Ask any designer and the answer is an unequivocal yes.
So what exactly is a mood board?
Essentially, a mood board is a way of harnessing and visually illustrating inspiration and ideas. Typically, interior designers will use pictures from magazines, wallpaper samples, pieces of ribbon, fabric swatches, dried flowers, paint charts, photographs, buttons, shells… anything and everything that captures the ‘flavour’ of the room they’re gathering ideas for.
Why bother with one?
There’s nothing more disheartening than realising all the textures, colours and patterns in your newly decorated room don’t actually work together. The beauty of the mood board is that it keeps you focused on what you do and don’t need.
What raw materials do I need?
A whiteboard or a big piece of card (ideally A1 size), a pair of scissors and a fresh pack of Blu Tac. A nice glass of wine will stimulate the creative flow too!
How do I get started?
It often helps if you have a single item to build your mood board around – be it a favourite chair, rug, wallpaper design, bedspread, cushion or anything with colours or textures that you love. Take a photo of it and stick it in the middle of your board where it will act as the anchor focus for the scheme.
Where do I find the bits and pieces to make up my mood board?
A good starting point is interior design magazines and interiors features from the weekend papers. It’s also worth spending half an hour online calling in catalogues from your favourite stores. Rip out any images that catch your eye and stick them on haphazardly – you can finesse it later!
Paint charts from your local DIY centre are great for colour inspiration and remember, don’t just restrict yourself to imagery, add anything and everything that evokes mood or texture. It could be dried flowers, buttons, shells, ribbons, fabric swatches, leaves… The only rule with a mood board is there are no rules, so give your creativity free rein!
Once you’ve assembled all your items, take a step back and simply observe. Discard anything that jars or doesn’t flow. Now begin to move things around, playing with contrasts and different textures. Try sticking a piece of charcoal velvet next to a lime green ribbon – happy accidents happen when you go with the flow. Some designers find it helps to put images of floor coverings near the bottom of the board and overhead lights near the top to create a semblance of how the room will come together. Try it – it may work for you.
Take a photograph of your mood board and when you hit the shops to turn your vision into reality, you can be sure you’re on the right track.