How to Create a Mood Board

How to Create a Mood Board

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the million and one decisions I need to make for the interior of our home — deciding on a colour palette, selecting finishes and soft furnishings, not to mention room layouts and lighting… the list has no end! — I’ve decided to take up the advice of my interior designer friend and pull together a mood board.

How to create a mood board find inspiration
Design books and magazines are full of inspiration

How a mood board can help you

When redecorating or designing a space, it can be hard to visualise how your ideas will come together. What looks good on the pages of magazines might not necessarily work when you bring 10 or more different ideas together or when you need to consider the constraints of your space.

A mood board is a great way of focusing your ideas and seeing how they all work together. It helps you get in touch with your inspiration and define your style. You can add new ideas as you find them and edit the board by removing older items that no longer work. It should be a ‘living’ board of inspiration that continually evolves with your thinking. Don’t be afraid to introduce ‘out there’ ideas, that’s the point of a mood board — to experiment before you have to commit.

How to create a moodboard

1. Gather inspiration. The digital world is filled with inspiration — Pinterest, interiors blogs and Instagram — but don’t forget to also look at interior design and decorating books, house and garden magazines, brochures from kitchen and bathroom companies, as well as collecting samples from paint and tile shops, and fabric or textile swatches. Also, take photos of things that catch your eye when you’re out and about.

2. Choose the right format. Depending on your preference, you might like to create your mood board electronically (using Pinterest or a design program like Photoshop) or the traditional way by layering your inspiration on a foam board. Personally, I prefer a large-scale board so am using a blank wall in my dining area.

3. Start building your mood board. Beginning with larger images, layer your inspiration and see what key themes start to emerge. You might spot a colour or pattern that you particularly love and want to build the room around. Keep adding and playing around with your images and swatches until you find your source of inspiration.

4. Refine your mood board. Look at your inspiration board and ask yourself ‘what’s working and what isn’t?’. Perhaps you’ve taken your inspiration too literally and the entire board is one colour… a way to resolve this would be adding neutral colours (like soft greys) or natural materials (like wood) to balance the look.

5. Consider items you already own. Rarely do we have the luxury of decorating a space from scratch — often we will need to work with existing furniture, art or accessories. Look at what you (or the client) owns and what will work with the new look — it’s possible to find a happy medium where some items can be repurposed or reused and others can be sold or donated to make way for new.

Did you find these tips on how to create a mood board useful? What other tips can you share? Write them in the comments below!

Creating a mood board

How to create a mood board
Starting to pull together a mood board

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