Sunday, April 15, 2012


I remember years ago my mom would look through decorating magazines and tear out pages. She would take the photos she had torn out, place them in plastic sleeves and insert them into a photo album that she referred to as her "idea book." She had book after book filled with pages just like those shown below.

Example of one of her Idea Books.
I never really understood the point, but years later, I get it. Those photos were inspiration to her. They gave her ideas for the home she had, rooms yet to be decorated, the home she hoped for, etc... She could refer to this collection of photos when the time came to bring one of her own rooms to life. Today our lives are all about technology and sites like Pinterest and Houzz are virtually the updated version of  this concept. If you are already signed up with these sites you know they are quite addictive. It's easy to get lost in the sea of ideas that these sites provide.

Through Pinterest people share things they love. These things range from quotes, recipes, DIY (Do It Yourself projects), fashion ideas, decorating ideas, travel photos, wedding ideas, pets and much more. You can search within the category you're interested in, or you can peruse the home page and see all of these topics (and more) mixed in together. If you see things you like you can "pin" them to your own boards and then refer to them later.

Houzz, is similar to Pinterest in that you can save photos you like, but this site is totally dedicated to the home. You can search for ideas by room (kitchen, bath, bedroom, closet, dining room, etc.) or by style (traditional, contemporary, asian, tropical, modern, eclectic, etc).  Houzz also has a link for discussions where people post about design dilemmas, or ask specific questions, and homeowners and design professionals can pitch in with advice or answers.

Over the past few months I've noticed that a lot of my clients utilize these sites more than ever to gather ideas for the projects they are gearing up for.  They reference their Pinterest and Houzz accounts for everything from paint colors, cabinet door styles and ceiling beam ideas to mirrors, inside cabinetry components and hardware. Many clients come to meetings with all of their "idea books" organized and ready to share. These idea books are helpful to me as a designer, in that most of the time I begin to get a sense of the clients stylistic preferences as I go through these photos. However, as I learned from my Mom a long time ago, these ideas do not need to be copied verbatim, but rather modified so they fit your specific project. So, there comes a point in each meeting where we put the idea books away and talk about the client's project. Sure, we may reference the idea books from time to time but it is important to make a space unique and personalized for each person.

As you add pins and ideas, think about what it is about each and every photo that you love, and chances are you will begin to see a pattern. The truth is, there are an infinite number of ideas and styles available. That being said, if you are considering building a home, remodeling a room or just giving a space a face lift you have to start somewhere, and these sites are a good tool. Utilizing these modern idea books is a good way to get the wheels spinning and hone in on what speaks to you.

So go ahead, Pin away! Collect your photos and ideas, and one day you will create a space that you can add to these sites. What fun it is to sit back and watch as strangers from all over the world re-pin your space. You will have the pleasure of knowing that others are inspired by the looks you have created for you and your life.

If you are interested in seeing my personal Pinterest account, follow me HERE!

1 Appreciated Comments :

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