How I used Pinterest to create a plan for an outer-space-meets-velour den

July 13 |

Pinterest is growing like mad — it's an online app which makes it fast and easy to make, fill, and share various inspiration boards. There are two ways to add images to your boards:

  • As you come across cool shit online, you can "Pin" images to your account using a bookmarklet is your browser
  • You can use Pinterest as a search engine, a great option when you're looking for something very specific.

Pinterest is perfect for interior design — even for non-interior designers like me. My skills at decoration are severely limited by my dislike of shopping, but luckily, I've got mad skillz when it comes to collecting images from the internet. I've been e-hoarding for a decade!

Even if you aren't a seasoned digital hoarder, you too can harness the power of Pinterest to bring your interior design dreams closer to fruition. Here's how:

Step 1: Getting started

Score an invite

Pinterest is in a closed membership mode — you can request an invite — I received mine in abut twelve hours. NOW. There are plenty of people out there who already have accounts — a polite request on Facebook (or post a comment on this post!) may take you far. I'm saying it's maybe a 4/10 difficulty-wise.

Start a board


Name it. I'm making one for a Chic Movie Room — a plan for our den.

Step 2: Add booty to your board

We use this space mainly to watch TV, play PS3, and stream Netflix. I'm super lucky in that my husband and I have very similar decor tastes — monochromatic, clean lined, well-built — so those are the basics I'll be looking for.

You need at least a starter idea, or this is going to go to hell fast. The good news is: it doesn't matter a ton where you start. Choose colors, a piece of art you like (or better! own!), a sofa… base your room on your beloved sheepdog for all I care!

If you are at a loss, start with color — search Pinterest for "palette." Right away, I found these books and remembered that Scott and I love retro-industrial colors.

So, cool. You can move on to search basic terms like couch and shop until you "buy" one. I wouldn't put THIS couch in my den, but it's a good inspiration-starter: its fabric and shape are reminiscent of movie theater seats.

And as you keep searching, loving, pinning, you'll find more specific stuff to go in your dreamspace. I want this vinyl toy — just a billion times bigger.

You'll also run across spaces which inspire you. We adore mid-century modern design, but I also dig spaceships and futuristic interiors — their downplayed palette, unusual shapes, and heavy use of similar metals and plastics make interiors look like they were molded as a single piece.

Notice that this spaceship sort of jives with my palette?

Step 3: Keep it going

Install the bookmarklet

Pinterest has a load of images to search and catalogue, but its real power comes from the smooooth bookmarklet. All you need to is visit this page and drag the Pin It! image to your toolbar. Beautiful! Now you can save any image you come across.

So as I'm rating movies on Flickchart I come across this alternate poster for Moon, click "Pin It!," and now it's on my board, alongside my other inspirations.

Look for the Pin it button in the wild

For example, the red button at the bottom of every Offbeat Home post.

Refine as you go

As I collect images, I can identify commonalities in what I'm looking for. Retro objects built to look futuristic, like a sixties TV set and this appliance's faceplate. I see that, though I chose a palette, I'm also selecting loads of low-color images — so maybe I should focus on punches of color for throws and art. And — no surprise to me — I love clean lines and metals.

I've spent an hour on the board for my Retro/Future Movie Den, and now I have a much better idea of what I want to include in that space. Next time I swallow to hard nut of going shopping, I'm way more prepared. And soon I'l start working on our upstairs family room — this new tool is rejuvenating my desire to decorate!

Got a Pinterest board Homies would love? Share it in the comments and we can all Pin together. ALSO: Need an invitation? Leave a comment and we'll send an invite!

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