What's a moodboard? Learn how to create one and WHY you need one before you start your home design or renovation.

What is a Moodboard?

A moodboard is basically a collage that visually represents a style or general feeling or mood. When it comes to interior design, a moodboard is a collection of images of furniture, products and colors that help define the mood of a room.

Why Do I Need One?

I create a moodboard for every full-service client I work with.  I think it’s a really important step in the design process as it helps point us in the right direction for a room design and makes sure that everyone is on the same page before moving ahead.  After we’ve met for our consultation and I’ve gathered information about client preferences and styles, a moodboard is the next step in the design process. I put together a sampling of pieces and colors that I may use in their project.  However, I really stress to clients that it’s more about getting the general feel of a space right and not about the actual pieces on the board.  Those specifics come later in the design process. 

Say for example that a client tells me they want a glamorous feel to their room.  Great! The tricky part is that we may have different visions of what glamorous actually means.  This is where a moodboard really comes in handy! I may put together a sampling of glamorous decor, share it with my client only to have them look at the board and realize that their idea of glamour is a little more Z Gallerie than Horchow.  That’s valuable information! The truth is that sometimes we aren’t sure what we want.  But we can figure out what we DON’T want when we see it. A moodboard can help us do that.

If I didn’t do a moodboard, review it with my client and get feedback, then I might design an entire room, present it to them and actually miss the mark on what they really wanted-EEKS!  Has that ever happened in all my years of design-luckily no. But then again, I really try to gather as much information as possible from my clients through conversations and during our design consultation.  And like I said, I always create a moodboard first before creating a design.

Creating a moodboard can help you figure out your vision for your home's design. Learn what a moodboard is, why you need one, and how you can create one for free.

How to Create a Moodboard?

First, decide if you want to create a moodboard online or create one you can hold and carry around with you.  I’ve done it both ways although I like to be eco-friendly so I go digital and create them online. It’s easier to share and modify as well.  

You don’t have to use a special design software to create a moodboard.  You can use a free program like Canva or use Pinterest. Both work great and can help you visualize your room.  Canva has a free moodboard template that gives a clean, organized look. You simply upload all your photos of furniture, colors, fabrics and design ideas on the board and “Boom!” you are done.  Pinterest is also a great place to gather ideas. You can start a new board and either set it to “secret” so it’s private and only you can see it or you can leave it public. Then, start adding pins of what you like: colors, furniture, inspiration, etc.  I create private Pinterest boards with each client to gather information at the beginning of a project.  

Here is a moodboard I made for free in Canva:

Make your own free moodboard in Canva. Here is a blue and beige moodboard for a living room.

This was made from a free template called “Turquoise Mood Board Inspirations” from Canva.   I picked the colors and then uploaded photos of furniture and accessories that I found online and added them to the design.  It was very easy to do and now I have a direction for the design of this room.  A moodboard won’t have every item needed for a room but remember that it is meant to give a general feel and vibe.  

If you’d rather have a physical board to carry around, then simply tear out your favorite magazine and catalog photos as well as any paint or fabric samples you gather.  Attach them to a piece of cardstock or cardboard from the local craft store or pin it to a bulletin board in your house as inspiration.

What are your thoughts on moodboards?  Have you ever used one for your home’s design?  Are you ready to try to make your own? If you have ANY questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask.  That’s what I’m here for!  


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Sally Soricelli