From Pinterest to Plan: How to Easily Design a Room Using Pinterest

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Hoarding hundreds, maybe even thousands, of perfectly styled Pinterest inspiration photos of the most jaw-dropping designed rooms you’ve ever seen. The ones that look like they are straight up out of a magazine, and give you all the “Pinspiration” feels. Yes, that’s my own made-up word for when I get ALL THE IDEAS from Pinterest and immediately want to go knock down some walls or rip the carpet up off my stairs. Is this you too?

My guess is probably yeah.

No judgment, I get it, because this was me for the longest time too. I collected thousands of home décor photos only to find myself trapped in analysis paralysis over what to do next. I simply could not make up my mind on what I really liked or more importantly, where to even begin decorating or designing a room. The struggle is real friends.

So how do you go from Pinterest Home Décor Inspiration overload that looks like this:

how to use pinterest to design a room

To an Actual plan to get started designing a room you’ll love?

how to use pinterest to design a room

Step 1: Ruthlessly Edit Your Pinterest Boards

Let’s be real, we all have a little bit of Pinterest hoarding tendencies in us. It’s pretty easy to get caught up in saving all the beautiful home décor photos month after month. Chances are, that a lot of these pins are from different times and different trends. It’s even more likely that your design taste has evolved over time and you don’t necessarily like the same things that you pinned from five years ago.

The very first thing you need to do in order to even think of using Pinterest as your inspiration starting point to design a room is to ruthlessly edit all of your pins.

Yep, I said it. Go on a deleting spree and don’t look back. I promise it’ll feel like you shed 10 pounds of dead weight. There’s something super satisfying about purging unwanted items you no longer love. But even more so important is that this process filters out the noise of all the things that really don’t speak to your style anymore.

And that friends is the fun part. Without even thinking about it, you are refining your own style. Something we all have a hard time doing with a conscious effort.

Now, if the thought of diving into all your Pinterest photos makes you want to run for the hills, then you might want to start off with a simpler approach.

I did a fun quick experiment on a live video showing some people how to create a design plan for a room using just old magazines and store catalogs. It turned out so great that I wrote a post about how you can do it too. Check out the easy steps here to get your own creativity flowing.

Step 2: Organize All of Your Pinterest Content

Now that you’ve cleaned up your pins, the tedious process begins with organizing them. Before you skip over this step and think “Well I already have my Pins organized onto different boards, so I’m good.” I’m going to challenge you.

You have got to get your stuff together. From one friend to another, organization is going to be key in not getting overwhelmed in Pinterest decorating. I used to think I was organized, I mean I’m a self-proclaimed organization freak. But just because you have a board that says “New House”, or “Home” doesn’t mean you’re ready to begin. You have to go one level deeper and really try to categorize all of your content. Otherwise, you’re still going to be struggling with overwhelm.

So what does that look like?

how to use pinterest to design a room

It means really analyzing what you like about each particular pin and giving it a very specific category for your home. Whether that’s flooring, lighting, pillows, or a broader room look like a living room or kitchen. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to help you tie together themes later on in the design process.

Click on my Pinterest board below to see an example of how I organize all my own home decor pins.

Once this is complete you’ll have a collection of curated pins for your home by category, rather than a giant mass of random photos.

Step 3: Find That One Thing That Sparks Inspiration for You

Now that you’ve set the stage by organizing your home décor pins you’re ready to start drawing on all the gorgeous inspiration you’ve saved. I’m a firm believer that there’s always one thing that sparks inspiration for a new project. Once you have that, the other pieces seem to effortlessly fall into place. Without it, you’re just grasping at straws to come up with a random design plan that you may or may not like. So pay attention to what speaks to you.

how to use pinterest to design a room

Let me walk you through an example. Matt (my hubby) and I, are getting ready to start a renovation on our half bathroom. He’s off work next week and wanted to get moving in time to have it complete for when we host Thanksgiving dinner. Now, I knew this was coming, but I’m such a procrastinator that designing this room kept falling to the bottom of my priority list.

I pulled up my Pinterest “bathroom” board, and because I had already taken the time to clean up and organize all my pins earlier this year, I had a curated list of photos ready to inspire me. So I began looking for that one thing. The thing that stops the scroll instantly and makes you ohh and ahh over it. And here it was:

how to use pinterest to design a room

I mean THAT MIRROR right?! Something about the glam vibe it gave off while also feeling a bit rustic with the imperfect mercury glass did it for me. So I let that rustic glam mirror serve as my inspiration for the rest of my design choices for our bathroom.

Step 4 & 5: Design from the Bottom Up & Look for Similarities

Great, you’ve finally gotten your inspiration for a starting point, now what do you do next? These next steps go hand-in-hand because you’ll have to repeat them together with each design selection you make.

First, work your way up from the bottom. It’s easier than it sounds, I promise. Starting with your floor surface, whether it’s a new flooring material or a new rug, choose your design for the largest surface area first.

Luckily I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to flooring because I’m a home décor nerd like that. So within this board, I really need to focus on looking for similarities in all of the pins that I saved related to flooring. Again, this was pretty quick for me since I already had boards organized and scrubbed of trends that I no longer liked. See why I emphasized purging and organizing first?

how to use pinterest to design a room

I immediately noticed that I repeatedly saved photos of not only creamy brick floors but also floors laid in a herringbone pattern. I had a winner! Those beautiful bricks would make the perfect statement for a rustic glam bathroom. Bonus for the herringbone pattern, because it really adds a refined luxurious look to it.

I repeated these steps with several other design elements for the bathroom, including the mirror.

how to use pinterest to design a room

Then I started to get a little cocky and confident and go off doing my own thing with the rest of the selections. And ya know what? That’s ok because this process got my initial inspiration rolling and then creativity stepped in and was like “Nah, I got this, you can sit the rest out.”

This is why I LOVE these steps for designing a room using Pinterest. It takes you from cluttered pins to curated rooms, to finally confidence to design your own look.

So what are you waiting for? You’ve got this. You now know how to use Pinterest to design any room. Happy decorating friends!

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  1. Hi Martina,
    Great tips! Organizing pins is well worth the time and effort. We pin lots of pictures we like by room and I like the idea of also grouping by parts of rooms (like floor coverings, lighting, etc.), When we want to design/style a room, we create a board specifically for that room so we have all the ideas in 1 place. it helps when we’re out looking in stores and keeps us focused on the design and style we want.
    Denise and Sean

    1. Glad you liked it Denise! That’s a great tip about the board specifically for the room. I should add that in, since it’s something I tend to do also 🙂

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