A mood board is one of the essential parts of creating a successful interior design scheme. Used by professionals as part of their presentation to a client, it’s also an essential tool when you are planning to decorate for yourself. Designers who have a very strong mood board and presentation usually have the most successful end results as they are the best prepared.
The reason to invest time creating a mood board is simple- thrash out your ideas and find out what works and what doesn’t on paper before you flex that credit card. It can save you a world of pain and expense! It will also make the whole project less daunting as you will be empowered to keep your design on track. For example if your eye gets diverted by a bargain, you can check it against your mood board and if it doesn’t fit the scheme, don’t buy it!
Where to start? I always think it’s a good idea to start with a concept board- this is where you get really free and can add any image to your board, not just swatches or pictures of to-die-for rooms. Use fashion images, architecture, wildlife, art, whatever you’re drawn to. This can really help you to tap into your personal style and taste that you can then translate into your interior schemes. For example if you love tribal prints in your wardrobe, chances are it could work in your interior too.
This mood board by designer Kimberley Plestead has practical swatches but also a feather and some birch bark to set the feel and inspiration for her scheme.
The whole point of a mood board is not to get too fixed, so tear pages from magazines and catalogues, print images off the web and gather lots of fabric, wallpaper and flooring swatches. Keep it loose so you can add things as easily as take them away. A large sheet of cardboard and sticky tape is as good as it needs to be. This mood board pictured below is by designer Sarah Moore, with images and swatches all presented loose making it easy to add ideas, or take them away.
I find it helps to start with one strong image. This could be a tear sheet of a room from a magazine or a swatch of patterned wallpaper. Then add to this by working through this checklist:
There are also some great apps that are really helpful. These include Pinterest, where you can ‘pin’ images you find on the web and collect them on your own ‘boards’. It’s such a fast and effective way to start bringing together images and shopping ideas. Ebay have a tool called ‘Ebay Collections’ which allows you to curate shopping boards from anything that’s listed on Ebay.
In my work as a magazine stylist I use an ipad app called Moodboard. I find it a really easy and super quick way to lay out my images from websites and my pinterest account to present a colour scheme to an editor. Here is an example of one of my projects for Ideal Home magazine, which was to produce a scheme based around the trend for Teal.
Here are my five top tips to creating a successful mood board:
This article was first published in the September 2014 issue of Good Homes magazine.
I’d absolutely love to hear about your ideas and tips for creating a successful mood board for a decorating scheme. Its a very personal way to design and I’d like to say there is no right or wrong. Please leave your comments below.
You can hear me talk some more on this subject over on the housetohome website video blog.