Do You Care if Your Home is Instagrammable?

While social media has dramatically changed our world over the last two decades, Instagram is the social media platform that has had the greatest impact on interior design. So much so that “Instagrammable” has become an adjective that most people understand to mean eye-catching, attractive, and something that would be attention grabbing online.

Instagram-Worthy Portland Restaurants

The idea of an “Instagrammable interior” is most obvious in the restaurant and hospitality industries, where interiors and experiences are designed with many small vignettes that photograph well, in hopes that patrons will post their photos online and popularize their businesses.

Here in Portland, Oregon, we have many beautiful examples of restaurants that have created Instagrammable interiors, like Tusk, the Middle Eastern restaurant on East Burnside, and the Never Coffee Labs.


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A post shared by Never Coffee (@neverlab)

Even though you probably don’t want droves of strangers knocking on your front door to check out your beautiful home, you still want a space that looks and feels good to live in! Little pockets of beauty and joy throughout your home can drastically increase your satisfaction with your home. We have rounded up some of the best practices being used in public spaces and adapted them so you can create your own Instagram-worthy rooms at home!

Choosing an Aesthetic

Narrowing down on your signature style or aesthetic is one of the most important, foundational decisions to make. People often make the mistake of thinking that you have to pin yourself down to one specific style in order to appear “cohesive,” but that is not necessarily true. Many of the most attractive interiors today are a seamless blend of two or more styles, which creates new, unique aesthetics.

It may be helpful to take our design style quiz and read this post we wrote about how to identify your own design style if you want to take a deep dive on this subject. Although the list of design styles seems to grow by the day, we believe that can be broadly categorized into four main categories:

The bottom line is that a foundational piece to having an Instagrammable home is honing in on a design style and executing it well. As you work to identify your personal design style, which takes some research and self-exploration, you may also want to consider the age, style, and architectural elements of your home.

Color Palette and Visual Harmony

Another design foundation is choosing a color palette. Your design style should influence the color palette. For instance, modern design favors high contrast like black and white, but can include other colors as well, as long as there are lots of clean lines and separation between colors. In traditional design, neutral color schemes are used, along with rich jewel tones, and lots of wood accents.

To learn more about how to select the perfect color palette, you can read more about that here.

vancouver washington interior designer

In addition to sticking to your signature design style, working within a defined color palette adds to the cohesiveness of the design.

Consider that most photo studios are painted white or black, which allow the photographer to better control the color of the subject. In your home, neutral colors will tend to photograph better, but pops of color are completely fine.

Boldly painted walls are a lot of fun, in fact, paint is one of our favorite design tools! Just keep in mind that they can cast some color onto the objects in the room as well.

Harnessing Natural Light

With Instagram encouraging us to share our lives square by square, many of us have gotten better at taking more flattering pictures. The number one secret to a flattering picture is… lighting! While darkness and shadow can be used creatively, there is nothing worse than a fuzzy, dimly lit photo.

bed 2

The same can be said for your interiors. Lighting is a difference maker, and natural light is the gold standard. You can increase the amount of natural light in your rooms by choosing window coverings that are sheer, or leave the windows unobstructed when open.

Reflective surfaces like mirrors, and metallic accents bounce light and can really maximize any natural light you get in your room.

Incorporate a Statement Piece

Carefully selected statement pieces are a great way to add a “wow” factor to any room. You can also expand this idea beyond a statement “piece” and think about it in terms of any design element. For example, the Never Coffee Labs have funky, colorful geometric shapes on one wall that create a focal point. A statement piece is anything that becomes the focal point of the design. It could be a chandelier, a unique piece of furniture, or some art.

3 vibrant living room

Incorporating Natural Elements and Greenery

The popularity of plants for indoor décor has ebbed and flowed over the years, but live greenery is experiencing a surge in popularity right now. It is easy to see why! Live plants bring earthiness and vitality to any space, and can help soften the angles and lines of your home’s architecture. In fact, a collection of indoor plants could even be your statement piece!

modern dining room

In addition to incorporating plants, you can also use fresh flowers in several places throughout the home. This is one thing we always include when we do our official photo shoots for each of our completed projects.

8 dining room picture window detail

A view of the great room from the kitchen. There is a dark kitchen island, leather furniture and a built-in entertainment system.

A bonus benefit is that indoor plants improve the air quality of your home, and also promote peace and well-being.

Final Thoughts

While a well-designed space is naturally “instagrammable,” a little extra effort to create small vignettes and pockets of joy throughout your home not only will increase your satisfaction with your living space, but will also photograph beautifully.

With a little creativity, many of the ideas above can also be adapted to any entertaining and events that you do.

By narrowing in on your signature design style, committing to a color palette, and incorporating unexpected elements you will be well on your way to creating the Instagrammable home of your dreams.