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How to create a mood board to inspire your perfect space

Posted on 15 April 2017

So you’ve got a space and you want to decorate it! It’s always super exciting to get to create your space, but it can be a bit daunting at times! “Oh god where do I begin? What do I look for? What do I want this space to look like?

Woah now let’s stop a minute and compose ourselves! There’s so much to think of when creating a space, especially from scratch! But it doesn’t need to be that hard!

As a wise, singing nun turned governess once said, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start!”


Source: The Sound of Music

Creating an interior is like going on a treasure hunt, and the best way to find what we need, is to follow a map!

So for this week I’m going to show you how to create a mood board and in a few weeks ill show you how to use that mood board as your treasure map to find all your shiny things.

Creating a mood board is the PERFECT way to pull together all those thoughts and ideas you have into one place, plus it’s a great style guide once you start buying your new furnishings.

The point isn’t to replicate… A mood board should be inspirational.

One of my most recent projects was decorating the main living space for a friend of mine, the brief was… well, brief. He knew he wanted the colour ‘Blue’


Check out some of our favourite blue pieces over in the store

I did however know that he worked in the airline industry and he loved to entertain.

This is a great starting point for creating a mood board!

So I looked for things that were light and airy (just like his apartment), with a mix of soft, organic blues in lots of different shades. Remember, colours are obsessed with themselves, so you can mix different shades for a great, layered look.

First things first, collating all those images that inspire you. If you’re doing a physical board, cut images from magazines and books, find them online and print them, find samples of finishes like fabric, tile, flooring, timber, metals and lay them all out in front of you. You remember scrap booking right? Stick everything you have found onto some card, into a scrapbook or corkboard… Whatever you have lying around the house you can use to pull it all together.


For the Mood Board I presented to my friend, I went with a quick grid style layout of images of other interiors that had the light, airy feel with blues.

For this article, I have created digital boards. So a program like Indesign or Photoshop is great, but Microsoft Word is perfectly fine.

Place everything you have found in a way that pleases and makes sense to you. You can organise finishes to one side, and then fill the rest with images. You could opt for a collage style vibe with images overlapping themselves, you can even include arrows and text to point out and remind yourself of the things in the images that really spoke to you.

Mood boards don’t have to be rigid and laid out like this though, they can be layered, the can flow, they can be digital or real, full of fabrics, finishes and imagery.


Another example of a mood board from some of the other images I collected for this project


This mood board is more layered, using mainly images of furniture pieces and décor, some finishes and other inspirational photos. I loved the look of retro airline costumes, and the blues are very retro so tying elements in to the “Golden Age” of air flight seemed like a fun way to get his personality across in concept without theming the space. You can also see how colours and shapes tie in together, the photo of the air hostess in the vintage Pucci Braniff uniform is represented in the blue of the lamps, and the round head bubble is there in the decanter. The clear ghost chairs are very airy, and the use of light blues and whites helps things “float”. Metals and mixed timbers ground the space so it doesn’t fly away completely!


This mood board features a combination of room images and finishes in a simple grid pattern, with other pieces layered around it.

Mood boards also help you design a space, instead of just theming it. The images don’t say airline, but the feel is very in the sky!

They all tell the same story, using different elements. You may find that some elements you thought you liked don’t work when you create your mood board, it could even cause you to rethink your entire design, which might sound daunting, but it could be because one element you’ve tied in you have so much love for, that you want to rebuild your entire design around that element.

Layer things however you like, there are so many ways to create these, and no right or wrong way.

That’s where the fun is in this (free!) process. Building your design. Interiors are fluid, dynamic spaces full of your personality so get hunting for those things that really speak to you and compile a few based on a theme.


This weeks article was written by Clinton Moore of Clinton James Interiors


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