via anthropologie

A new friend texted me three photos of three different, beautiful chandeliers with the words: “Which one for over our kitchen table?”.

I had never been to her house so I didn’t know what we were working with, much less, the look she was after. 

I told her I had no idea because they were all lovely, but if she could send me her inspiration board, a photo of her current kitchen, and the table she was planning on using under the chandy, THEN I could help her choose the best option.  

via anthropologie

We often assume that there is one right answer. One chandelier that is the best chandelier. One sofa that if we find it will change everything.  If we need a new chair, decide to plant a garden or want new front doors, the place to start isn’t the furniture store, plant nursery or door store (do they have those?). 

The place to start is always, ALWAYS with collecting inspiration.

This is why Cozy Minimalists like us LOVE Pinterest.

Pinterest isn’t some scary place that makes us feel bad about our imperfect, lived-in and loved-on home.

No way.  

Pinterest is the best thing that every happened to hands-on home-girls like us because we no longer have to subscribe to a bunch of magazines, cut out images we like and put them in binders. 

I believe every project starts with a Pinboard  

A few years ago Chad rebuilt our backyard pool.  I had never had a pool before much less designed one–so Pinterest became my BFF and I pinned a bunch of pools I loved without considering cost, if we had room to recreate it, or anything else–I just pinned pools I loved.  

Then I studied what they had in common. This board completely guided me in making decisions for our pool. 

From the photos I pinned I learned that I was drawn to simple, rectangle pools surrounded by grass instead of a large pool deck. That’s exactly what we created.  

Thanks Pinterest for helping me learn what I like!

Now we are considering building a garage–what’ the first thing I did? 

I created a Pinboard full of garages that I like, of course! 

I just had front doors built for our house, did I start by going to the door store that we aren’t sure exists?

Nope, I started by creating a Pinboard and pinning 60 doors I liked so I could visualize what I really wanted. 

When I started each project, all I knew what that I wanted things to look better and I wanted to love it.

Once I created a pinboard, I could hone in on what exactly the look was I was after, and could even show people helping me what I was trying to accomplish. 

Whether you are choosing a rug, paint color, pillow for your sofa or a building a house–the number one best advice I have is to always, ALWAYS start with a Pinboard dedicated to that one project or change. 

Give yourself the freedom to simply pin things you love without explanation. After you gather about 50 pins, and give yourself a few days away, look back at your board and you might be surprised at how clear and obvious your next step really is. 

If you need a jumping off point on Pinterest, check out the 128 different boards I have organized by category.

Lastly, One of my favorite features on Pinterest is the “products like this” section. when you find one pin you like–if you click on it and scroll down, you can see similar images–of course they are promoting shops that sell stuff, but I use it to find more images like the one I love.  

And of course, the Save function on Instagram can also be used in the same way–it’s not quite as searchable–but hashtags help and it’s still a great place to save and categorize inspiration photos.

Happy Pinning!

xo, myq