Photo credit: with permission from Maren Baxter via Instagram @marenbaxter

Like most people obsessed with homes and interiors, I'm guilty of falling down the Pinterest rabbit hole. Seriously, I could spend hours on that site – there’s so much content on there, and even when I feel my neck aching and eyes fuzzing over, I'm still scrolling, scrolling, scrolling… looking for that perfect picture to appear on my screen and … er, do something.

But that’s just it, isn’t it? What am I actually hoping will happen when I'm scrolling through Pinterest? And how can we all use Pinterest to its full potential when we’re gathering interior design inspiration? Well - it probably starts by using it in a different way to the way we've been using it up to now.

I hate to say it, but pinning random images to already over-crowded boards is definitely the wrong way to use Pinterest for home & interiors inspiration...

So, here's the practical Pinterest advice you need to hear if you, like me, use Pinterest for inspiration for your home. The first two tips are super-obvious, so bear with me and head to tip 3 onward if you’re a seasoned Pinner...

Pinterest tip #1: search by ONE subject matter at a time

If it’s interior design inspo you’re after, you’ll probably fare better if you look for pins on one subject at a time. This sounds like a no-brainer doesn’t it? But pinning from the homepage or searching without a specific thing in mind is probably going to be quite unproductive and haphazard. I like to search by room, or by interior design trend, or get even more detailed and search for something like ‘copper’ or ‘rose blush’ to see what comes up.

Pinterest tip #2: create lots of boards

It’s a good idea to get micro-detailed with your boards. “Kitchen Inspo” probably isn’t refined enough, whereas “Modern Kitchen”, “Industrial Kitchen”, “Country Kitchen” etc. is better. This way you’ll pin images that’ are more considered and specific and make the process of sifting through inspiration much speedier later down the line.

Here are three of my favourite boards I've created so far, each with a strong focus:

Pinterest tip #3: get analytical

How many times do you pin an image without really giving any thought to why you like it? Lots, probably, if you’re anything like me. You need to really delve into what it is you like about the image, or what it is you can take away from it – can you spot any recurrent themes? Trends? Try to spot similarities between things that you’re pinning, and if you’re disciplined enough, jot a quick note in the caption about what it is you like about the image. That way, it will be more useful to you later on. I admit, I'm not very good at being this disciplined all the time, but I do find it useful when I actually pause for a moment and analyse each image a little.

Pinterest tip #4: be ruthless

This is a tricky tip to implement, but try not to pin everything. I don’t have a hard and fast rule as that would be a bit weird (i.e only pin an image if you love 80% of it), but if you’re feeling a bit ‘bleurgh’ about it, move on. By mostly pinning the images that jump out at you and make you feel like “I must save this pin for future reference”, you’ll create a better board, and in turn, have a collection of boards that are super useful when it comes to designing your home.

On this note, I find limiting my time on Pinterest helps this. 30 minutes of pinning results in boards that I feel fairly uninspired by, whereas a timed 10 minute session makes me scour for things quickly and stop before I get ‘desensitised’ to telling the difference between what I really like and what's likely to just be a passing fad for me.

Did you know you've been using Pinterest wrong this whole time? It's true! Here's how to use Pinterest properly for interior inspiration on Image credit: @marenbaxter

Photo credit: with permission from Maren Baxter via Instagram @marenbaxter

Pinterest tip #5: Add a caption

If you can’t be ruthless ( too), or just have to pin an image because the 10% you do like is too good to pass up on pinning, then make sure you write what you like about the image. This goes back to point number 3 and is a good idea if you go to gather inspiration and find you’ve got 129239487987 images saved. And if nothing else, it’s quite nice to look back and see what kind of thing caught your eye six months, a year or ten years ago.

Pinterest tip #6: refine over time

Finally (and this is something I do once in a blue moon, so I really ought to take my own advice), revisit your boards from time to time and delete pins you no longer like. It’s a good way of culling the excess or ‘trimming the fat’, leaving you with things you’re sure you actually like. I find this weeds out passing fads that I'm sucked into, leaving me with boards I like a lot and will use for inspiration when I'm decorating.

Do you have any good tips for using Pinterest for home inspiration? I'd really like to hear them as I'm sure I have more to learn. Also, on the subject of Pinterest, Jen Stanbrook’s webinars are well worth signing up for. Her advice is fantastic and - more often than not - free if you want to ‘try before you buy’ so to speak.

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Did you know you've been using Pinterest wrong this whole time? It's true! Here's how to use Pinterest properly for interior inspiration on Image credit: @marenbaxter