The interiors of professionally decorated model homes seem to flow seamlessly from room to room, presenting a beautiful palette of complementary colors, textures and style that seems almost effortless.
But it’s not.
Professional designers often approach a project by first creating a mood board, which serves as inspiration for a project. Mood boards are a collage of images, material samples, color palettes and more that help refine your design ideas and — something really important when you visit a builder’s design center — communicate your ideas. Want to approach a design project like the professionals do? Here’s how to create your own mood board.
Digital or Physical?
Before you start collecting ideas, it’s a good idea to decide if your mood board will be digital — something you can email to someone — or an actual physical poster, bulletin board or something else you can actually touch. If you want to delve into textures, a physical board might be your best choice. It’s also a good choice if most of your samples might come from magazines you’ve collected over the years.
If you want to create a digital mood board, you have several options. Pinterest is essentially a collection of mood boards, so that’s a good place to begin. You can probably find loads of ideas already existing in the Pinterest universe that you can easily pin to your own mood board. Boards can be public or private and you can share them with others.
Other recommended online tools include Canva, which has a mood board maker and template options, and Milanote which allows you to add videos, gifts, font files and text notes. You can explore other online mood board apps here.
You probably know your favorite color, if you like bold style or more subdued looks, or if you want your home or room you are designing to have a specific theme. Now is the time to start expanding on those ideas. For online searches, come up with keywords that define your idea. See someone on social media who posts photos that speak to your style? See who they follow to find other social media accounts that post ideas that inspire you. Head to the library to browse magazines and books. Don’t limit yourself to the latest issues — design can be cyclical (note that wallpaper is making a comeback). See if you can do modern updates on design from years past.
Collect Your Pins
If you’ve been searching on Pinterest or online, you’ve probably already started pinning items to your mood board. If you’re creating a physical board, you can get creative in finding elements for your board. Go outside — nature-inspired design is trending this year. Look around your home — perhaps the color of a flower is what you want as an accent. Open your eyes to the possibility of samples that communicate your design idea.
Curate Your Board
You’ve collected lots of digital and physical elements, and it’s very likely you’ve collected too many. Borrow from Maria Kondo — choose the items that inspire joy and then look to see which items blend harmoniously. If you’re working with a builder’s design center team, they can help you with this important step. Once you’ve curated your mood board into a neat package, let it guide you in designing a home that showcases your personality and that is a pleasure to come home to each day.