Pinterest can be an inspiring place for home decorating. But unless you have five Gs to spend on that one particular chaise lounge, its utility can end in the daydream. When you wake, you’re standing in IKEA again, arguing with your spouse over the proper pronunciation of an umlaut.
Colour and Space is a project by designers Mie Frey Damgaard and Peter Ørntoft for decorative paint brand Jotun (Turkey). It digs through Turkish Pinterest boards, analyzing two fairly basic but powerful categories: color and location. The results are placed into simple pie charts, showing preferred colors in places around the home like kids’ rooms (the faintest pink), living rooms (maize), and kitchens (white).
"We think it works as inspiration for at least the Turkish consumers," Ørntoft tells Co.Design. "With the diagrams they can see the color choices of other consumers so it works as a color map for these specific household areas."
Indeed. While Pinterest is a neat way to window shop, Colour and Space leverages big data to boil all that design into the simplest of actionable metrics—what color should my living room be? Because what you’re responding to in some random interior design photo may be the unique furnishings, but it’s just as often the color—that striking palette that’s all of a trip to Lowe’s away from reality.
While Colour and Space only examines Turkey’s Pinterest boards, they explored a bit deeper through their own research. As you may expect, the designers noted strong regional differences in color preference.
"Apparently the Turkish people have a very different and more colorful taste than the Scandinavians," Ørntoft writes. "Had it been data from Scandinavia the diagrams would have looked a lot different—more subtle and white/light greyish. It’s nice that you can see a difference in culture depicted in these diagrams."
No doubt, Colour and Space could scale to every country in the world (or at least those that have Pinterest). I imagine a whole globe with our political boundaries replaced by our favorite bathroom tiles. What correlations and outliers might we see? It’s a fascinating proposition, especially as over several years, we might be able to watch a timelapse of tastes changing by region. You could see green appliances replaced with beige replaced with white replaced with stainless steel, right in the data itself.
In other words, each of us could get a map of everything the biggest retailers analyze every day. And we all might shop a bit differently having it.