If you’ve ever torn a page from a magazine to save a picture of a product or room scene that appealed to you, you’re already on your way to decorating success. Whether you knew it or not, you were creating an inspiration file, a work habit of successful design professionals everywhere.

iStock_000003381480LargeAn inspiration file can be an invaluable tool, not only for documenting the colors and styles that grab your attention, but also for sharing that information with others, from family and friends, to store associates. Your file can be as simple as a plain folder, or as organized as a ring binder with separate sections for paint colors, upholstery styles, fabric swatches, and wood finishes. This is also a great place to keep information about the dimensions of a space you plan to decorate or redo, as well as a diagram and/or photos of the room.

If you like to spend time surfing the Internet, you may also already be using the modern version of an inspiration file known as Pinterest, a website that allows you to “pin” things online, just as you would pin them on a bulletin or corkboard. While other social networks like Facebook and Twitter focus on personal sharing and status updates, Pinterest is all about collecting and sharingthe different things you find on the Web. It’s a fast and easy way to gather products and design ideas that catch your eye in one place.

Like a folder or ring binder, Pinterest boards are easily sharable with others so don’t be shy about bringing your iPad along on visits to the store. A picture is worth 1,000 words and our associates are eager to help you achieve a look you’ll love to come home to day after day. Sharing your inspiration folder or Pinterest page will get you there that much faster!