Imagine going on a road trip without a map. Or starting a business without a strategy. Or how about going to a restaurant with no menus. That’s what it would be like designing and decorating your home without a mood board. A mood board (or vision board) is a visual guide to how you want your home to look and feel. Below is everything you need to know about interior design mood boards and how you can start creating them for free – right now!

interior design mood board simple design
Photo: Gal At Home

What is a mood board?

Let’s begin with the basics: what exactly is a mood board?

A mood board is a collection of images that helps you visualize what you want to achieve with your design and how you want to feel in each room.

Mood boards help you to decide the elements you want to include in your design (colors, patterns, textures) – as well as the feeling you want these elements to create. It’s an essential tool to help you easily make decisions about the look and feel of your room or home.

Interior design mood boards are particularly useful when you are trying to decide on a specific style or theme for an interior space such as a bedroom, bathroom or kitchen – they let you experiment with different ideas without having to spend money on buying samples first, just in case they don’t work out!

Mood boards can be as simple or as detailed as you prefer.

interior design mood board detailed concept
Photo: Pinterest

Why you should use mood boards when designing your home

Mood boards are an easy way to visualize your design concept. There are many benefits to starting your design process with a mood board:

  • A useful way to try many themes without spending any money. If you’re not sure what design theme you want in your home, you can create multiple mood boards to see what style you like best. This helps you save a lot of money on a style that maybe you won’t end up liking!
  • A mental guide for yourself when you’re designing and shopping. Once you have a design theme and a completed mood board, it makes your shopping experience so much easier! Think of it like your home’s map – if you stick to the mood board, you won’t get confused or overwhelmed with all of the options.
  • An easy layout to give to a professional designer so they can see your vision in one snapshot. Perhaps you’re not designing your home yourself and hiring an interior designer instead. Creating a mood board is one of the first steps in the design process, so giving your designer a mood board you’ve already created will set you up for success. This will eliminate and potential miscommunication or confusion.
interior design mood board necessary elements
Photo: Sample Board

Essential elements of a mood board

There are a few elements that are essential to your interior design mood boards:

  1. Interior Design Theme: The first step in creating an effective mood board is deciding what style you want your living space to embody. Are you going for modern? Contemporary? Traditional? There are so many different themes to choose from, so have fun with this step. Explore Pinterest and see what theme speaks to you most.
    Write the Theme at the top of the mood board.
  2. Feeling: Once you’ve nailed down the theme of your room, it’s important to decide how you want to feel in the room. Do you want the room to be calming? A productive space? Welcoming? The vibe you want the room to feel will determine your color palette and decor items.
    Include 2-3 words that describe how you want the room to feel on your mood board.
  3. Color Palette: Select 4-5 colors that match the theme and evoke the theme you have chosen. There are so many different color palettes already created online, so don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel. Consider color psychology when choosing your colors, because colors do have a major impact on how we feel!
    Include 4-5 colors (helpful to add their hex codes) somewhere on your mood board so there’s an easy reference.
interior design mood boards

3 Easy Tools to create interior design Mood Boards

1. Pinterest: Create Multiple Boards to Try Different Themes

Oh, Pinterest, how we love you. Pinterest is the tried and true method of easily creating a mood board for your interior design. There are millions of images that can inspire you, and it’s so easy to create different boards to try out different themes.

Simply start a new board and even when you give your board a title, photos will instantly appear for you. Scroll and pin! You’ll find thousands of interior design pictures, as well as mood boards that are already created!

The only downside to Pinterest is that it’s not a snapshot guide of your design theme. Sometimes it can be handy to have one document that has the theme, colors, and items laid out. With Pinterest, the possibilities are endless; but having many photos in a board could potentially create mental clutter.

Pinterest is a great way to start your design (or re-design) to test out different themes. Once you’ve created some boards, I recommend creating one, single mood board that has everything in one quick snapshot.

interior design mood board pinterest collage
Photo: Pinterest

2. Canva: Create a single mood board using a template

Canva is a wonderful tool for creating mood boards because there are so many (free) templates already created! All you have to do is add your own photos to the templates, and voila! Your very own mood board! Canva is great because everything can be customized to your liking and it’s extremely user-friendly.

I highly recommend creating a mood board on Canva so you have one document that has your theme, colors, and decor inspiration all in one place.

interior design mood board canva wabi sabi

Related Post: What Is Wabi Sabi Interior Design And How Can This Japanese Philosophy Make Your Life Better

3. Shuffles: Download app to create a dynamic mood board

Shuffles is a new app created by Pinterest – and because it is so new, it’s definitely underutilized. More people are discovering the power and the creativity that Shuffles allows, and I think it is a perfect tool for creating interior design mood boards!

interior design mood board shuffles app benefits
Photo: Shuffles

How it works: Shuffles connects with your Pinterest account and then you can easily search through the millions of Pinterest photos. Then you pick and choose photos/items and create photo collages by dragging and dropping. The best part is how easy it is to create dynamic, interactive mood boards.

Then comes the fun part: when you select a photo, the app automatically highlights items and removes backgrounds to create cutouts. So instead of using photoshop or the Canva premium subscription to remove backgrounds, this app automatically does it (no subscription required).

There are so many things you can do with the images: you can add borders to the objects, animate the images, draw, add stickers, and even import your own images you’ve already saved on Pinterest.

Another highlight of Shuffles is that each and every image is clickable – meaning, you can click on each item and it takes you directly to the Pinterest link so you can shop it!

It’s extremely fun to play around with and stretch your imagination! There’s a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it’s so easy to spend hours creating mood boards!

go forth and design!

Like mentioned before, interior design without a mood board is like a captain setting sail without his map. Interior design mood boards are an essential component of design – plus, they’re extremely fun to create! Let your imagination go wild and eventually see your visions become reality in your home!