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coco April 14th, 2018


If you’re anything like I am, you have had a Pinterest board called some version of “Dream Home” for who knows how long. It is filled with gorgeous, aspirational images of immaculate kitchens, pristine bathrooms, hallways that go on for ages, and laundry rooms that look like they do the washing themselves. You could scroll through for days on end, eyes glazing over, while you daydream about how perfect your life would be if you had just 1 of the 18 chandeliers you’ve swiped past.

But when it comes to a real design project, you spin into crisis mode faster than that blogger claims you can DIY ombre curtains (side note: just DON’T!)

What’s my style? What look am I going for? Do I actually like overstuffed armchairs? Why did I pin so many bloody mudrooms?! Agh! So overwhelmed you could cry into your not-perfectly-coordinated cushions and just give it all up.

That’s why I have created a guide to help you take that Pinterest board of seemingly endless options and develop a clear vision for your perfect space.



First things first, a bit of housekeeping. While it doesn’t sound terribly fun (kind of like cleaning the bathroom), you’ll be thankful you did it later (kind of like cleaning the bathroom…)

So, unless you’re way ahead of the game, your Pinterest board is probably filled with pretty pictures for all sorts of spaces. It is time to get focused on what you’re actually doing. Are you refreshing your living room? Decorating a nursery? Moving into a new office? Or renovating a whole house?

Make a board for each specific space that you’re actually working on in real life.

Let’s say it is your bedroom. Go through your existing Pinterest board and re-pin all the bedroom images that you still love. Everyone’s style changes over time, so make sure you’re only adding things that still speak to you. If you’re spending minutes agonizing about deleting a picture – DON’T. Keep it and you can always delete it later!

Side note: when you re-pin the images, you’re going to get a little pop up that says “You’ve already pinned this image blah blah blah”. Ignore it and pin to your new board, you rebel!



Now that you have a board devoted to the area you’re focused on, it is time to cull. Go image by image and ask yourself what it is that you like about it.

Is it the mood or feel?
Does it feel airy and spacious? Or cozy and warm?

Is it the colours?
Loving all the neutrals? Or is it that pop of cobalt you’re lusting after?

Is it the style?
Is it feeling more Hamptons or more Byron Bay? More boho and eclectic or more contemporary and clean?

Is it a specific piece?
Is it the marble top coffee table that your eye goes to immediately?

Or do you just love it and you’re not quite sure why yet?
OK, you can keep it… for now.

You don’t have to answer each question for every image, just go with your gut. But what you do have to do is write it down. You should update the caption for every image you keep, which you can do by clicking the little pencil icon, typing away and saving. Having a note will really help you when you’re feeling confused again later. And, if you’re working with a designer, it will also help you work more effectively articulate what you’re after!



Now, finding what you like and saying why you like it all is lovely and positive, but you’re going to have to get a bit cutthroat and edit. Edit. EDIT.

Sure you’ve repinned it onto your new board, but now that it’s there, does it still make you feel all tingly? Or does it feel a bit drab? If you can’t say you seriously love it, delete it! What is not on your board is as important as what is.

Aim to have no more than 20 images, but 12 would be better. The best way to do this is to step away, maybe for an hour or maybe for a couple days. When you come back to it with fresh eyes and you’ll find letting go so much easier.



You now have a tight, focused board with clear notes about what you love in every image. Woohoo! Now it is time to get out of the trees and really see the forest. Look at your board as a whole. Scroll through a few times and ask yourself some of the same questions you asked about each image.

What is the mood or feel?

What colours am I seeing over and over again?

Can I categorise it into a specific style or two?

What is it about the pins I picked that is similar?

Look for the similarities and make note of them. You might notice lush greenery in a lot of your pins or crisp white walls or large scale timber furniture or Moroccan inspired details. Whatever it is, note it down because these words are the basis for helping you define your style.



CONGRATS! You’ve done the hard work of nailing down your aesthetic. You’ve honed in on your style and essentially created a vision board and mood words that will guide you through the rest of the design process.

You should refer back often as you make decisions. When you see a really cool chair in store and OMG! It’s on sale!, take second and look at your board. Does it fit with your overall look? Would the words you wrote down describe it? If not, step away. But if the answer is yes, hand over that plastic and cha-ching!

If you’re looking for a little extra pinspiration, check out our Pinterest.



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