Once upon a time I found my interior inspiration in beautiful bars, hotels and restaurants across the world. I spotted fantastic fabrics in Finland, learned about luxurious rugs in London, and marvelled at mirrors in Morocco. And then two things happened: 1) I had kids, and the nights out and holidays abroad became far less frequent; and 2) Instagram.
Of course, Instagram has been around for a while now (since 2010 to be precise), but it’s only recently become a sensational source of interior inspo. Instagram advises on its blog that ‘Choosing specific tags will help you connect with other like-minded people on Instagram’ and this is something the savvy interior Insta-community has taken to heart. Add in the fact that Instagram is increasingly used by aesthetically-aware home-owners and not just the mortgage-free selfie generation, and you get an idea of the interior amazingness that awaits.
And it’s not only brilliant if you’re looking to make your home a little more lovely; Instagram is also a key resource for interior magazine editors searching for fabulous homes to feature.
Ciara Elliott (@ciaraelliott), editor of Essential Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom magazine (@ekbbmag), says: “Instagram is an excellent platform when it comes to finding gorgeous homes and new interior styling ideas our discerning readers will love. There’s so much creativity there.”
To help you sort the good feeds from the bad, and home in on the hashtags that matter, here are my top 10 Insta interior inspo tricks…
1) Colour-code your books
One of the most impactful – and least expensive – ways to bring the rainbow into your home is arranging your books according to colour. As Fiona Douglas, colour-coded bookshelf owner and founder of Glasgow-based textile brand Bluebellgray (@bluebellgray) says, ‘colour-coded books just make me really happy!’
2) If in doubt go dark
The #styleitdark hashtag has proved very popular since it was recently launched by a stylish group of interior experts @artynads @cowboykate_ and @jazzierere. Check out this tag for ideas on how to swap your white walls for dark, and create a gorgeously moody-yet-luxe vibe in your home.
4) The rule of three
Super-stylist @em_henderson wrote the New York Times bestselling interior book Styled, in which she advocates the ‘rule of three’ when it comes to styling home decor. Peruse her profile with beautiful vignettes of her own home, which demonstrates how to put her rules into practice.
5) Find your pinkspiration
If there’s one colour Instagram loves above all else, it’s pink (hooray!). So if it’s pinkspiration for your home you’re after, look no further than hashtags #ihavethisthingwithpink, #colorcolourpink and #dspink (from the US interior blogger @designsponge), or such accounts as @pietronolita, @aww.sam and my own @pinkhouseliving (obvs!)
6) Keep it cosy
The clever interior community knows how to keep warm while staying stylish. A noteworthy hygge-heavy feed is that belonging to @cowboykate_ who sells stunning British rare breed sheepskins in her online shop, and showcases how to style them on Instagram. Dreamy.
7) Wallpaper Wednesday
The #wallpaperwednesday hashtag is, as you might expect, your weekly source of wallpaper inspiration. Users of this targeted tag seem to have an uncanny ability to seek out the coolest wallcoverings known to social media.
8) Ban the beige
Along with my fellow Insta-enthusiasts @carnivalofcolour_ @nicolabroughton38 and @plasticvintage (all of whose feeds are well worth checking out in their own right), I recently launched the colour-specific hashtag #colourmyhome. Well worth a look if your home’s begging for a pop of colour – or 10…
9) Hotel style steal
Instagram is the perfect place to pick up hotel style ideas, even if you ARE stuck at home with the kids. My current favourite is eccentrically arty @artistresidence, with its stunning parquet floors, freestanding bathtubs and sumptuous sofas. They’ve just opened interior shop and separate Insta account @salisburycointeriors too.
10) Choose a curated account
For a one-stop account that does a great job of alerting you to the best of interior inspo on Instagram, visit Fiona Cameron’s @around_houses feed. Fiona is also host of the #myhomevibe hashtag, which is basically a collection of some of the prettiest interiors around. What more could you and your home ask for?
A version of this feature appeared in the December issue of i-on, Scotland's largest lifestyle magazine, of which I am currently Acting Editor.