This Is My Sneakily Easy Tip for Sourcing Stylish Home Decor for Less

published Aug 27, 2023
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collage of a living room with an image search bar over it with a chair, a hanging macrame planter, and a throw pillow
Credit: Photos: Diana Paulson, Getty Images, Shutterstock; Design: Apartment Therapy

If you’re a fan of browsing dreamy interiors (and if you’ve come to Apartment Therapy, you’ve come to the right place), then this has probably happened to you before: You see a photo or a video of a home, and maybe there’s a gorgeous wallpaper, piece of art, rug, or pillow that catches your eye. You scroll to the caption to find out where said stunning decor is from, but there’s no link. 

Quick Overview

Tips for Using Google’s Image Search to Find Decor

  • Zoom in on the room to get the largest, clearest photo of the item.
  • Use Command + Shift + 4 to screenshot.
  • Click and drag your screenshot to the search bar on Google Images.
  • Use the results to narrow in on design terms or brands to help your search. Ex: “Windsor chair” or “West Elm lamp.”

It’s happened to the best of us, and it happens to me when I write about real homes every day on the site. So here’s how I find out where the simply-must-have-home decor is from, even when there’s no shopping link: I screenshot it, then use the reverse image search tool in Google.

Credit: Minette Hand

It’s that simple. It takes about five seconds and has a surprisingly high success rate, and I even have a few extra tips for finding what you’re looking for. I’ll use this image from Jodi Bond’s (@houseonasugarhill) house as an example.

Bond has graciously shared where so many of her home goodies are from in her house tour, but let’s imagine a (much sadder, much less stylish) world where she hadn’t. This Google trick will still find much of what I’m looking for. 

Credit: Minette Hand

1. Start with your inspiration picture, then zoom in to the item you love. 

Let’s say I want to find out what wallpaper Bond used. I’ll zoom in to the image so it appears as large as possible on my screen, and then I’ll find the largest, clearest portion of the wallpaper I can screenshot.

Credit: Minette Hand (original photo), Sarah Everett (screenshot)

2. Screenshot the item.

Click Command + Shift + 4 on your keyboard to drag and draw a box around the item you want to screenshot. When you release, the screenshot will save to your desktop or downloads, depending on your computer settings.

Credit: Sarah Everett

The upper left corner looks good to me!

Credit: Sarah Everett

3. Search for it using Google Images.

Open Google Images, and drag your screenshot from the desktop to the search bar. 

Credit: Sarah Everett

4. Google Lens will populate your results. 

Here, I can see that the flamingo wallpaper is available from Etsy, Alegoryca, and Modern Nursery. Bingo! I use Google Lens a lot for wallpaper, but I’ve also had success using it for rugs, pillows, light fixtures, and more. 

For example, from the very same home inspo image, I was able to use the same hack to find the pink swivel chair from Safavieh, the lamp from West Elm, and the ottoman from Bamba. (Time for some shopping, am I right?)

Credit: Sarah Everett

There are a couple of other little things I love, design-wise, about using the Google Lens tool. First, even if it’s not spot-on with the exact item you’re looking for, it’s helpful nonetheless. For example, the item might be sold out (as is the case for the cool tripod West Elm lamp in this photo), but you might surface some search terms that’ll help you find something very similar. Maybe you’ll learn the maker or brand of the item, or the design or architecture term you never knew you needed. Perhaps you’ll find a visually similar item that you like just as well — or even better. (See below, with my results for the pillows in the room.)

Credit: Sarah Everett

Second, this is a really easy way to shop around for the best price for what you’re looking to buy. Saving money and solving decor mysteries? Truly, there’s nothing better!