Clever Ways to Use Pinterest

We love pinning recipes on Pinterest

If you’ve ever taken a gander at our Pinterest boards, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that the entire Ballard Designs team is smitten with Pinterest! We love using it to gather and share helpful tidbits, inspiring imagery, and even recipe ideas, but we’ve also found it to be a helpful tool for some of our own team members, as well as people and brands who we love to work with! We spoke with a few of our favorite folks to see what they’re pinning and why they love this visual discovery tool!

Using Pinterest to aid in home renovation projects

Pinning for Projects

Pinterest isn’t just for browsing gorgeous spaces and delicious recipes, as we discovered when we sat down with our Senior Vice President Karen Mooney to talk about her kitchen renovation. Karen cleverly used her pinboards to organize the renovation of her home by room, which she explained to us,

We were renovating our whole house, and I’d been collecting tears from magazines for years, before Pinterest existed. When we starting moving forward with our plans, I began dividing up boards that I already had that were in very broad themes by room. So I created a different board for the master bathroom as well as my son’s bathroom, the kitchen, everything.

Initially, I was just pinning inspiration to each room board, but as I started shopping, I would pin products as well. This ended up being very handy because Pinterest would display all of the information, color, availability, and price right on the board, that way I could compare different vanities, for example, and see how they worked with my inspiration image (which was right there on my Pinboard), as well as how they compared with each other on price.

Using Pinterest to organize your shopping finds (especially when you’re doing a ton of research and making large purchases!) is a great way to use this visual tool, especially when you’re moving from gathering inspiration to execution. Not only did Karen take advantage of Pinterest’s Rich Pins functionality which pulls valuable product information like pricing and availability, but she also gave her Pinterest boards to her contractor as a blueprint (figuratively speaking, of course) for her renovation.

Once I purchased everything, I went back into my Pinterest board and deleted all of the products I hadn’t purchased, and as products began arriving for the renovation, I just sent my contractor a link to my Pinterest account and he could easily find specs, prices, item numbers, and how I actually wanted them used in each room. He loved it because he had everything he needed and I wasn’t all up in his business!

What a genius way to communicate your vision to your contractor! Home renovation can be a daunting task, with lots of juggling and coordination, so we love how a tool we’re already using can multitask in this way. Karen still has all of the Pinterest boards active, so she’s still refering people to them when they inquire about colors or sources.

Since my renovation has been completed, I still refer people to my Pinterest boards all the time. They’re always asking me about paint colors or where the faucet is from, and this way, I could just send them there and it answers all of their questions!

Ginny Branch on Pinterest

Pinning for New Ideas

Still intrigued with all the different possibilities there are with Pinterest, we sat down with Ginny Branch, stylist extraordinaire and one of our favorite pinners! Ginny is prop stylist based in Atlanta, GA who has been styling photo shoots for the past four years after several years working as a visual merchandiser in New York City. She describes herself as “a dreamer, shopper, and schlepper rolled into one!”

We love the way Ginny’s Pinterest boards are organized — alphabetically and then by theme or mood — but what we love most about her pins that bubble up on our feed are how unique and beautiful they are! We asked Ginny about finding inspiring images for her boards,

I’m a highly visual person and am always watching movies, buying art, photography, and food books (my amazon account is out of control), exploring antique markets, and reading magazines. Often I’ll use Pinterest as a search engine to try and learn more about various photographers, stylists, artists, etc. and go on pinning sprees about one subject. I recently went on an Irving Penn, Christopher Baker, and Ditte Isager binge. I also became fixated with these floating wish papers I saw on the movie Big Night so I began obsessively searching for them and found one of my favorite stores, Catbird, carries them. Now if I can find them in white I’ll be a happy lady. Or I’ll find artisans/designers on Instagram who are making beautiful objects and want to share with the Pinterest community. For example this stylist, April Flores, in New York is making gorgeous reclaimed barnwood cutting boards, and I recently discovered this gentleman Max Poglia who makes the most divine knives!

Pinning for Business

Aside from pinning some of the most spectacular images out there, Ginny uses her boards not only as a way to store inspiration but for communicating with clients (and potential clients!), as well as showcasing her past work.

I use Pinterest as an online moodboard and as a way of collecting images the same way I used to save magazine tears. This just helps me to have everything accessible easily, but I still buy and hoard magazines. Long live print! I also use it as a tool to communicate with clients about the vision of their shoot. It’s helpful to have visuals to discuss lighting, texture, and composition. I love using Pinterest to share new artists/products that I’ve taken a liking to.

While I primarily use Pinterest for inspiration, it is a way to instantly share new projects I’ve worked on! I make sure to have the image link to my site to hopefully direct potential clients to my portfolio. Pinterest has become an extension of my brand. Almost every client I have has told me they’ve looked at my Pinterest page, so I am pretty discerning with what I will and won’t pin, and it has to be either beautiful, charming, interesting, or useful. If it’s a great DIY or recipe, but I’m not smitten with the photography then I’ll just bookmark it for personal use so it doesn’t clutter my feed.

Even if you aren’t a business owner or artist, Pinterest can be a great tool, both for upcoming projects or just for entertainment. If you aren’t on Pinterest yet, we’re confident you’ll fall head over heels with this tool, just as we have!

Browse our Pinterest boards for everything from tips to paint colors suggestions to recipes.

How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.