8 Design Tips to Create a Moodboard

Last week I told you about my mood board that I created for the contest on Apartment Therapy. What I did NOT tell you was that it was my first official mood board. Really. I've never made one before. I have made countless drawings of spaces and designed countless garden layouts, but craft a real mood board - not so much.

Lucky for me, there is a site that helps you build your own board quickly and easily called Olioboard. I'm not going to give you any tips on how to grab items from various places online and craft a moodboard. However, I wanted to give you a few simple design tips when you are crafting a mood board or any design brainstorm for a new space.  Whether you use a program like Olioboard or start from scratch in photoshop, these 8 tips will give you an outline of where to start!

1. Start with one bold color, 2 neutrals, a pattern and a pop. In my board I chose orange (bold color), grey and white (neutrals), the Cottonelle Cover (pattern) and yellow (pop). The percentages should be about 25% bold, 65% neutrals and 10% pop and pattern give or take a little bit. Each color needs to be repeating some way in at least 3 ways, even if they are small.

2. Start with an inspiration piece. For me, it was the toilet roll cover that Cottonelle was promoting. For you, it could be a patterned fabric, a gorgeous mid-century modern couch or a large scale piece of artwork. Whatever it is, you should take inspiration from not only the colors of the piece, but also the shapes, lines and tones of the inspiration item.

3. Start with 3 large pieces that make a statement and map the course for the room. In my design, the first thing I chose was the awesome circular lounging chair. The second item I chose was the elephant curtain and the third item was the curtain rings. All three items reference the shapes in the pattern of the roll cover. The first two piece are also two of the larger pieces in the room, so I have a good base to start from.

4. After decided on a major color and shape theme, I then searched for items that reinforced the ideas of the room. For example, the elephant design is repeated literally and figuratively in the shapes of various items in the room as well as literally in one printed accessory. The colors are brought in based on their percentages (see#1).

5. When bringing in additional pieces, you want to makes sure that you don't put two items that are pulling from the same inspiration right next to each other. For example, notice how the two literal elephant references are placed on opposite sides of the board. Also notice

6. If you want an item to have strength on your board, you repeat the item just as you would in a space. In my board, I repeated the river rock artwork 3 times and the lights are also repeated to give them visual weight on the board. This gives the board a complete feeling without being overwhelmed by too many diverse items.

7. There are different styles of moodboards. The first is a white space board where items are arranged in straight grids and there is a lot of space surrounding each item. You can also make a mood board that reflects the actual design of the completed room. If you are making a mood board like mine where all of the items weave and touch each other without literally creating a room space, you need to make sure that the space is full, but not cluttered.

8.  Once you have completed your mood board, make sure you KNOW YOUR SOURCES.  Olio makes this easy because all of the sources are listed when you click on the photo while editing, but if you are pulling images from elsewhere on the web, make sure to get the manufacturer and link to them!

If you complete a moodboard, I'd love to see it!  Go ahead and upload it to the Nest for All Seasons facebook page or shoot me an email!   ...and hey - would you guys like to get Darlene over here to teach you how to make a completed room mood board??  {hint, hint Dar!}


Jodi said…
I have always wanted to know how to do this.. thanks for posting this :)
Great post! Very helpful :) Holly from Love, Thomas (lovethomas.blogspot.com)