How To Use Mood Boards for Home Improvement
Interior design has its own visual language. To say, “I want my living room to be beige with green accents and a beachy vibe,” is a way to start communicating your design desires. But there’s a world of variation between a lush, tropical palm-trees-and-rainstorms Bali beach vibe and a cactus-laden desert-meets-ocean Mexico atmosphere.
Even if you think you’re being clear, there are infinite nuances to consider, like color schemes and textures, style, design and architectural elements, lighting, furniture, plants, fabrics, hard and soft surfaces, art, and more.
This is why when conceptualizing an interior design project, or any visual project, the best way to “describe” your design ideas is to convey them through vision boards or mood boards.
Using mood boards for home improvement doesn’t just bring your vision to life, it also allows you to review how all your ideas look when brought together in the same environment. This is critical if you don’t want to discover that the KISS black light poster you’ve been dying to showcase in your dining room design plan doesn’t partner as well as you hoped with your Eames chairs and zebra-print rug.
So how do you create a mood board for home improvement projects? You’ll be shocked at how easy and effective it is if you follow our lead.
What Is a Mood Board?
Before we get into design details, let’s get on the same page about what mood boards are and what purpose they serve.
Vision or mood-boards are just that: boards that showcase your vision or the “mood” of your vision. The purpose of an interior design mood board is to help you explore design and decorating ideas and communicate a general style, mood, colors, and overall feel of a room, a house, or project space.
How specific you get in communicating your vision is up to you. You can create an inspiration board featuring a broad-stroke vibe through inspiring images. (Ahoy, palm-lined Bali beachfront!) Or you can craft a detail-oriented guide to a kitchen design remodel, complete with floor plan, desired backsplash and countertops, paint colors, and fabric swatches.
But don’t think of the two-dimensional, magazine-clipping collage, arts-and-crafts project of yesteryear. Today it’s all about free digital vision boards that allow you to create beautiful mood boards that are DIY yet look professional thanks to online tools and access to digital images. (Interior designers use them all the time for the initial planning phase of a space.)
What To Include in Your Mood Board for Home Improvement
Whether you’re conceptualizing a master-bedroom makeover or your dream kitchen mood board, there’s no one right design process for the perfect mood board for home improvement. It’s only as limited as your imagination.
The following are some elements you may want to include, ideally through digital images.
- Inspirational or mood images that convey a vibe: Remember the beach scene? That’s design inspiration!
- Paint swatches: They can help you identify colors that work well together. If you need help with colors, try a free color palette generator or explore 101 brilliant color combinations.
- Flooring: Rugs, carpets, tiles or other floor treatments
- Furniture: Include what you own and want to use and what you’d like to add to your collection
- Artwork: Paintings, prints, sculpture, ornamental vases, wall hangings, and posters, for example
- Window treatments: Curtains, blinds, drapes, shutters, however you choose to frame your windows has an affect on room design.
These types of images and more are easy to find on Pinterest, which is essentially one giant vision board resource loaded with fantastic interior design ideas. There, you’ll find Pinterest boards for everything from home improvement projects to what to make for dinner to inspiring destinations. You can also go to a manufacturers’ websites and use their product images.
You can even remove unwanted backgrounds and other elements from furniture images and other product photos with a free remove background tool. This is particularly helpful if you want to include a bed from a bedroom image, but don’t want to include the rest of the room when it doesn’t match your vision.
6 Steps to an Awesome Mood Board for Home Improvement
- Gather design inspiration. Whether it’s room design or the desired styling of a complete home, find images that help convey your vision. (Again, Pinterest is a great place to start.) Don’t forget to consider color swatches or color palettes, too.
- Choose a free digital mood board template. We share several to choose from below, and you can find more here.
- Populate your mood-board template with your images.
- Add graphics, text or both to your mood board. Though a picture says a thousand words, sometimes actual words, crafted into graphics or as text overlaid onto your image(s), convey a lot about your styling desires. Use free templates to design graphics here.
- Let it sink in. Step away from your mood board, then revisit it with fresh eyes. The whole point of a vision board is to give you the opportunity to see your vision before you execute it, turn a critical eye if needed, and perfect your design direction before you execute. Take your time. It may suddenly occur to you that the disco ball would be so much better if partnered with some shag carpet.
- Update any items as needed. The beauty of a digital mood board is it’s extremely easy to change and update. As you refine your vision, update your board.
8 Inspiring Interior Design Digital Mood Board Templates
Ready to get started? Explore the following digital mood board templates and tap any of them to customize it as you wish.
Whether your mood board is just for you or you plan to hand it over to a design professional to help bring it to life, it’ll be instrumental in making sure you get what you want from any home makeover.
1. Morocco Interior Inspo
Four photos topping text and color-palette cues make the below template’s intentions clear. Tap it to create your own.
Keep some of the images or scrap them and fill the template with your favorite images and words by tapping the template above.
Combine design assets, colors, and imagery into a collaged mood board that harkens to analog magazine cutouts. Pro-tip: Try removing the background on your images or cutting them into shapes to create interesting combinations. Or search by aesthetic under design assets to find new inspiration.
4. Feminine Living Room
A pretty purple frame, graphics, and text bring extra sweetness to this fun three-image template. Tap it to create your own.
5. The White Album
A graphic element intersecting the four images lends visual interest to this template that also showcases an inspirational color palette. Tap the template to customize it.
6. Dorm Decor
Ad-like in its layout, with ample room for four inspiring photos, the design of this stacked text-and-image layout adds to the board’s vibe. Tap it to use it for your own project.
7. Minimalistic Interior Design Inspo
This template announces its intentions with text, follows with color inspiration, and finishes with designs that complete the vision. Tap the template to customize it.
8. Color Cues
Inspirational colors set the tone for four accompanying images. Tap the template to make your own.