How to make an Interior Design Mood Board


Interior design was my hobby already when I was a kid. I bought my first interior design magazine when I was 15. I bought my first design chair when I was 16 (worked during the holidays 6 weeks in a hospital kitchen to earn money). Yet I never thought of making it my profession. Was it so different in the seventies? I cannot remember. But for the last decade my hobby became opportune again. When the kids left home, I wanted to turn my house into a calm, quiet and balanced place to come home. I made mood boards and started to redecorate the house. My family and my friends were also interested in mood boards and because I had so many magazines and Pinterest boards I could help. “How to make an interior design mood board” is the title of this blog and I hope you can use my tips to create what you hope for. 

What is an interior design mood board?

An interior design mood board is a way to explore your ideas and get a cohesive picture of how you want your interior to look. There are diverse ways to look at a mood board, you can opt for a more abstract starting point with the feeling you want to achieve, but you can also make it more concrete by really adding your favorite furniture, textiles, colors.

I use the second one because for family and friends it is often difficult to imagine how a room is going to look if they see only an abstract mood board. I use a I drag in product shots, floor-, texture- and wallpaper samples. In combination with a floor map, it sets the tone for a new interior design.

Which tools can you use to make an interior design mood board?

Of course, you can use digital tools. I prepare for my physical mood boards by first collecting some information digitally. Like for Stichting Vaarkracht, this is my Pinterest board.  

You can use a mood board template for Powerpoint or Keynote. On creative market you can find templates. This is an example of a template.

I prefer a physical foam mood board. Size 50 cm X 70 cm. (B2 about 19.7 x 27.6”) depending on the atmosphere I want to create in white, grey, or black. Because of the different textures you can use, it creates more depth in your mood board. 

Stichting VaarKracht 

Living with cancer is hard, especially for your loved ones. Every now and then you must break out, escape from reality, gain new energy. We understand this all too well from our own experience. That is why VaarKracht organizes unforgettable boat trips for cancer patients and their loved ones throughout the country, free of charge. On the water you get a new perspective. With the wind in your hair, forget all your worries. “Not a cancer patient for a moment.”

Welcome aboard!

Lieke Idsinga and Robert Rust

How to create an interior design mood board?

First determine what your starting point is. How do you describe the result, what is the feeling you want to have when you enter the room? And now: start looking for pictures and materials. If you want to keep furniture, take pictures of the current situation, and add these pictures to your mood board. Floors are very decisive for the look of a room, so try to get an example of that material. And don’t forget to add a color scheme. (More about colors here)

The starting points for Vaarkracht: clean lines, calm, it is a “water house” so linked to the water but not an Ibiza beach vibe. Comfortable but at the same time a table suitable for a business event. The search starts. Pictures from interior design magazines, samples from wooden floors, wallpaper, textiles, printed pictures from the internet, a color palette, decoration ideas and so on. 

This is the result of my search 

how to make an interior design mood board
mood board “Waterhuis Stichting Vaarkracht”

Bonus Tips

  • Book: Nordic Moods by Danish interior designer Katrine Martensen-Larsen. If you embrace a Scandinavian style this book gives inspiration to create your own mood board in this style. Nordic Moods – Katrine Martensen via Libris 
  • Do not start to paste your pictures and samples until you have collected all materials. Only then can you create a balanced board. 
  • Take a picture of heavy materials if you want to hang your mood board on the wall of the room you want to change. (Otherwise, it will come down). 
  • Moving to a new house? Make one overall mood board with the most important materials and smaller mood boards per room.
  • blog about color

Do you have questions about making a mood board, please let us know in the comments.

Enjoy making your mood board.

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