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How to Make A Mood Board

Learn how to make a mood board

If you are interested in decorating, chances are you’ve heard people talk about a mood board. Designers use them to give their clients an idea of the colors, textures and fabrics they plan to use. Why should you spend time making one?

The main reason is that it helps you focus on what you want a room to look and feel. But even more important than that, it keeps you from making snap shopping decisions that don’t fit the overall look you want. If you spend time coming up with a board it fixes the images in your brain.

I’ve always heard people talking about these but I never thought about doing one myself. When I moved into our house I decided to try it when I was trying to decide what to do with my bedroom.

First, I was looking for a rug, which I posted about here. I didn’t really know what colors I wanted to use and I had pretty unlimited options. My walls are grey, my bed is white upholstered. My curtains are white. It was pretty much a blank slate.

Where to start building your mood board.

Step 1 – Take photos of any furniture, lamps, accessories that you love and want to keep. If you snap a quick photo with your phone, it makes it easy to add these to your mood board. If there is nothing in the room you plan to keep, you can skip this step

Step 2 – Take a photo of your paint or get a chip off of the manufacturer’s web site. I went to Sherwin Williams’ web site and snapped a screen shot of the color.

Step 3 – Make a short list of things that you need to add to the room. For example your list for a bedroom could be a headboard, mirror, chair, art for over the bed, curtains. It gets overwhelming if you choose too many so start with five.

Step 4 – For each item you want to purchase, take three photos or screen shots of items you find that fit your price and style. (as a side note – to get a screen shot on a mac press command + shift + 4).

If you are looking for a headboard, take three screen shots of headboards you like. Do the same for each item on the list. If you are trying to choose fabrics that you may use for a curtain or pillows, take a screen shot of the fabric. I found chairs and baskets I like at target and took a photo of them by capturing a screen shot.

Step 5 – Spend a little time on Pinterest (or wherever you get your inspiration) surfing around looking at rooms you like. This helps you get ideas. It can also be overwhelming. Try to rank your pins. So if you find 20 bedrooms you live and pin them to a board, choose the top 3. This can be a time consuming process, but the focus will help you in the long run to achieve a better design and save money.

How to Make Online Mood Board

My favorite tool that is free and SO much easier than photoshop is PicMonkey. I’ve also tried Canva and I like it, but once you get to know a program you tend to stick with it.

In PicMonkey you can choose a template that exists already or make one from scratch. I started with a pre-made one that had 9 squares. Once you click to edit it you can delete all of the images by clicking on each one in the “layers” rectangle and moving it to the trash.

Next start dragging in images that you’ve saved. You can resize them as you go by just dragging the corners. They can overlap. You can also make the most important ones come to the forefront by clicking the arrows right under the layer tab.

Make a Physical Mood Board

You can easily make a physical mood board by getting a bulletin board and clipping magazine photos and fabric samples to it. This can often be a more accurate way to see fabrics and paint, but you can’t take it shopping with you.

Have you tried making a mood board? This was my first time and I have to say it really helped. Stay tuned for a tutorial on how to use PicMonkey in my next post.

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