The Best Decorating Advice / Life Hack I'll Ever Give You

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Do you all know about Google's reverse image search function?
There are others out there, but I think Google's is the best.
Actually, this has all been on my "Policies" page, forever but I don't think anyone reads that :)
That's ok, I don't usually read them either! 

Basically, you upload or link to an image HERE, with no words, and Google finds pages that have displayed the image.  It is a lifesaver.  Here is how I use it:

1.  I saw THIS rug  (pictured below) today on Zulily.  I need something similar for a client.  At Zulily, it is $449 for an 8x10 (which turns out to be a great price - read on).  Problem: I need a 9x12, and Zulily doesn't tell me the real name or the manufacturer of the rug (I hate that, but I get it).  A Google search for their name, "Light Blue and Gray Dora Rug," turns up nothing except their site.  And if it were to search for it with text, like "beige and cream and white contemporary rug," I could spend the rest of my life looking at the results that search generates and never find it.

So I screen shotted the image of the rug and uploaded it to Google image search HERE 
This is what I got for results:

So, obviously Target carries the rug. I clicked in and it didn't take me directly to the page (I think this is Target's fault more than Google's - their website has a LOT of coding errors) - but I eventually found it.
HERE it is at Target in several color choices.

(Notice the price compared to Zulily - Zulily is much better, as usual.)

Tip - I also use reverse image search to see other images of almost all products to make sure the colors are accurately represented, like in the case of this rug (the more color variation you see between images/websites, the more leery you should be).

Now that I've found the manufacturer and name of the pattern ("Safavieh Aveline"), I'm all set - I will be able to search it on regular Google to find any retailer of the rug.  But just seeing an image of the rug somewhere, where the manufacturer and pattern are not named is obviously not enough to track it down. Once again, Google (reverse image search) becomes my best friend.

Note: this rug sadly does not come in 9x12.  My completely unsolicited but very sincere advice to Safavieh and others - PLEASE please please make bigger rugs available online. I would have bought this in a heart beat if it were larger. An 8x10 rug - the largest size that so many come in - is really only usually appropriate for a 10x12 room, which is rather uncommon and small.  Hence, the "bathmat syndrome," as I call it, where so many people have rugs that look like bath mats in their living rooms. Even a 9x12 more often than not does not work, and 10x14 rugs would almost always work better as 11x13.  Rug proportions to the size of the rooms  are SO important, and I wish there were custom choices or more stock choices. Instead of cutting them so cookie cutter, why not do some 8x10, some 9x10, some 11x11, etc?

Pottery Barn is doing this with sisals (HERE) at reasonable prices, and it is awesome:

Another tip regarding rug size:
Do you know sometimes manufacturers will cut a rug to your size at very little extra cost? For example, I went through a Surya retailer for the rug for my daughter's room.  She needed a square. (I'll never understand why all rug manufacturers assume our rooms are rectangles? Please give us more choices!)  Anyway, I called and asked if they could cut the 9x12 to a 9x9, and they said "Sure, no problem."  It was like $50 more or something.  Isn't that great to know!? 

Here are some other uses for the tool:
2. When I see a room on Pinterest and I don't know who the designer is – reverse image search usually takes me to the designers portfolio page of their website.

Here is an example.
I pulled this from my portfolio and searched it just for fun.

Reverse image search results: Note that my website isn't until page two, but that's ok because this is a good way to see who is posting my images. But it is an important point - the original source may be buried but it will be there if you look:

3.  When I see a rug or a table or a chair or something that I like online, but there is no source information. I reverse image search and find every source that carries it, which is also helpful for pricing it out and comparing colors in images to make sure they are uniform (and frankly, some websites give more info about products than others).  It is also good when something has been discontinued - sometimes you get lucky and literally find the last one on the internet.

4.  When I have a rug or wallpaper or fabric that I need to find a coordinating rug for – i.e., more or less the same colors. I reverse image search and it shows me similarly colored products.
Here is an example:

 When I searched for the Zulily/Target rug above, at the end of the results I got these "similar images," which are clickable and often lead me to great coordinating products:

 So, that, my friends, is something everyone interested in decorating should know about - it makes sourcing SO much easier!

If you liked this, please considering sharing on Facebook or Twitter, or hover over the following image to pin it - thank you!!

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Kathysue said...

Great post on how to use it, I discovered this quite awhile ago and use it all the time to source elements and items. I always feel so victorious when I find something I am looking for.

Merlin said...

Well...how about THAT!! Great! franki

RPK Interiors said...

Thank you for this fabulous tip! I hope you don't mind if I share with some friends on FB.

Katherine said...

Seriously, I did not know this trick. Thank you Stacy. Great tips.

Stacy Curran said...

Yes I'd be thrilled if you share the info! Don't credit me for discovering Google Reverse Image Search or anything, haha, but feel free to direct them here if it helps. Otherwise, just tell them about the tool - it's not my place to take credit for that and no permission needed to inform about the tool!!


Jenny said...

GREAT tip! Thanks for sharing! My mind is spinning in all of the ways I can put this to use!

Jenny said...

GREAT tip! Thanks for sharing! My mind is spinning in all of the ways I can put this to use!

Monograms Mud said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I will be putting this tip to good use.

Have a wonderful day!

Karena Albert said...

Stacy I truly knew nothing about this, so thank you very much!! Amazing!

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Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

I cannot wait to try this out!! Thanks so much for letting us in on your secret!

Sandra Lee said...

I never knew about this, thank you! I know it's going to be helpful.