Now you can toss that folder stuffed with ripped out pages from magazines and catalogs and move your home remodeling ideas online. Pinterest, a social networking site, allows you to "pin" photos that interest or inspire you and collect them in a digital scrapbook that you can share with friends. Planning a kitchen? You can collect photos of appliances, countertops, flooring, and layouts and use them to design your own project.
To get started all you have to do is add the Pinterest "Pin It" button to your bookmarks bar. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can log in automatically. Otherwise, you can request an invitation on the Pinterest website. Then as you travel from site to site, click the button each time you want to add an image or video to your collection. Consumer Reports has several pinboards including CR at Home, which offers ideas for your next kitchen or bath project. The photos that you pin are linked to our buying advice and other information, keeping it right at your fingertips.
To no surprise, manufacturers have also embraced Pinterest and many offer galleries of products and project ideas. GE has 13 pinboards including Fabulous Kitchens and Go for the Grill. If you like to dream, you can browse the Pinterest sites of such high-end appliances as Viking and Aga. Or if you're of a more practical bent, try Samsung, LG, Whirlpool or Sears. We also found pinboards on the websites of Bosch, Electrolux and Thermador, among others.
At Consumer Reports we advise homeowners not to rush into a big project. Take a few months to peruse websites, meet with pros, and visit showrooms. You can collect your thoughts on Pinterest or use such other online tools as the comparison feature on this website that allows you to look at appliances and other products we test side-by-side. Our two new guides to updating your kitchen and remodeling your bathroom are packed with information, product reviews and plenty of photos to pin.
—Mary H.J. Farrell