Those of you who read my tweets will be well aware that I have recently started to get to grips with Pinterest - hope my beginner's enthusiasm hasn't been too irksome.  I'm a long way from having mastered it and feel that I have only a superficial grasp of how best to use it but you have to start somewhere.

I'm slightly wary of it because it is one of those internet activities that could lead you to while away a lot of time and become a little bit addicted.  However, if used more wisely it can be a great source of inspiration.  If you don't have the money or inclination to buy magazines but you want to get ideas for  a look for your sitting room, say, you'll find tons of images.  Some very attainable and desirable, others perhaps less so.  All of them will help you to hone your ideas and work out what you really do like.  I like the way some people will create boards of looks they might reasonably expect to achieve and then boards of looks they just want to dream about.  A cat may look at a queen (a saying that I've always found uplifting).

I'm constantly surprised by the things I like but am hardly aware of liking.  I can be flicking through past photos I've taken or images I've torn from magazines, looking for something, and I start to become aware of a bit of a theme.  One such moment occurred yesterday when I started noticing flashes of red in some of my photos. It would never occurr to me to create a scheme for a client with red as a key colour and yet, the photos reveal, I have used it and clearly like it. 

Pinterest offers a kind of shortcut to such discoveries.  By creating pin boards on specific themes using images you see on Pinterest or on websites that allow pinning or from your own photos, looks you are really attracted to quickly emerge.

These are some of the images I discovered amongst my photos that I then pinned onto a board I imaginatively named Red

These striking red and white flowers were in the beautiful Augustus Gardens on Capri where I visited last summer.  The gardens were created, or at least funded and commissioned, by Friedrich Alfred Krupp, the German industrialist famed for all those electrical goods. Good to see he put some of those profits to good use.

For the desk in my study in this house I decided to use a red glass top from Habitat that had previously formed part of our kitchen table. It is a lovely deep shade of red that looks pleasingly modern encased in glass. The other touches of red then just emerged as small highlights - with red, I do feel a little goes a long way. You'll have seen this image in a previous post (Not a Boot Camp Kind of Girl, October 2012)

This little collection of mirrors went up as a very quick fix when we first moved in to this house almost two years ago.  The clock ended up in there because I needed one of the mirrors for something else. (I showed this in my post Mirror, Mirror in July 2012).  I do rather like the pop of, mostly red, colour that you can spy from my front doorstep if you care to look up.

These anemones on my mantlepiece mix reds and pinks and purples really beautifully.  As ever nature is the best at colour palettes. I love the artlessness of anemones and, according to my mum, they were my granddad's favourite flower.

This bedroom was a good example of working with existing red pieces.  The client had the rather nice red Chinese-style cabinet and wanted to use it on this mezzanine - it fitted that space perfectly.  We just picked it up a little, just enough I think, in the muted red tones of the cushions. (Treated myself to a couple of those cushions and they work in lots of different spots in my house at different times - they are rather un-Laura Ashley Laura Ashley).

A recent issue of Homes and Gardens had a feature on pomegranates.  I thought this image was so special I took a snap and tweeted it.

My final image is a snap I was moved to take last November, not because of the red in the post box but that is a happy feature of the photo.  I was just struck by how sweet it looked, waiting expectantly for carefully composed handwritten letters between friends and lovers - not a box for posting bills!

If you've never looked on Pinterest, it is very easy to join and costs nothing so you might want to give it a go.  You are allowed to just look and not create boards if that is what you prefer.  If you are a devotee do please share any tips you might have via the comments link below - it's easy, you just fill in your name and email address (which is not published, of course)  I'd be delighted.


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