Let’s face it – these days it pays in all kinds of ways to be internet smart and web savvy. The communication benefits of email and the World Wide Web are all well known to most of us (you’re reading this aren’t you?) and the internet is almost a basic personal necessity these days. Staying in touch with friends and contacts, shopping, planning holidays and a million and one other things have all been transformed though the use of the net. The revolution many foresaw over a decade ago has become reality – the internet is an integral part of life and an understanding of it is almost a requirement!

But how can social media assist us in exploring the world of interior design and homeware? What is out there – aside from retailers – to pique our interest? And what is there to learn? Quite a lot as it happens…

The following sites are all based on the idea of sharing the wealth of information that is currently available; networking and communicating ideas that can help a change of direction. Trading tips, swapping helpful hints or simply just chatting can all help inspire a radical new approach to your own particular style. Alternatively, it might just tell you something you didn’t already know. So let us dive into the world of social media and discover the best sites for interior design and homeware lovers. Stay connected!

14 Of The Best Social Media Websites for Design and Homeware Lovers…

Nuji Another of the wealth of social shopping sites currently cropping up all over the net is Nuji. It is based on the idea of users gaining recommendations through tagging the items that they like, either online or by scanning barcodes in physical shops offline. Not strictly restricted to fashion or design items, Nuji allows users to tag anything and everything from games and electrical equipment to music and films. Apparently, plans are afoot to allow users to monetize on their preferences by being offered deals based on their preferences. In any event, it is just one of the sites currently revolutionizing our attitudes towards shopping.

 

Nuji Screenshot

 

Stylehive An attractive alternative to those looking for style tips and advice could well be Stylehive. This site, described as an online social style club for consumers wanting to stay ahead of the curve, is part social-networking group and part pop-culture lab. By building their own ‘hive’ users can compile their favourite looks and designs from big-name labels to up and coming trend setters. With newsletters keeping users informed of the latest news in fashion and style, Stylehive is just one of the sites changing the way we shop. Based around a passionate community, the site looks to be one of the essential tools for getting the most out of fashion and style retail.

 

Stylehive Screenshot

 

Stylmee Stylmee is an application designed for the iPad that allows users to virtually shop and express their taste through a game-like environment. Described by PC Magazine as ‘FarmVille for shopping’, users do their best to earn ‘loves’ from fellow members, which can then be converted into ‘stylcash’. This can in turn be used to purchase special promotional offers from labels associated with the site. An intriguing combination of blogging, shopping and gaming, Stylmee promises much for lovers of style. Though primarily exciting for the fashion crowd, lovers of design and homeware should find much to interest them here too. If an iPad user, this could be the app for you.

 

 

Mulu Launched in December 2011,  Mulu is currently still in Beta but promises to be a very interesting site for those of us looking for inspiration in the worlds of interior design. Making the most of the idea that people are inquisitive, users ask the community questions about anything they desire  and can then make recommendations in turn. Earning money for themselves or a nominated cause, Mulu users can expect to find plenty of advice on whatever their interest. Users collect ‘Guru Points’ which can be then traded in return for money or a charitable donation. Expect big things from them this year.

 

 

Polyvore Claiming to be the web’s largest fashion community site, Polyvore has over 13million unique visitors clicking on to its blend of consumer advice and stylistic creativity. Users can ask the community fashion related questions, get links to online shops or create a virtual scrapbook by cutting favourite items and making a style set. These sets can then be shared with friends across Facebook, Blogger and Twitter. With funding from some powerful friends, including Benchmark Capital and Goldman Sachs, Polyvore looks to be the fashion site currently with the most sway. Essentially a classy styling tool with useful links to retailers, Polyvore run of success looks set to continue.

 

 

Pinterest Pinterest has rapidly become a ‘must have’ site for its devotees. Based around the idea of a virtual pinboard, the site allows users to select items of interest from around the web and then pin them into their own personalised board. These boards can then be shared with other members and is a fun way of finding out new things and polishing individual tastes. A useful way of developing a personal style, the site is a useful way of storing treasures found anywhere on the web. One of the big success stories of 2011, Pinterest is growing all the time and looks set to be a major player in lifestyle and e-commerce for years to come.

 

 

Olioboard Described as a moodboard creator, Olioboard is designed specifically with interior design in mind. A mood board is a kind of visual device that allows a user to graphically illustrate the moods or styles they happen to be pursuing. Olioboard allows users to create a board based on their own likes and preferences. Through an easy to use drag and drop interface and a browser based editing program, it’s simple to get a working board up and running. Once finished, members can share their creations with other users and get suggestions and feedback. With one of the more intriguing sites surfing the social shopping wave, it could be time to get on board.

 

 

Buyosphere Also still in Beta, Buyosphere makes use of the same basic principle as Mulu – that people want to share their ideas and, if happening on a good offer, their good fortune. Aimed squarely at fashion lovers, users can upload a picture of what they are looking for and then get advice from the watching world. Like all the best ideas, it is quite simple to use. Getting the most out of it will of course take a little longer, but looks worth it. With some perseverance and a bit of ingenuity, Buyosphere could change the way we shop. The makers certainly hope so!

 

 

Svpply Another promising site that aims to put users in touch with the styles and tastes that they love is Svpply. A social shopping site, based on members friends lists from Facebook and Twitter, the site makes style suggestions and shows you what sort of products it thinks you might like. Perfect for Christmas shopping, the site helpfully divides sections up into ‘wants’ and ‘own’ lists. So no excuses for not knowing what to get your friends!

 

 

Mydeco With a tool for designing virtual rooms in 3D, one of the most powerful looking sites for interior design followers comes from Mydeco. Available for free, it should excite the interest of even the most non-committal of wannabe designers, its user friendly complexities being decidedly hi-tech. Either by starting with an empty room or with a template featuring ready-made designs and furniture, the program is great way to plan your next room renovation. Users can enter their favourite designs into Mydeco’s regular competition and receive feedback from other members. Realising a great idea for a new look could start with this impressive application.

Note: Mydeco have recently moved away from an affiliate platform towards a more traditional ecommerce model. It remains to be seen how this will have an effect on their social tools.

 

 

GetVega Another one of the cluster of new sites working on the idea of creating lists is GetVega, a place where you can ‘remember everything you love.’ Based on the theory that the internet, is in their words, ‘the world wide mess’, GetVega aims to organize everything in your life. Almost like a smarter series of bookmarks, the site promises to be useful to anyone with a wide variety of interests and activities that they take part in. Bound to appeal to the visually minded, the site allows lists making with images and photos. If you have never used a so called social curation site before, GetVega could be the one to get you hooked.

 

 

ThisNext With a dedicated home section, ThisNext looks to be a useful and positive site for lovers of interior design and homeware items. Slightly more experienced than some of the sites on this list, ThisNext has been on the net since 2006, and claims to be one of the original and best of the social shopping sites. Favourite products can be organized, shared and compared by making a personalized shopping experience. Through recommendations made by experts, bloggers and trendsetters, the site pledges to be the first stop for shoppers of all kinds and tastes.

 

 

Facebook One of those lifestyle ubiquities that doesn’t really need an introduction, Facebook is an almost indispensible social media website for anyone who is interested in, well, anyone. Some people choose to shun it, being put off by pokes, unwanted requests and spam. But away from all of that is a range of useful items for fans of interior design and homeware. There are lots of pages out there for interior design brands, publications to bounce ideas to and from each other. For example, there are plenty of pages designed for inspiration such as Interior Exterior Plan Fan Page and of course there are involving discussions and fascinating morsels of information at

 

Dotmaison’s Fan Page. So don’t be shy, get involved!

 

Twitter Our exploration of the world of social media ends on the site favoured by celebrities, artists, politicians and everyone else who feels that they have something worth saying. Twitter – the dominant force in ‘microblogging’ and the number one source of byte sized news in 160 characters or less shows no sign of slowing down. The ‘twittersphere’ holds conversations about absolutely everything conceivable, so it is only correct that there is a multitude of resources for followers of interior design to become au fait with. As with everything in cyberspace, the only limits are your imagination. Have fun discovering and stay logged in!

 

 

March 1st, 2012

Posted In: Social Shopping

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