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Mood Boards

Mood boards are used in many areas of design, including the design of websites, magazine layouts and by architectural firms. Generally they are designed to give both the client and the designer an idea of the general theme surrounding the design and what moods or emotions are needed to be captured. The popular type of mood board and perhaps the most well known, are those used by interior designers.

The interior designer may design a mood board on their own to present their ideas to their client or it may be something which a client designs for themselves to get across more succinctly to their interior designer, the range of colours, fabrics and design ideas they want to recreate.

Of course you don't need to have an interior designer to use a mood board. In fact it can be a very useful way to work out your own sense of style and to know what things you like and dislike before you redecorate or redesign your own home. Making a mood board couldn't be easier and can actually be quite fun.

  • Large pieces of board or canvas can be purchased quite cheaply from art supply stores. A minimum of half a metre square is ideal.
  • Take a few days to look through magazines as a starting point and cut out anything which catches your eye. This could be furnishings or colours, but may extend to interesting phrases or headlines and even advertisements with the sort of feeling your want to capture.
  • Now visit stores which sell material and accessories. Most will allow you to take small cuttings of fabrics which you like for free. Choose colours and textures which catch your eye. Try not to think too much about a particular theme when you are choosing these items, Just choose what you are drawn to. Include extras such as ribbon, buttons and embellishments as well.
  • Visit a paint store for some paint swatches in the colours which you like. If you have a particular favourite, get a tester pot as well.
  • Spread all of these items out on the floor in front of you and arrange them together in groups. You might like to put all of the same colour together or experiment with different colours and textures together. You will be surprised with what goes well together.
  • Once you have a set of items which you feel go well together you can stick these to your mood board. You could even make two or three if you have different ideas or colour schemes. You can always use the extra ideas in other rooms.
  • Use the mood board to influence your purchases for your new design, but don't stick to it rigidly. It is meant to provide inspiration and to inform your choices, but is not a set of directions. You can use it when your focus is wavering or you are not sure that your choices will work. Seeing the colours you have chosen together in one place will help to reinforce your original idea.

Don't stop at one mood board. Keep cuttings and ideas as you see them. You never know when you might get the opportunity to use them. As we all know, once one room is completed, the rest are always close on its heals.