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How to Create a Design Inspiration Mood Board

Mood Board Example

When you come to a designer, you will be asked two important questions, “What is your style?” and “How do you want to feel in your space?” To answer these questions, you could use terminology like modern, Scandinavian, or simple elegance, but being a visual bunch, we think it’s even more helpful to share a mood board or an inspiration board. Sharing imagery that conveys your style and desired feeling is paramount to clear communication with your designer. It helps us understand who you are and what will feel the best to you.

If you’re looking for the right words and terminology to reflect your style, take a look at a blog we wrote about six design themes that may resonate with you.

For the visual portion of communicating your vision with your designer, here are some tips on how to create and share a mood board.

1. A Mood Board or Inspiration Board Should Include

  • Colours you love. If you can be specific on usage, then you get bonus points!
  • Furniture styles that call to you. They do not have to be in the colour or fabric you like. Look for form. What silhouettes or shapes do you like? What style of legs?
  • Textiles and fabrics. What fabrics do you enjoy? What makes you shudder at the touch?
  • Flooring options. Do you like dark or light woods?
  • Do you like muted or bold tones and patterns?
  • Large or small scale, dark finishes, or metallics?
  • Hardware and faucets. What styles of hardware attract you? Do you like knobs or pulls in large scale or small scale, in a gold, black, pewter, or brushed nickel finish?
  • Examples of the rooms you’d like renovated in as similar a style as you can find.
  • Décor items that add a bit of your personality to the space.
  • Perhaps you’ve found a beautiful piece of art that really speaks to you. If you really love the colours or the feeling conveyed in it – please share that, too.

2. Add Everything that Calls to You and then Edit, Edit, Edit

There’s a rule for accessories that is just as true for fashion as it is for interior design. When you’re done selecting your accessories and you’re ready to head out the door, remove at least one item. Applying this rule to a mood board means you should add everything that you like at the beginning. Get your sugar rush on the design candy, but then edit it down to your favourites. You don’t need to show 10 versions of a kitchen. Be ruthless and whittle that down to one or two.

3. Have Fun and Be Free!

Exploring what you like is the fun part. Let your mind be free and be mindful of those gut reactions to the imagery you’re ingesting. You can draw your inspiration from anywhere. As designers, we love textures and shapes. We might look at a plant and use that as inspiration for the colour or texture of a textile. Perhaps you fell in love with a chair you saw at your favourite coffee shop. Snap a photo of it. Anything is fair game for inspiration, so be adventurous.

A Few Mood Board Sites & Apps to Try

Houzz Ideabook

Mood Board Houzz Logo

Houzz is an online platform for everything home related. On this platform, you can find local interior designers, like Krista Hermanson Design & Construction, custom home builders, suppliers and trades. You can also draw inspiration from projects these professionals have produced and easily add them to your mood board that Houzz calls an “Ideabook”. Houzz has countless how-to articles and you can find directions on How to Create and Use Ideabooks using this link. Once you’ve saved your images to your Ideabook, you can share the link to the Ideabook with your designer.

Mood Board Houzz Ideabook

Positives:

  • Houzz was made to unite homeowners and home professionals. Everything is there to guide you through the process of creating a mood board (Ideabook) and to be inspired.
  • It is easy to add things to your Ideabook.
  • You can see real-life examples from local professionals and get an idea of what is available for you.
  • Sharing and collaborating with your designer is simple.

Negatives:

  • It doesn’t artfully arrange the images for you for a nice export to walk around with you.

Pinterest Board

Mood Board Pinterest Logo

Pinterest is likely the most recognizable tool for the masses to organize their inspiration for all areas of life. You can have multiple Pinterest boards simultaneously. Alongside that vinarterta recipe you’ve been meaning to try, you can add a kitchen board, a bathroom board, and a living area board. It’s as easy as clicking a little red pin and adding it to a board of your choosing. Share the link(s) to your board(s) with your designer when you’re ready.

Mood Board Pinterest Board

Positives:

  • Pinterest was made to organize ideas for everything, so they’ve cornered the market on simplifying this process.
  • It’s easy to add real-life items from suppliers who are on Pinterest.
  • Sharing your Pinterest board with your designer is simple.

Negatives:

  • It’s not solely focused on design, so you’ll likely add another dessert recipe to your recipe board along the way. That’s not really a negative though, is it?

Canva Mood Board Template

Mood Board Canva Logo

Canva is an excellent resource that is loved by many creatives. It’s user-friendly and many of the features and templates are free. Search for a template that you like and customize it using images that delight you. Once you’re satisfied with your design, you can share a link or download a PNG, JPG, or PDF to share with your designer.

Mood Board Canva Template

Positives:

  • There are lots of artfully arranged templates.
  • It prompts you to add the things that will help convey your vision for the space.
  • It’s easy to share in multiple ways that are convenient for you and your designer.
  • It has access to most creative commons stock image/ video databases.
  • If you’re okay with watermarks for printed/ saved templates, then every digital asset on Canva is free. You can share a link to your mood board without Watermarks.

Negatives:

  • It’s not as simple as just pinning an image to your board. You will likely have to seek images outside of Canva and upload them.
  • Free stock images within Canva are limited. You must upgrade to Pro or pay for the photos individually to be able to print or save some images without the watermark.

We hope this gave you some good information to get creating your mood board. Finding out what you like is such a beautiful and cathartic experience. When you’re ready to transform this inspiration into reality, let’s talk. We can’t wait for our first design meeting and to help you live the life you want in the home of your dreams!

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