Pinterest, the newest craze in online social media, is more than just another there-goes-twenty-minutes timewaster. Could it even – gasp – assist in the [re]decorating process? Famed color and design guru, and avid Pinterest user, Jean Kee of the Painted Room thinks so.
by Lorin Drinkard
[L] Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Jean. How long have you been using Pinterest?
[J] I’ve been using Pinterest for about one year. Of course I’m a very visual person in a very visual business, so the appeal of virtual bulletin boards with images is great.
[L] How have you been inspired in the creative process through your use of Pinterest?
[J] I ‘follow’ many boards curated by design folks who I’ve become acquainted with through blogs and other social media. Designers and artists often showcase their work on these boards.
[L] What do you like most about the site?
[J] I love the efficiency and the ease of bookmarking something I see online. I used to drag images into a photo file but would often forget to note the source. Pinterest takes care of that for you.
[L] How can DIYers and home owners/renters use Pinterest to their advantage? What tips can you give for creating moodboards, finding inspiration, etc.?
[J] Imagine you are embarking on a major house remodel. Remember the large accordion folder with files for things like ‘countertops,’ ‘faucets,’ ‘flooring,’ etc.? And those files probably included tear sheets from magazines? Pinterest has replaced that for many and facilitates the easy sharing of ideas. It you scan design blogs and websites and … you can easily organize those ideas and have a visual reference.
[L] What are some ways that our readers who are interested in home design can effectively use Pinterest? Let’s say, for example, that a family is looking to update their living room. Where do they start? What “pins” should they search for?
[J] Pinterest has made this easy. If you don’t know who to ‘follow’ and are new to the process, you can search broad categories like ‘design’ and ‘architecture.’ You can also do a specific search, such as ‘stone fireplace.’ Once you start, it just sort of morphs. It can become addicting!
[L] How often do you use Pinterest?
[J] I use it almost every single day.
[L] Let’s talk about pinning vs. repinning. Do you think it’s important to be producing new pints, not simply reposting things that stick out to you?
[J] I repin a lot. I try to carefully curate, however, I always want nice images of things I love. I’m not particularly concerned with who is following me, though this is becoming another barometer of ‘influence’ online.
[L] For someone who’s just starting to use Pinterest, they may feel a visual overload. What’s an easy way to navigate through the sea of images and find ones that are most appropriate/related to what you’re looking for?
[J] To be honest with you, I rarely sit down at my computer with the intention of pinning and hunting down images. I see things in the course of the day with links from all kinds of social media –Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumbler and blogs, and I grab the image if it interests me. By the way, pinning is a great thing to do on an Ipad while watching TV.
[L] What’s the first thing you do when you open the site? Do you look search under “Everything”? Or under a specific heading? Or by pinners you follow?
[J] I usually look under a specific heading, such as ‘painted cabinetry.’ However, there are a few prolific pinners out there who do some of the work for me. I often repin them.
[L] Tell me a little bit about “The Painted Room.” How long have you been an architectural color consultant? What type of work do you primarily do for clients?
[J] I’ve been specifying color for interiors and exteriors for over 10 years. I studied color and design while living in Sydney, Australia and just love what I do. It is most certainly a niche business. I work with designers and architects but 90 percent of my business is residential homeowners just frozen in the vortex of color choices.
[L] Do you encourage your clients to use Pinterest? If so, in what way? How can Pinterest assist in the design process?
[J] Most clients have some sort of file of images they have clipped from magazines. This is often where we used to start. I can easily pick up on the atmosphere they are trying to create. Pinterest can replace that. Instead of physically sitting down with the client, we can communicate online. This is great for remote consults.
For example one client recently was contemplating color for their trim. I have a board titled ‘Color on Trim.’ Something might catch their eye. My board ‘Gray Walls’ has many images of a range of gray rooms –a client can easily see what rooms feel good to them and what they might want to avoid. Many of these images include the exact paint used. [It’s] a great tool for me.