April 3, 2012

So You've Pinned it. Now What? Exploring the Influence of Pinterest on Interior Design

Pin It Now!

Pinterest has gotten crazy popular this year. Everywhere you look there's pinning, pinning and more pinning. And the most popular category for pinning? The home. According to RJ Metrics over 17 percent of all pins fall under "Home", with the second most popular category being "Arts and Crafts" and the third, "Style/Fashion."


Pinterest's mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests."

Is this true? Is it really about connecting? No doubt, it's about "things." Things we see. Things we like. Things we love. Things we want. Things that inspire. Things we want to make. Things we want to eat. Things we want to say. Things we crave. Things we envy. Things that make us laugh. Things that that make us think. Things that we want to share. Things we want to promote. Things we want to buy. Things we want to sell. Things we want to save for a rainy day. 

Yes, Pinterest is certainly about things.

But what does it all mean? With "Home" being the most popular category, what effect does this have on how we view our homes, other's homes, and interior design in general? And with all this image collecting, aren't we just breeding a new kind of clutter? Is pinning the new hoarding?

Maybe, maybe not. I think the answer lies in what we do with what we pin. 

I actually really enjoy Pinterest. I have a number of boards that I've created and I pin and re-pin, collecting images that I think are cool, pretty, inspirational and such. I also pin my own work as a way to share images that I hope might be inspiring to others. And, I'm not gonna lie. I get a steady flow of blog traffic directly from Pinterest.

But then what? I worry that the interest in any single image is so short lived. And that pinners are pinning just to pin. Or that perhaps it's turning into a popularity contest. Who has the most pins? Who has the most followers? How many re-pins does an image have? Doesn't all of this just add up to a bunch of extra social media pressure? Just one more thing to curate and stay on top of? Not to mention the quality of images pinned is AMAZING, making anyone feel like a complete degenerate for not having highly styled, beautifully lit, professionally shot photos. 

And what about those of you who aren't designers? How many of you implement these projects in your own home? Do you ever feel like you have image overload? Are you gathering with the intent of re-designing areas of your home? Have you actually used Pinterest images in real-life decorating and interior design? Does all the pinning help you? Or does the whole thing fill you with despair because it's just one more reminder of how beautiful everyone else's home is, and how yours will only look good in your dreams, or, well, on your Pinterest board which you've aptly named "Dream Home."

I'd like to think that Pinterest is contributing to a greater good. That, at its core, it's about connecting. That it fills our minds and hearts and homes only with joy and happy, creative inspiration. That it's about collaboration rather than competition. But I'm just not sure. As I write this post, I feel a strange sense of duty to pin a few pretty images of doors and calla lilies and the perfectly flowing pair of white linen drapes against a backdrop of the perfect shade of barely-there turquoise. And I'm not sure if that's good or bad. So until I figure it out, I guess I'll just keep on pinning.