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We all know Pinterest is a place to pin inspirational photos, DIY projects, and recipes, right? But that’s not always what I use it for. Sometimes if you’re not finding what you really need through traditional search methods (especially if you prefer a visual search rather than looking through written articles), you can use Pinterest in other creative ways!(by the way, I’m not being paid by them to promote their site; I legitimately use it for these reasons and thought you might find some of your projects more efficient if you knew you could do the same)

Find paint colors

I use Pinterest all the time for paint color suggestions. Sites like Apartment Therapy post articles about designer’s recommendations on their favorite paint swatches. A lot of these get pinned and you can see also see real-home examples from bloggers pinning their “after” pictures. For example, I searched “navy blue paint” when I was hunting for the right hue in the study-o. Based on descriptions and some of the more common names noted below the pictures that pulled up, I narrowed my search down to six before ever heading out the door. And I was all the more confident that Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy would work in the room when I knew it had been the right choice for so many others through trial and error. Skipping steps is always nice to do when you can, right? Now I always consult Pinterest before running out to the store for swatches. It helps me knock out quite a few options right from the get-go and I avoid being too overwhelmed by choices to make a decision.

The finished result.

Replace the traditional image search

If I’m having trouble finding a good example of a staircase with glossy black stair treads on Google, I head to Pinterest. I did this recently while trying to track down examples of sputnik light fixtures. I found a lot more examples of what I imagined and a few DIY projects to let me know whether or not anyone has successfully created one on their own (but more about that soon in another post). I also use it for visually searching for new fonts, clip art, and web design tips.

Discover new shops

Before Pinterest, I mostly stuck to the clothing stores I found at malls (like Francesca’s). Now I know if I don’t find what I’m looking for, there are about six online shops with a similar style and price range to expand my search. I just type in “polka dot blouse” and go.

Create birthday and holiday wish lists

For the last two years, the things I’ve found surprises under the tree thanks to the wish list I created on Pinterest. Mom used to complain that she never knew what to get me – now she’s exactly sure of the color, size, and style I like (and I try to tag the price so she can easily shop through and pick out things budget-wise). This year, I didn’t even know she would be buying me the shoes below – and I absolutely love them! I just got her started on creating her own boards, so if I could only get my sister to do the same, I’d have Christmas shopping done before December every year!

Create a book club

I have a small (but growing) list of books that I’ll read at some point when I don’t have Finance and Management courses competing for my reading attention. I’ve never been in a book club, but a Pinterest board is easy to use for creating group discussions (since you can comment below the tagged picture of the book). You could also do this for a family movie night, study group, etc.

Build a professional portfolio

If you have a blog, creating a board for your projects helps a new reader to get a general sense of what they might expect from subscribing to you (Are your posts mostly about tutorials? Crafts? Before and after photos? Are your DIY projects heavy-duty or are they more decor based? etc. You can see mine here). Web designers and other artists are using Pinterest almost as a resume – examples of their work, quotes about their work, logos from companies or brands they’ve worked with, awards they’ve won, etc.

Got another suggestion? I’m sure there’s more!

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  1. I love using Pinterest that way too . As an image search. You just get much better results than through google because the hordes of people using Pinterest have sorted all the “ugly” out. It's great :)

  2. I'm new to your site, but you know another awesome site to use for house ideas is Houzz. I absolutely love it and use the search exactly the same way as you do in Pinterest. It let's you save ideabooks also. Best thing is they have an app for smart phones now.