Going ‘Psycho’ Over Real Estate Design Sites

I feel a little bit like Norman Bates sometimes. W...

I feel a little bit like Norman Bates sometimes.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. It’s not that I dress up in my mother’s clothes. I just get the voyeuristic urge to peer into other people’s apartments.

Wait—that sounds way creepier than wearing my mother’s clothes.

That’s what my apartment needs—more stuffed birds!

It’s not like I actually look into my neighbor’s apartments. (Curse you, inventor of blinds!) But I could (and have!) sit for hours on design sites such as Pinterest, Houzz and Apartment Therapy. It’s not just me, either. These sites are insanely popular right now (And why not? We all go a little mad sometimes.) Everyone seems to like to see what other people are doing in their apartments to get ideas they can steal for their own. It’s incredible how creative and artistic some people are!

These design sites are great resources for property managers and interior designers. You can see what some of the trends are for different rooms, or get inspiration about what to do with a common room or a gym or what have you. Or, you could use these boards as marketing for your own business—to show prospective renters what your communities look like, or to get potential clients for your design business.

The problem, of course, is follow through. It’s one thing to pin or bookmark all your great design inspirations. But does anyone actually use any of these ideas in real life? It’s one thing to bookmark a pin of Belle’s library from Beauty and the Beast. It’s quite another to put together 20 bookcases from Ikea with one Allen wrench (not like your set of Harry Potter books and your copy of 50 Shades of Grey needs 20 bookcases to be displayed anyway). I’ve personally pored over hundreds of images of beautiful bedrooms and living rooms, imaging that I would emulate that beautiful paint shade, or try a DIY project of repurposing vintage drawers as display cases. Of course, my apartment walls remain “rental white,” and the only thing I’ve repurposed is turning my Snuggie into a blanket while I’m watching TV because I’m too lazy to put my arms in the sleeves. But, maybe one day…

So, just wondering: How do you use sites such as Pinterest, et al? Do you actually take on any of these design projects in your community? If so, describe your project in the comments! Do you show off your masterpieces? Or, are you like me, and just get a vicarious thrill just by looking at what other people have done? [Cue Psycho shower-scene music here.]

-Jessica Fiur, News Editor