All great home design projects should start with a mood board.
From home design projects to mind maps for work, visualizing your ideas is a great way to bring those ideas to life.
And with something as meaningful as your dream home, you want to make sure you spend time getting things right.
A mood board lets you do just that.
What is a mood board?
A home design mood board is a type of visual tool that is used to develop concepts. It may contain images, materials, patterns and text, all of which come together to communicate or portray specific design, color and theme preferences.
Mood boards are fluid and can be used at all stages of a home design project, whether you're setting a future goal to build your dream home or you have some serious home designing to do on a deadline.
Why are mood boards in home design so important?
Mood boards represent the nonverbal ideas of a design project and express the ideas in an organized way so that other people can better understand your vision.
They help you to crystalize the direction you want to take and to communicate visual concepts more easily. This saves valuable design time and helps you keep your eyes on the prize.
Different formats for your mood board
You can make your mood board out of something physical like posterboard or you can use software to create a digital one - it's up to you.
We recommend digital because it is far easier to change and update. Here's a list of online tools where you can easily create a mood board:
Messy vs strict mood boards
You can also make your moodboard messy or strict.
With a messy mood board, there is no order, sense or logic. It’s simply a platform to pour your creativity into, without having to worry about organization or application.
A strict mood board format is more rigid in its structure, and it’s something any interior designer or home design expert could quickly understand and work from.
Consider using a messy mood board at the beginning of the process, and slowly mould it into a 'stricter' format as you go along. Or keep two boards, one messy one where you toss all all of your ideas, and a stricter one that pulls from and makes sense of the messy one.
The six elements of a successful home design mood board
Now for the fun part: creating your board. When adding ideas to your mood board, it's important to try to capture inspiration related to all of the following design elements:
If you’re trying to follow a particular trend or theme for individual rooms in a home, then including any patterns is great to add depth and character to your mood board.
The example below reinforeces a traiangular geometric pattern by including it within many of the individual items.
For many people, the colors are the easiest part of a mood board. While you might have a clear idea for the core colors you want in the key rooms of your dream home, it’s a good idea to create a wider palette that perfectly complements any core colors.
Accents of color can make a real difference to the look and feel of a home, so take time to choose yours carefully.
If you want help creating a palette of complementary colors, here are a few useful tools you can use:
#3 Pictures and Videos
Mood boards are all about being visual, so use anything you can find that inspires you and helps you further develop your concept. This can include images, pictures and even video content.
Inspiration can be found almost anywhere at any time but if you still need some help, here are a few great interior design blogs to consider:
#4 Textures and Materials
When you create a mood board for any home design project, be prepared to spend time adjusting your textures and materials to suit the space, light, furnishings, and colors. The patterns and assets you choose will also significantly impact the type of textures and materials needed.
If you have a specific material you want to use for a core feature in any part of your dream home, then you should lay the most important elements down first and then build up the other aspects as you go along.
If you’re creating a physical board, you can usually obtain swatches for free. If you're going digital, you can just drop in some digital imagery depicting the textures and materials you have in mind.
Typography is rarely a consideration in home design projects - unless, of course, you’re considering having wordage on the walls. If this is the case, take time to carefully match the text with the style and design of the room.
#6 Furnishings and Key Items
As your dream home progresses, it’s likely you’re going to find key pieces of furniture and accessories that you like. A mood board is a great place to include these items as you come across them. These accents or key furniture pieces can often make a huge difference to the final appeal and practicality of a space.
If you are in the early stages of designing your dream home, collecting inspiration from wherever you find it is more important than the organization. Sign-up for interior design blogs, follow designers on social media and take screenshots or pictures of any patterns, furnishings, colors or materials that strike your fancy.
Designing a mood board is a very personal experience, and it can take two weeks or two years to get things right. As time goes by, your tastes and style preferences may change and it’s ok to remain open and flexible to some adaptations.
These are your dreams, so take your time, make it messy and stay inspired.