Welcome to Interior Design & You, a virtual design seminar led by Alessandra Wood, Modsy’s VP of Style. In this series, you’ll learn some of the basics of interior design, as well as how to personalize your own home. Karina Lameraner, Modsy’s brand image and content guru, led us through session three, Building a Moodboard. Watch it below—or scroll through the post for a recap!
When it comes to designing a room, moodboards are a great way to kick off the creative design process. In the world of interior design, they’re a way to plan, visualize, gather inspiration, concept, and experiment. They help with discovery; pairing furniture, colors, and decor together; and visualizing how everything will fit together. They’re especially great for visual learners who need to see things together before committing to a design.
What is a Moodboard?
A moodboard is a board—physical or digital—where you can collect imagery that inspires you. It can be broad, acting more as a vision board for things you love in many different areas of life, or it can be more specific, helping you figure out what things go together.
When creating a moodboard for interior design ideas, there are a couple different types of moodboards you can create. And each is unique with their own purpose and visual direction.
A Few Types of Moodboards:
The first type of interior design moodboard brings furniture and decor pieces together to help you see how all the pieces will fit and stylistically go together. This is a great type of moodboard to create during the furniture shopping or pre-furniture-shopping process. If you see a great piece you love, either in a store or online, you can pull it into a moodboard to help with inspiration overload or see how it might work with other things you already own!
The second type of moodboard you can create is geared more toward space planning. With this type of board, you can bring textures, finishes, and paint colors together to see how they’ll work with one another in a space.
The third type of moodboard is much more abstract. It’s a collection of inspirational images that, together, evoke a feeling or emotion that sets a vibe or literal mood for a space. All the images don’t all have to go together, and they can represent different things. The main purpose here is to gather images you love and are naturally drawn to.
All three of these different types of interior design moodboards aid in the creative process of discovery, as well as pairing and saving things together. You can also bring all three of these moodboard styles together into one board!
Why Create a Moodboard?
Moodboards are great tools for planning to see how a space will come together. They’re used for high-level concepting and as a way of playing with different design ideas through visual experimentation.
Overall, the main purpose of a moodboard is to gather inspiration and set a tone or vibe for a design project. Of course, you don’t have to actively be working on a home project to create a moodboard! You can simply create a moodboard to stay inspired, or tinker and play with things you might be attracted to for future use.
Inspiration is key in creating a moodboard. And, when you’re using a moodboard to collect home design inspiration, it’s also key in building a space that you’ll love!
But where can one gather inspiration and actual imagery for moodboards? Pinterest is a great place to start, since you can not only discover so much inspiration and imagery, but you can save it and organize it on boards. Instagram is another great place for finding inspiration. To connect with the interior design world, follow interior designers whose style you enjoy and observe how designs unfold in real homes!
You can also get out of the digital world and seek inspiration through books and magazines. And we’re not just talking about interior design publications. Branch out into travel books and fashion magazines and get inspired by design elements in all realms of life. You’ll probably find colors, shapes, and styles that you like by branching beyond interior design. You can even venture into the international section of your local magazine stand and pick out a few publications from different countries. This will offer you new and interesting perspectives—and the imagery is stunning!
Some of Karina’s favorite publications of the moment?
And, of course, you can turn to the world around you. Get outside for a walk and take photos of plants or shops or building architecture or houses that inspire you. You can also look in more unexpected areas to help inform your design style, mood, and overall aesthetic. Turn to your wardrobe, brands you buy from, restaurants you frequent, or places you like to vacation. There are often little elements from each area where you can pull inspiration that will help inform your direction.
Building a Moodboard
When building a moodboard, we recommend starting really big and broad, then get more granular as you go. So, start with one image or one piece of furniture , then work you way into the details. You don’t have to have everything in place all at once. Part of the moodboarding process is gathering imagery you love over time!
Bring in imagery of furniture pieces you love; establish a color scheme through paint paint swatches and objects; bring in architectural details and textures, as well as rugs and flooring ideas; and layer in specific pieces of art, lighting, and decor that help set the mood.
As we mentioned earlier, this collection of images could be for a room that you’re actually getting ready to design, offering you or your interior designer a great jumping off point—or it could just be a fun project to get you inspired even if you don’t have the time, budget, or need for a room redesign!
And remember—there really is no wrong approach when it comes to a moodboard. Making one is an incredibly personal journey and the process can be unique to you. Go with what feels right, and let the pieces speak for themselves.
Tools + Resources
Ready to get moodboarding like a pro? It’s all about using the right tools. (And don’t worry, they’re not complicated.)
To create a digital moodboard, we love programs like Keynote (for Apple users), PowerPoint, or Google Slides. Each of these programs make it easy to drag in photos you’ve collected, arrange them in layers, and move them around. Canva is a free app that’s easy to use. It lets you create moodboards with your own imagery, and you can use it on your phone or computer. And, of course, Photoshop is a classic, though not as many people have access to it, and there’s a definite learning curve as you get started with that program.
When creating a moodboard digitally, go ahead and save images to your desktop as you go, then organize them into folders after an inspiration session. From there, you can then easily drag inspiration photos into whichever moodboard you might be working, or simply copy and paste photos into a document!
You can also make “hard copy” moodboards by hand! Try cutting images out of magazines and pinning them on a board. For tactile learners, this will help you better visualize how everything works together. And it’s also a great option for those who love to cut images out of magazines and catalogs!
Ready to get started? Dive in! And share your finished moodboard with us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook! And remember, with Modsy, we can take your moodboard ideas and bring them to life through our virtual interior design services. You can also take our style quiz to identify your interior design style and learn what your style says about you. So, get inspired and have some fun!
Ready to turn your moodboard into reality?