Social media increasingly drives our home decor choices

Recent marketing research suggests that people are definitely influenced by platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest – although many still prefer to shop in store

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Are you swayed by what you've got on your Pinterest board when decorating your home? Do Instagram shots of people's homes inspire you to copy the ideas and buy the same products? If so, you are one of a growing number of people who are influenced by social media when designing their homes. 

A huge study conducted by Deloitte has looked into the changing habits of consumers, and has found 40 per cent of US adults are now influenced by social media when choosing their home furnishings. This number is even greater in the millennial age group, with 60 per cent of millennials finding inspiration for home decorating and home improvement online.

Inspiration is the key word here, however; while more and more people use social media at the planning and choosing stage of redesigning a room, most still prefer making their purchase in-store.

Choosing upholstery is a case in point: a Furniture/Today survey of 1,000 adults found that while 75 per cent of the respondents relied on online research in order to decide which upholstery to choose, 45 per cent were very clear about having no intention to actually buy it online.  

These figures support the idea that we are increasingly becoming 'omnishoppers', or people who use complex combinations of online research and advice, social media for inspiration, and physical shopping experiences when designing and improving our homes. 

This complexity may be partly to do with the simple fact that the world of home furnishings is ultimately a tactile world, where we want to touch and feel furniture and fabrics before finally committing to buying. 

There's no denying, however, that social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest are becoming increasingly crucial to how we visualise what's possible and fashionable in home design. 

Recent analysis by Forbes points out that people increasingly think that what will look attractive in their home is what will eventually look great on Instagram, and this is especially true of 18-24-year-olds who, incidentally, are the prime target for smaller home brands whose only exposure is often via social media. 

The future of home decor, then, may well be with Gen Z.