The most common question I am asked as an interiors blogger and enthusiast, is how to create a mood board. It’s probably the first thing you need to do before even contemplating buying any paint or furniture (or those impulse buys!). Now this will get you thinking, research shows that only 1 in 10 of us can walk into a room and visualise the finished look we aspire to. That means only 1 out of every 10 of us can look past the beige or magnolia walls or a house/room that needs renovation. In this blog post I want to 1. show you why a mood board is an essential and beneficial part of decorating our homes and; 2. guide you through the most useful tools available to create these simple mood boards. I am going to use a similar colour palette and accessories to show you how transferrable each of these online tools are and show you the finished look you will create.
FREE ONLINE TOOLS
Polyvore is a great free online tool where you can create unlimited looks and mood boards. You can choose from a large catalogue of home décor items, furniture and paint images where you can even alter and layer images. There’s no need to create an account, but if you do it means you can save drafts, follow other users and publish your own looks to social media which is really useful. And this website doesn’t just restrict you to interiors and home décor. There are categories from other genre’s such as men and women’s fashion. If you did want to share your designs on social media, Polyvore enables this via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. More specifically, when you share on Pinterest, the mood board or room layout creates a shop the look. A list will appear of all the items that you have included. An example is shown below and can be a great resource guide when out shopping for key pieces to furnish your room.
Canva is definitely one of my favourite applications. You can work from a the main desktop website or through the Canva smart phone app which is available for free. Both are really simple to use and the visuals are amazing. Look at Canva as a more advanced version of Paint or Microsoft word but not as complicated as Photoshop. You click create design and there can choose from a range of formats and page sizes – some specifically made for social media channels like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook.
To create a mood board from this point, firstly have all of the images you would like to use in one place i.e. a Pinterest Board or a folder on your desktop. I am sure that when we are all thinking about decorating a room, one of the first things we do is create a Pinterest board for that space. When working from Canva, you simply click uploads and you can start to upload all of the images you wish to use. You can then insert whichever images you want and start playing around with the format and colours. The brilliant thing with Canva is that you are also able to add in various kinds of text formats, objects, grids, illustrations and loads more. It will definitely help you design a gorgeous inspiring, yet practical mood board.
Now I wont lie to you, the last time I used the Paint desktop application was when I was in secondary school. Remember when Mr Snippy the paperclip cartoon popped up, yep way back then. But for the purposes of this blog post and a few recommendations from people, I thought I’d give it another try. Well, its not how I remember. I was convinced that Paint would be the easiest of all these tools but how wrong I was.
Unless I have missed something, you create a new document and upload your images but are unable to move or layer the images thereafter. I did a little bit of research online at Paint tutorials and it seems that after you add an image or text, and you want it to disappear, you either need to use the rubber tool or overlay the images and texts with what you want to appear instead. So after 1 hour and a fair few attempts, I ended up with the below mood board. I could have stuck at it a longer and added a few more images but I got to that point where I had enough and was frustrated. We are all busy people and just want something that’s quick and easy to navigate. I will not completely write off Microsoft Paint; the application’s best use is probably how you can create a document that likens itself to an online collage or scrapbook. The below image I created is a great basic source to look back on throughout the decorating process.
PAID FOR ONLINE TOOLS
There are loads of different payment packages for Photoshop but for bloggers and those of us purchasing for occasional use, the standard package at approx. £10 a month is the best option. The advanced packages are more likely used by retailers and large companies. So, with Adobe Photoshop you create several concepts of a mood board. You can create an exact likeliness of the room with the correct dimensions, warp perspective and endless image layers. And as the image quality is far superior to the other online tools, showing true colours and textures, there is no better way to see what your finished space may look like. Alternatively, you can create a board that includes a collection of images and layer again like a collage or scrapbook.
Canva for Work
Canva for work is exactly the same as the free Canva application I mentioned above, but with some added features which you can read here. The premium features you gain after upgrading enable you to:
- Automatically resize your design instead of starting again from scratch.
- Upload and use your own brand fonts in your designs.
- Set up a brand kit with your colors, fonts and logo and easily apply them consistently.
- Create a team account and collaborate with your colleagues.
- Organize your images into photo folders and share them with your team.
You would think that Microsoft word should be categorised as a ‘free’ online tool. But with Microsoft packages now ranging from £100+ its definitely not free. Now, I would like to think that the majority of us know how to use Microsoft word so creating the below mood board was incredibly easy. All I needed to do was copy and paste various images into a document, resize objects and add text where I needed. I also thought that adding a shopping list was a handy addition to look back at for reference. You will see from the below mood board that you cannot layer images but with careful sizing, this should not take away from the overall concept you are aspiring to.
SOURCES TO MAKE A SCRAPBOOK MOODBOARD
If you want to create a paper mood board, I want to show you the best way to gather the materials – and most of it you can source for free or less than £5! Order samples of wallpaper, fabrics and tiles etc for free or £5 or less
- Print and cut out images from retailers websites and glossy magazines – Great interior magazines and online websites with endless inspiration include LivingEtc, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Apartment Therapy and Domino.
- Paint: Colour cards and Tester pots– Colour cards are completely free and great for taking home and adding to a mood board. I normally get carried away and take a minimum of 10 cards at a time. Valspar have around 1000 colours to choose from and have cards for each individual colour. If you are look for a strip of colours in a similar shade then Dulux is your best bet. You’ll be able to pick up tester pots of paint for approx. £1 from retailers such as Colours by B&Q, Dulux and Valspar. At that price its worth picking up a few pots in various hues.
- Wallpaper samples- The best sources for wallpaper samples are Wallpaper Direct; Cole & Son; B&Q; Farrow & Ball; and Little Greene
- Fabric samples- Fabric samples are great if you are adding any texture or fabrics to the scheme. You can usually choose between 5-8 samples for free from retailers such as Marks & Spencer’s; Loaf; Arlo & Jacob; Laura Ashley; and John Lewis
- Accents & Accessories- Chances are you have already purchased a few accessories, so definitely include these in your mood board. Otherwise, think off cuts and things you may have laying around the house.
I recently created a mood board for my dining room which you can read here. I sourced all of my items as listed above and thought it came out pretty well and really did give a true representation of what the room would look like and how it would all come together.
So what do you think, are you inspired to start creating mood boards for your home décor? Or are you already using the above tools? I’d love to know how you find creating mood boards and if you are using any useful tools that I’ve not listed… x
Before you go, I have some exciting news! I have been nominated for Amara Interior Blog Award in the Colour Inspiration category. If you liked this post or have been inspired by any of my content it would mean so much to me if you could take 10 seconds of your time and click the vote button via this link Amara Interior Blog Award – Gold Vibes Only. Being shortlisted and in with a chance of winning could help me and my small space on the internet reach new heights and take part in amazing opportunities that I’ll be able to share with you all through my content. Thank you so much. Annie xx