Pinterest and other social media as a source of inspiration for designers
Social media is booming. As a means of communicating with friends, followers and customers, Pinterest and similar networks have been part of everyday life for a long time now. When it comes to interior design in particular, however, Instagram and Pinterest are playing an increasingly important role – for customers and designers.
How social media is influencing interior design trends
Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and so on open up new opportunities not only for communication, but also for inspiration. Current trends can be spotted with just a few clicks. What’s popular right now? And which craze is already over? The answers are just a click and a few seconds away. The fast pace of today’s world is affecting all areas of life, including interior design.
Social media has ushered in a new era. Before the millennium, each decade had its own interior design trends – the 70s had funky Scandinavian sofas and sideboards, the 80s were all about plexiglass and pastel colours. The 90s were more understated in comparison, characterised by spongy wallpaper and rustic oak kitchens. Fast-forward to the second half of the 2010s, and we see a wild mix of trends, from the atmospheric shades of industrial chic to pastel minimalism. In one decade, as many trends came and went as in the previous 30 years combined. The speeding up and saturation of trends aren’t the only developments spurred on by social media – it’s also accelerating the consumption of design.
Social shopping – the new way to shop
Before the advent of social media, planning your décor was a very time-consuming task. Today, we have Pinterest, Instagram and many other social media services to make life – and choosing new decor – easier. A couch that would be just right in the living room, the dream kitchen you’ve wanted for so long, or that new bed – whatever we’re searching for, the furniture showroom is no longer our first port of call – instead, we look to our smartphones. With just a few clicks, anyone can furnish an entire home. It’s no surprise, then, that social shopping is so appealing and growing in popularity. Shopping via Instagram and Pinterest is an experience that’s perfectly tailored to the customer, with personalised offers and discounted prices.
DIY, hacks, etc. – it’s cool to do it yourself
More than ever, our homes are a reflection of our own personalities. Interiors should be as individual and unique as possible. To breathe life into off-the-shelf furniture and give it a personal look, more and more customers are getting creative themselves. Do-it-yourself hacks and tutorials on Instagram and Pinterest are a source of endless tips and tricks, showing how to do everything from adding trendy hairpin legs to upgrade that chest of drawers from a certain Swedish furniture giant or transforming a side table into a stool. You can even find instructions to help you recreate designer pieces that would normally be beyond your budget.
In just a few simple steps, customers are repurposing ready-made furniture, giving it an individual look and sharing their creations on social media. This has developed into a kind of creative cycle: find inspiration, do it yourself, share it and inspire others. Furniture designers know how to capitalise on this trend. For example, IKEA shows customers on its blog how to personalise or repurpose furniture by using just a few tricks.
From the living to the "life room":
The inspiration for designers is just as endless as the feed on Instagram or the pins on Pinterest. That’s because they’re tapping in to consumers’ new perspective on interior design by using social media to identify and analyse customers’ needs and develop new designs around them. Predicting the next big trend in interior design has arguably never been easier.
This has been especially apparent in the past year. Within just a few months, the coronavirus crisis has brought about a transformation in the demands placed on furniture. Work, school and leisure activities all relocated to our homes. As a result, the subject of the Home-Office in particular grew in importance. The discussion about how to best achieve a work–life balance took place primarily on social media. Within a very short time, the furniture industry responded to the new demands and designed smart solutions.
As well as boosting sales figures, social media is providing designers with key information about the needs of their followers. While customers spend hours scrolling through feeds, liking, sharing and commenting, they are unknowingly providing furniture designers with important insights.
Social media blends inspiration and promotion
Years ago, an interior design brand would build its customer base by word of mouth or through adverts in magazines, and trends were defined by the editors of the top publications. That changed with the emergence of Pinterest and similar apps. Social media serves not only as a source of inspiration, but above all as an advertising channel. Pinterest and Instagram give designers access to millions of potential customers with just a few clicks. Ranging from big brands and professional influencers to fans in their own homes, this diverse and highly engaged community offers enormous possibilities when it comes to interaction and participation. Consumers no longer want to be persuaded by brands; people want practical information and honest recommendations – and that’s where social media comes in.
Designers can give their brand a face and build a personal connection with their followers. Customers can take a glimpse behind the scenes, get a feel for the designers’ style and work, and discuss the brand with others. This dialogue is what makes social media so important for designers. It’s the ideal place to present new design ideas and see the response from customers right there and then. Or to rethink old designs. It’s the perfect mix of platform for your own brand and source of inspiration for new designs.
Insta interiors are here to stay
A new way of thinking is emerging in the design world. Whereas trends used to be set by the big players in the industry, the opinion of customers is now becoming increasingly important. They’re not only following the trends, they’re also setting them. Whether Pinterest or Instagram, social media networks are now making their mark in the furniture industry too – and their influence will continue to grow in the years ahead.