How to create a mood board like an interior designer

Interior designers are truly the masters of bringing form and function together to transform an environment. Whether creating a tranquil bathroom or updating a retro kitchen, one of their secrets to ensure a cohesive look and flow is starting every project with a mood board. A mood board is a collage of images, materials, text, colors and other design elements that help set the tone of a project. They are used by artists and designers across several disciplines to help plan and organize for new artistic ventures, including mural installations, clothing collections, product designs and so much more. The best thing about mood boards is that you don’t have to be an art or design expert to create them. Here are some tips on how to create a mood board like an interior designer::

1. Decide if you are going digital or creating a physical mood board.
Before you start any mood boarding, it’s important to pick how you want your board displayed and where you want it to live. Do you want a bulletin board with cutout inspiration? Would you like to create a digital collage instead? Both serve as great options to allow you to see your plan visually. If you are a fan of creating a physical board, try taping your inspiration right onto the wall or create a more permanent space in your home or office. For digital boards, a few resources we recommend utilizing include: Pinterest, Canva or Adobe Express. Pinterest will serve as a great starting resource to host all your pins and ideas, while Canva and Adobe Express will allow you to further refine and polish the look of your board.

2. Start gathering inspiration.
You’ve decided where you want your mood board to live, so now it’s time to start filling it with ideas. In most cases, you want your mood board process to be as natural as possible. Don’t force the inspiration, but rather let it find you. It’s always a smart idea to start your mood board weeks (or months) before your official project start date to allow time for exploration. Start pinning, saving, photographing or printing all of your finds. Social media can serve as a great resource to help spark ideas, specifically Instagram, Pinterest and even TikTok. Depending on the nature of your project, be sure to think beyond images, but also colors, fonts or material swatches too.

3. Examine your board and narrow down your design direction.
It’s important after the exploration phase to start examining all of your remarkable finds. By having all of your inspiration in one place, you can truly see how things would work together. More times than not, you’ll be surprised to see similar styles come across in different ways in your collection. Not all your pinned ideas may make the final cut or match with your overall aesthetic, but those decisions help make your design direction even clearer. During this stage, remember there are no right or wrong design choices, so make it your own and be boldly you.

And that…is how to create a mood board like an interior designer. You are now officially a mood board master and ready to tackle any project with a new level of organizational expertise! Remember, mood boards can be implemented in several types of projects to help solidify design plans. To continue to learn more about art and design tips, keep up with the RMCAD blog.