If you want to look inside perfectly-designed homes, there are more and more ways to than ever before, many delivered directly to your phone or social feed. But – from blogs and newsletters to Pinterest – when does inspiration become overload?
While it used to be that the cutting edge of design was reserved for the elite, often in far-away cities like Milan or New York, new design innovations are now a click away. Social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram compete with design websites like The Design Files and email newsletters like Houzz to be the first to update would-be renovators with new ideas, trends, and products. For someone renovating or designing a home, this is the golden age of inspiration.
When consumers look online for renovation advice, they’re four times more likely to use Pinterest than other social media sites. Speaking with Vogue, editor of The Design Files, Lucy Feagins, says “the shareable nature of the internet and social media means our stories reach far and wide”.
But it’s how we use those stories for inspiration that really matters.
Australia’s renovation obsession is nothing new. But when paired with an overabundance of glossy images and spotless houses, there’s a real potential for overload, groupthink and overinflated expectations.
The not-so-good news
With so many possible options, one ironic side effect is that decisions can actually be harder to make. This phenomenon is known as ‘decision paralysis’. It’s the same indecision you feel when you open your Netflix feed, or try to plan a week’s meals. All that time spent pinning and subscribing now means a deeper, never-ending stream of perfect houses that start to seem unattainable.
“Remember, Pinterest isn’t reality. Yes, they’re real rooms – but how often are your rooms spotlessly clean, totally empty, and filled with a stylist’s artful objects?”
When one site becomes the inspiration for many homeowners, the effect can actually reduce creativity. So It’s no coincidence that clean, white-walled, organised spaces trend well on social media grids, and are becoming more prevalent in housing design.
Using Airbnb as a reference, culture writer Kyle Chayka calls this effect “air space”. When everyone is designing their space to look like the same, based on the same inspiration, the outcome is homogeny.
And, remember, Pinterest isn’t reality. Yes, they’re real rooms – but how often are your rooms spotlessly clean, totally empty, and filled with a stylist’s artful objects? The houses you see are often archite