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Modern Hamptons - Geelong Interior Design - Charlemont Style Studio

What Is A Mood Board?


As you’re reading a blog about interior design, I’m fairly certain that you have seen a mood board before. Maybe you don’t know exactly what they are for, but I’m going to try and help you learn what they are and how you can use one to help you learn about your own style.

Before you start looking at styling and designing your own home, it’s important to define what your own style. Do you know what you do and don’t like?  You might be able to think of a few things that you do and don’t like, but can you picture them collectively and visualise the common thread that runs through them?


"I bet you that you can’t (I can’t either). And that my dear readers is why we use mood boards."

What Is A Mood Board?


A mood board is a visual tool that communicates our concepts and visual ideas. It is a well thought out and planned arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc. that is intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.

Why Do We Use A Mood Board?

  • To give us a process to build a clear design story that we want to use in the space.

  • Using a mood board helps you to express the vision you have in mind for the project.

  • Sometimes its very complicated to express your visual ideas to others. A mood board is a very efficient visual communication tool.

  • A mood board is a good starting point to get things done. It will help you collate and focus your ideas, and help to define the project.

Natural Contemporary - Geelong Interior Design - Charlemont Style Studio
Bathroom - Geelong Interior Design - Charlemont Style Studio
Creating A Mood Board


As with most design processes there is a ‘standard’ process that’s useful to follow. A mood board template if you will. But as we are designing, I believe that not following the rules exactly will always give you the best result in terms of creative processes.


Being a mood board creator will help you to explore and ‘find your own style’ too. The best way to learn about something in design is to do it. Which is why I want you to take some time to create a mood board that represents your own style.  


Think about your home, your clothes, your office, your holidays, the things you dream of. 


What do they look like? What do these things feel like? What are the common threads? 


Is it a colour? A texture? A pattern? An emotion or feeling? You are looking to create a mood with these elements.


Collect images or upload images that represent these thoughts and feelings. These images will tell your story and when they come together will start to show you your style. The collection of images will represent your lifestyle and personal style.  You can take your time with this.


Move the images about on the board to create different compositions.  Play around with the images until you are happy with the images that you have.


I know that this is hard to do when you’ve not done it before, but we all start at the beginning. My first few moodboards weren’t very impressive but I started learning how they worked while doing it.


This isn’t something you can learn by reading about it. You need to do it.

Another important element to moodboards that can help beginners to convey their message very effectively is to use keywords to help tell your story. Add text with 2 or 3 well selected keywords. This will help you to describe the abstract message you’re trying to get across.


Nothing can beat a physical mood board, where you can sense the 3D nature and depth of fabric or paint or metallic sheen from a physical sample. You can also see how the light bounces off the samples when placed next to each other and how the light bounces the colour refraction between the samples and affects each other. 


Eg: a pink fabric next to a nickel sample would have a pink tone to it, this would be really difficult to communicate on a digital moodboard. You can also include scent in a physical moodboard. 

However, digital moodboards can include movement through video and the addition of sound to create a truly immersive experience. This can often be the start of the process and then move to a physical moodboard after the interior design mood board has been signed off.

Digital mood boards help to create a concept and set the tone for the project. They can be an easy way to play around with how to make a mood board, mood board templates and colour schemes before you commit to purchasing samples. You can also do some research using free mood boards or a mood board app to get a sense of what you are looking for. 

The physical moodboard will show how the elements relate and work together to bring the concept to life in 3D.

Both have a place depending on what you want to achieve and what the mood board is for. 

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