Pin­ter­est dec­o­rated her house

In­spired by the so­cial- me­dia bulletin board, this woman has gut­ted and re- done a bath­room and painted her house a traf­fic- stop­ping colour, among other projects.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SPACES - By AN­NIE CALOVICH

KELSEY Cary humbly says she’s just a good copy­cat.

Long be­fore she and her hus­band bought their house in East­bor­ough, Kansas, in 2014, the stay- at- home mum had pinned a photo of the ex­te­rior of a Ge­or­gia house that she’d fallen in love with – white brick, black win­dows, set back in the trees – to a board on Pin­ter­est.

Af­ter the Carys bought the East­bor­ough house – red brick, dark- green trim, set back in the trees, like some­thing out of Hansel And Gre­tel – Cary called forth the photo that she’d put on the Pin­ter­est so­cial- me­dia bulletin board.

The photo had come from the blog of a Ge­or­gia com­pany that was chron­i­cling a house it was re­do­ing.

“I fol­lowed them on In­sta­gram and asked them, ‘ What colour did you paint that house?’ and they ac­tu­ally replied and said, ‘ Nat­u­ral Choice by Sher­win- Wil­liams,’ ” Cary says. “It was like, ah! I can ex­e­cute my vi­sion.”

Cary is one of mil­lions of peo­ple world­wide who go to so­cial- me­dia sites such as Pin­ter­est and In­sta­gram and the craft site Etsy for home decor ideas and DIY projects. Pin­ter­est is a sort of on­line bulletin board where you see im­ages – pho­tos, di­a­grams, recipes – and “pin” them to bulletin boards you cre­ate to re­fer back to later. You can fol­low cer­tain peo­ple or busi­nesses to see what they’re pin­ning, and you can re- pin what you like to your own boards.

Thanks to Pin­ter­est and In­sta­gram, the Carys’ house is now bright where it was dark, painted Nat­u­ral Choice – not too white, but more nat­u­ral, nat­u­rally – and cars slow down to ex­am­ine the new look on the 1940 house.

The ex­te­rior is only one of many home- decor ideas Cary has pinned to Pin­ter­est boards un­der such cat­e­gories as “boy bath”, “girl room” and “shut the front door”. She uses the site to or­gan­ise ideas for the house as well as other ar­eas of life such as recipes, clothes for the kids and va­ca­tions.

Whereas some peo­ple pin vi­car­i­ously, dream­ing of things they pin that never see the light of day, Cary sees Pin­ter­est as some­thing quite prac­ti­cal.

“I don’t have to go out and find my own colour,” she says of paint­ing the house, for ex­am­ple. “It’s the per­fect colour.”

With in­spi­ra­tion from Pin­ter­est she’s also re­done a bath­room, dec­o­rated a hall­way – and tore into the fire­place wall in the den. One red- brick wall was taken up with a fire­place, a long nar­row man­tle, and built- in shelves.

“I got in­spired on Pin­ter­est one day and tore out all the built- ins on the side. I texted my hus­band and said, ‘ Hey, I started a pro­ject!’” Jay Cary’s re­sponse: “You’re killin’ me!” It turned into a team pro­ject. Kelsey painted the red brick white. “My hus­band took down the man­tle and sanded it, and I stained it, and we put it back up to­gether. For US$ 50 ( RM209), it to­tally changed the look.” Ex­cept for the built- ins, that is; there’s still the hole in the wall where they were. “The con­trac­tor has been called.”

In­side the en­try­way, along the wall at the base of a stair­case, “this lit­tle nook is Pin­ter­est- y and - in­spired. I saw an im­age I liked and thought, ‘ I could do some­thing like that,’” Cary says.

She bought a wooden bench, some pil­lows on Etsy, art from a lo­cal art show, and a bas­ket on­line. “It kind of worked out per­fectly.”

But her big­gest Pin­ter­est pro­ject was gut­ting a bath­room on the first floor of the house. It started with a pin of some tile she’d fallen for be­cause of its unique pat­tern – again, be­fore they’d moved into the house.

“The floor was the main piece, and I had pinned that floor like a year and a half ago. Then I saw this bath­room that had the tile, and I said, ‘ No way. I’ve gotta have it.’ ”

She tracked down the source of the tile and saw that it wasn’t avail­able lo­cally. But she talked to a lo­cal home ren­o­va­tion store De­sign­ers Expo and found out that it was get­ting ready to be­come a dis­trib­u­tor for the man­u­fac­turer of the tile. So she ended up be­ing able to buy it lo­cally.

“When peo­ple see the tile, they say, ‘ Are th­ese floors orig­i­nal?’ Be­cause they have that ’ 40s vibe.”

Al­most all of the other el­e­ments in the bath­room are also ex­actly what Cary saw on Pin­ter­est, or it’s pretty darn close, from the brass hard­ware to the cus­tom- built cab­i­net van­ity. “Ah, I love it,” Cary says. “Ev­ery time I walk in the door.”

Kathy Haines of De­sign­ers Expo who worked with Cary says that while cus­tomers can be over­whelmed in a store, not able to see dif­fer­ent el­e­ments pulled to­gether, such on­line tools as Pin­ter­est or Houzz. com can help with that.

“In the past we were loathe to send cus­tomers to the In­ter­net,” Haines says. “But now they are able to show us things they like. It’s some­thing that makes it much eas­ier to get in­side their head. ... We re­fer peo­ple back to it all the time be­cause you do a search of ‘ Car­rera mar­ble back­splash’ and you get mil­lions of pic­tures and they can usu­ally find some­thing they like.”

Cary says she thinks she gets her love of de­sign from her mother, who, among other things, was al­ways re­ar­rang­ing the fur­ni­ture. Cary tells the child­hood story of the time her father car­ried her and her sis­ter to bed and dropped them on the floor be­cause her mum had moved the beds and not told any­one.

“She was of that gen­er­a­tion that tore ideas out of mag­a­zines and col­lected them, and this is kind of our gen­er­a­tion of that,” Cary says of Pin­ter­est. “It’s all on­line. Makes it pretty easy.”

And Cary has only just be­gun. The kitchen still has to be fin­ished, and she wants a big firepit out back.

“All this gives me a sense of ac­com­plish­ment,” she says.

1 Cary still looks on­line for decor ideas that she can use in her home.

— Pho­tos: Tns

2 ‘ I saw an im­age I liked and thought, I could do some­thing like that,’ says Cary of this hall­way and nook in her house.

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