One of the most important tool for any Interior Designer to be able to communicate to their client, team, suppliers and most importantly themselves is a well formatted mood board. This little tool does not only please the eye but also gives you and your client an opportunity to get a real feel of the various materials you’re proposing for any project. It’s very important for designers to be able to successfully convey the look and feel of a space to someone who may not have a creative imagination or background. Textures, colours, smells, materials and absolutely anything beautiful that you want to see in your design, pick it up and use it! If you’re not an Interior designer by profession and are just looking to redo your little flat or massive mansion, don’t be afraid to do this too. It helps you visualise what your inner designer loves and subsequently create it!
There are no rules, so to speak, but here are a few tips and tricks that may help you build your first mood board.
Make a virtual Moodboard:
The first step is to make a virtual mood board. You can find images you absolutely love anywhere online and use a layout building software to create a sort of collage. You can also make power point presentation. Try to visualise every space you want to design and find images relevant to that. You’ll soon have an idea of the kind of style, furniture, lighting and a base palate that you like. Make sure your images for different spaces work together in harmony with each other. Nothing worse than having a confused designer! Don’t forget that the images don’t need to be of strictly interiors. They can also be images of materials, colours, patterns, natural elements, something that reminds you of something good (like the beach, birds), etc. Here is a virtual moodboard for a rustic Hotel’s Public WCs that I did for one of my projects:
Find some materials to choose from
Once you’re happy with your virtual moodboard go ahead and find finishes, fabrics, flooring, timbers, stones and anything else that you want to use. If you’re a Designer, it’s great practice to have a sample library to hand but if you don’t have one try to find initial inspiration from your surroundings. Remember, there are various suppliers out there who would appreciate if you considered specifying them for a project you are working on or even intend to buy something for your own little project. They are generally happy to send you small samples, swatches, cuttings of their products for you to review so don’t be afraid of asking for samples! For fabrics my ‘go-to’ fabric/wallpaper company is Altfield. They represent a variety of fabric companies and are always happy so send you cuttings! This should get you started.
Include and Eliminate:
You don’t need to have ALL your samples ready before making a moodboard. Making a moodboard is a ‘design process’ and there will be times when you hate it and want to give up. Hang in there! Try to find a base palate of materials, textures, timbers, for example: neutrals for large sofas, basic timber finish, overall floor finish, paint colour for the walls. Once you have a strong base palate this is going to be your ‘constant’. You can always add and remove various options that work with this, like cushions, metals, accent colours, etc.
Spend some time figuring out what works best for YOU:
Factors like local temperature, lighting, surrounding sound levels all affect your mood board. You don’t want to propose materials you wont be able to use. For example, too much leather in a poorly ventilated room in a hot country = Disaster. Think through what materials work and don’t. Try to stick to what will actually be suitable. You can always ask suppliers you’re requesting samples from if their product is suitable for your project.
Finally arranging your mood board:
Here comes the fun part. Always start with having a light/white background. It always looks crisp and fresh. You can use foam board, white cardboard or any white surface that is strong enough to hold the weight of your materials. Place your base palate or your ‘constant’ materials on there first. Try to arrange the materials in such a way that they are proportionate to where they are going to be applied. For example, a neutral fabric you’re using on a very large sofa which probably will take up a larger proportion of the room – make sure that fabric is more visible on your board than the fabrics less visible, like a cushion. This helps with the visualisation process for the real thing.
Lastly, trust your instincts! Don’t be afraid to use colour and sparkle. Keep it simple and elegant and impress your clients with something more than just images. Most importantly, be true to yourself and do not forget to photograph your boards. You can do this!
Head over to my Pinterest Board to find some boards I adore!