In the past 10 years, the interior design industry has been in the spotlight thanks to HGTV, the DIY network, and my favorite classic, This Old House. Our favorite social media outlets, Facebook, Instagram, and Houzz have only magnified and intensified our interest and passion for home design, allowing us to access amazing interiors 24 hours a day. We are able to dream, collect ideas, and look for spaces that resemble ours in hopes of making our homes look just as good as those professional photos.
And then there is Pinterest (cue the pearly gates music!). Pin, pin, pin, click, click, click! Create a board, share a board, dive down the rabbit hole of another persons’ board. The options are endless! Pinterest is like the online version of Alice in Wonderland and soon you have no idea where you even started! If you are starting a home project or planning a large renovation, these sites are the perfect places to start dreaming, gathering ideas, and honing in on a specific “look.” When we begin a new project, we ask our customer to send us inspiration images to help us gain a better insight into their aesthetic, wants, and needs. The key word here is inspiration, and thus begins my gripe with these interior design hubs.
As an interior design professional, we love to delve into these sites, searching for a new design and color trends with the intent of putting our own spin on our new found information. We are in the business of envisioning your space in a new and creative way, so that it not only looks like a magazine photo, but it functions to suit your family’s lifestyle. Each space has its own unique challenges, and we love solving the puzzle in interesting and thoughtful ways.
The images provided to us by our client are used to inspire us, meaning we usually take a small element from each picture and think about how we might incorporate something that loosely resembles it into their project. But lately, something interesting has been happening. Clients are showing us a specific image from Pinterest and want to copy every element of that photo into their space. With no deviation whatsoever. This leaves us scratching our heads for several reasons. Primarily, that’s called copying, and I have way too many ideas to copy someone else’s work.
I get it; you have fallen in love with that beautiful, clean, perfectly organized mudroom and want your new mudroom to look just like it. You can’t improve upon perfection, right? Wrong! And here’s why. That mudroom is perfect for that particular person’s home wherever it may be. But that mudroom, while so super pretty and sparkly, has never been used, and has been professionally lit, photographed, and styled. The room in that photograph is also a different size and footprint than the space in which we are currently working. The matte black tile on the floor looks uber cool and chic, but what that photo doesn’t show is every spec of dirt, dust, and lint that you, your family, and your muddy dog are tracking in every day. And those bohemian open cubbies with the organized baskets, coats, and shoes? Good luck getting your kids to gently tuck their shoes, coats, and school bags away. Every. Single. Day. Since we get to know our clients personally, we know in reality, this hot mess will drive you crazy! With so many interesting products and finishes on the market, we can show you what will work better for you.
And so I ask, rather I beg of you this: if you hire an interior designer, architect, builder, landscape designer, etc, allow them to work their magic within the parameters of the given palette. Don’t stop pinning, create as many boards as you want. Knock yourself out! But don’t get stuck inside the photo. Let those photos be the vehicle in which you are inspired; the foundation in which we craft and curate a space that is as interesting and unique as you are. We are professionals who have spent years of schooling, training, and on the job experience to qualify us as experts in our given field. We’ve got this! Chances are, we will create a pin-worthy space in your own home, and your mudroom will be the next most pinned mudroom the internet has ever seen.
I leave you with this:
“Be yourself, because an original
is worth more than a copy.”