WHY YOU NEED A MOOD BOARD IN YOUR LIFE
Most people, when starting a new home decorating project, do one of these two things: either, they see a photograph on Pinterest or in a magazine, and they set about trying to replicate what they have seen. Or, they take inspiration from a paint colour, a fabric swatch, or a piece of artwork, and then start to build the room around this.
At first, people often buy paint and put it on their walls, see what it looks like, and then they go out to buy a throw to cover their sofa, which doesn't quite go with the walls. Or they go and buy cushions to make the scheme less bland. They do a little, they stand back and see what it looks like, and they do a little more.
Is this approach successful? Sometimes. And sometimes not. In fact, often not.
Taking this piecemeal approach, and tackling your decorating step by step, means that you often end up with a mish mash of items which just don't quite work together. Something is off. There is no real cohesion.
What is the difference between the non-professional home décor enthusiast and a professional interior designer? How do they get it right all the time?
The designer's scheme is planned from start to finish before they begin.
Now, there's no magic secret here. Designers don't have a crystal ball, they don't have magical insight into what will go together (although undeniably this is a skill which grows in time). But what they *do* do, is plan a scheme from start to finish, before anyone picks up a paint brush or orders a sofa. And how do they do this?
They create a mood board!
WHAT IS A MOOD BOARD?
Now this doesn't have to be as daunting as it sounds. At its most basic, a mood board is simply a collection of pictures of all of the things that you want to bring into your room. There are two types of moodboard: digital mood boards, which pull together images on a screen, and physical mood boards, where you use samples of the actual products you are are going to use in your scheme. Fabric samples, flooring samples, that sort of thing.
Physical mood boards are the final and most important step in the design process, because they allow you to see the actual finishes of the products you have chosen. That particular shade of green you liked on screen might look very different against the beige cushion when you bring them together in real life.
There's nothing more important than bringing those finishes together before you start decorating to avoid costly mistakes. But for playing around with initial ideas, a digital mood board is great place to start.
DIGITAL MOOD BOARDS
Digital mood boards are a really quick and simple way to bring together your ideas into one place. They are also great because they give you a medium to communicate your ideas to someone else. This is really useful for trying to get a partner on board with your design ideas, or for communicating to a contractor about how you want your finished scheme to look.
HOW TO MAKE A MOOD BOARD
There are loads of different software packages that you can use to create your mood board. Something as simple as Power Point or Word (or Pages or Keynote) work just fine. In fact, anything that allows you to bring together your images in once place. Photoshop is an ideal way to create a mood board, especially as it allows you to crop the background of an image too.
There are several apps and websites on the market that you can use to make mood boards. For example, Olioboard and RoomStyler are set up for this exact purpose.
One of my favourite apps for creating mood boards is called Board by Morpholio. It's an iOS app for the iPad, and available in the iTunes store, and it has an extremely easy to use interface.
As with most mood board apps, it gives you a blank canvas, onto which you can drag and drop your items. Super simple!
The app has lots of cool features, like a whole library of items to browse from in a wide variety of colours and shapes. There's something to suit every scheme!
And if you can't find the exact item you want in the library, you can import your own photos. The pro version of the app even allows you to import pins from Pinterest and incorporate them into your design. How cool is that?!
Once of the neatest features of this app, which is missing from most others, is the ability to manipulate the images once they are on your mood board. So you can pinch images to resize them, you can rotate them and you can re-order them so that they are layered differently on top of one another.
And the crème de la crème of Board's features, is that there is a tool which removes white backgrounds from your images. This means that you can place cushions on top of sofas, for example, and see what the two fabrics look like on top of one another without the white square of the cushion background getting in the way.
If you'd like to be walked through the app, step-by step, grab this tutorial below, which shows you how to create a mood board from scratch using the Board app from Morpholio. Click the image below to get it.
Now the only downside I've found is that the app can sometimes be a little buggy. I've had a few problems with exporting my mood boards, (although it worked when I re-booted it) but the app is currently in beta mode and will be relaunched in its full glory in the coming weeks. You heard it here first!
So, go and have a play around with the app, and upload your mood boards into our Facebook group for us to take a look. Can't wait to see them!
Until next time x