjacent rooms, and color scheme are all vital to creating a space you love. Thinking about intangibles will help you see the themes in what you like and dislike.

5. Let your ideas develop over time

Once you’ve acquired a library of raw ideas, it is important to take a step back and review. At this stage, you’ll start to notice patterns and trends in your preferences which are essential to developing your own design language. Chances are you might even have a few of the same image saved multiple times.

6. Reel in your net

Once you’ve acquired your initial idea library, make additional “boards” or files and categorize items  into specific themes. For example, your “Bathroom Remodel” could have several separate categories; shower tile, floor tile, cabinets, shower designs, lighting, dislikes, etc. The images and articulation of specific likes/dislikes will drive the project down a smoother path.

7. Summarize your process and results

When you feel like your ideas are ready to share, write out the trends you’ve noticed throughout this process. A good narrative is just as helpful as the images you’ve curated, and your descriptions of why you love what you love (and how you got to this conclusion) helps everyone understand your overall goals and aesthetic.

8. Remember to share your “boards”

Add collaborators. Set up your partner to see and add to your ideas. Share your idea boards with your architectural designer. Send them direct links or even print everything out as an “idea book”.


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