Forget about guessing what women want in their homes. Kristin France of Taylor Morrison homes knows what they like. The Austin, Texas, sales and marketing manager has tapped into a font of free information (with pictures) that shows exactly what women want right now, and she used her findings to inspire the interiors of the company’s new Hampton and Florian model homes located in the Ladera community of Bee Cave, Texas.
The kitchen cabinets are white because women seem to be interested in that look right now. There’s a cool freestanding craft center in one room because it’s something they think they need. Blues and greens are colors used in the models because women’s likes appear to be trending that way. And, in that often wasted space under the stairs, there’s a cozy nook where children can hang out, a la Harry Potter, but with a more kid-friendly vibe.
All those ideas came from Pinterest. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Pinterest is a website where people (a high percentage of them women) can share photos with others, who then can share them with their friends by “repinning” them. The website keeps track of how many times an image is repinned, creating an ideal crowdsourcing tool for anybody interested in getting a sense of what a group of Internet-savvy people like enough to share. “Women are very influential in buying a home and most of them are on Pinterest, so it’s a good marriage,” France says.
The Pinterest-inspired Hampton model has been successful so far for Taylor Morrison. “People have been touring this home for more than a month now and the response is fabulous,” France says.
The Pinterest-generated elements have created memory points in the house that keep the model and the builder in the minds of home shoppers, helping them to distinguish them from the crowd of models they visit.
Of particular appeal—especially for shoppers with children—is the space under the stairs that’s fancifully painted on the outside to resemble a house. “We took a space that is usually walled up or inaccessible under the stairs and we put a door on it and made that space the children’s nook,” France explains. “A mother called a sales associate after the visit and said her daughter did not want to leave the children’s nook and was still talking about it.”
The Pinterest site has lots of photographs that show ways to use the space under stairs. The children’s nook idea came from a photograph of an under-stairs space that had been turned into a cozy spot for a dog.
Another memory point is a freestanding craft island that was installed in one of the flex rooms in the home. Pinterest users are keen on sharing craft ideas and a similar island that was repinned served as inspiration. France says it is helpful in the model to show an alternative use for a space that visitors might not think about otherwise. “Sometimes you have to help paint the picture when people are going through our homes about what room this should be,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be a bedroom.”
France hit on the idea of using Pinterest as inspiration for model home interiors a year ago when she was on the site looking for birthday party ideas for her 1-year-old daughter. “I use it quite frequently for Taylor Morrison, too, and I was noticing the trends and what people were repinning [related to houses], and I thought we should use those for our homes,” France explains.
Once she pitched the idea to her supervisors, they gave their blessing and France’s inspirations from Pinterest were sent to the company’s home designer, who incorporated them into the new models.
This design strategy has spread to another Taylor Morrison market in Texas as well. “We told [the Houston] team what we were doing for this model and they loved it and want to use it.”