Why Creating a Mood Board is the First Step in Designing Your Home & How to Get Started

creating a mood board

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How do you even get started with designing a room? In a world where Pinterest is the go-to resource for so many people searching for home décor inspiration and there’s no lack of ideas, then why do so many of us still have trouble simply getting started?

It’s simple actually. There are too many ideas on the web and far too much distraction for you to come up with just one single design concept for your home. Pinterest for Home Design Inspiration is full of internet squirrels for people like me. I find myself looking at beautifully curated living rooms and then all of a sudden deciding that I need to renovate my random basement hall closet that no one even uses. Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s just too hard to stay laser-focused on a design concept unless you already know what you’re looking for.

So what’s the solution to avoiding all of the Design overwhelm when trying to come up with a concept for your home?

Mood Boards

I started creating mood boards before I even knew what a mood board was. This was years ago when I tried to put together a concept for our bathroom remodel in our old home. Every time I began planning a new space, I would find myself pulling up a simple word document and I would screenshot or save photos of products that I was inspired by. My word page would be covered in things like:

  • Lighting
  • Textiles
  • Blankets
  • Furniture
  • Home décor
  • Paint colors

Before I knew it, I would have this beautiful well-put-together room. I could actually visualize how everything would come together and then I could make edits from that point either taking things away from the design or adding in finishing touches.

It’s not a perfect science, and it’s not meant to be. What it does do, is help to get your creative ideas flowing. You might stumble across some ideas for your home that you didn’t expect to find.

Why Designing a Mood Board for your home matters

I recommend starting with trying to create your own mood board when designing the next space in your home, rather than saving endless Pinterest photos and trying to copy or emulate a certain look or style. Because in the end, you won’t be happy with it and your new space won’t feel like you reflect your own personal taste.  You want your home to represent your own authentic style.

Pinterest is a great source for finding inspiration. So don’t get me wrong, but it also comes with a whole lotta noise and can distract you from getting started on decorating a room, especially when you’re not even sure where to begin.

I love Pinterest and I use it all the time in my own projects. It’s also helped me niche down to what my own individual style really is. So I save a lot of things that inspire me, but I don’t try to copy rooms or the look of them. Feel free to check out my pinterest profile to get an idea of how I organize my design ideas.

A Note about using Pinterest for your mood board

Pinterest is a great resource for helping guide you to your own personal style. And if you do use it to help you with designing or decorating your home, I would encourage you to edit Pinterest regularly. Your style changes over time and you’ll start to notice how you gravitate towards new and different things. So something you liked five years ago may not necessarily appeal to you anymore.

But I would encourage you to use Pinterest to help find specific products after you’ve already created a vision for how you want your room to look. This really helps minimize all of the distraction that happens when you’re doing a broad search for say “Blue Living Rooms” or “White kitchens”. For example, say that you put a photo of a beautiful glass lamp on your mood board. Well, then you can go into Pinterest and search the term “glass lamp”. And you can find inspiration for hundreds of different glass lamps, and that product may lead you to something that you like even better than the one that you initially put on your mood board.

Be sure to check out how you can use Pinterest to easily design a room. Just make sure you’ve tried this method I’m showing you first.

Put it into practice by creating your own mood board to design your home

So start by creating a mood board, and if you’re really clueless about where to even begin with one, then pull out some random home magazines or store catalogs. Some of my favorite printed inspiration to turn to are Better Homes and Gardens Magazines. I also subscribe to a lot of catalogues from Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Frontgate, Ballard Designs, Grandin Road. A lot of other big-name retailers like Crate and Barrel and Williams Sonoma also publish regular catalogs for their customers and it’s free to get on the mailing lists.

You can start just by flipping through the magazine. Literally, just start flipping the pages without giving a whole lot of thought to it. And rip out anything that speaks to you. Set yourself a timer, maybe 15-20 minutes. Do not overthink this process. I repeat, do not overthink this. This is where the creative magic happens.

CHeck out a recent Live Demonstration I hosted on facebook to see exactly how to create this easy mood board


Look for a theme

Before you know it you’ll have a stack of random pages in front of you to go through. So when that timer’s up, stop. Look at the pages you’ve gathered. Chances are you have a theme for a room in front of you without even realizing it.

Whether it’s a color or a texture. Maybe a lot of the photos you chose all have wood tones in them. Or maybe they have a lot of jewel colors in them, for example, you might have chosen everything that was emerald green. Maybe everything you ripped out had beautiful warm white tones in it. Whatever that theme in your photos might be, let that inspire and guide you.

Pull it all together into a mood board

Next, you can take a simple poster board or an old folder. Really whatever you have lying around that you can cut and paste photos onto is fine. We’re not creating artwork here. And you can start cutting out the individual items in the picture that really speak to you and paste them onto your mood board.

I love this approach because it’s really freeing and gets the creative juices flowing. So if you’re clueless on where to begin, this is the method that I would start with.

If you’re someone who’s already nailed down their exact style, or you know exactly how you want to decorate a room, then go ahead and start putting together a word document and search for the pictures and products that you want to include on it.

creating a mood board
Mood Board example created on the Morpholio app

I use a couple of different apps to create my mood boards because I usually already know what I want to do with a room by this time. But, sometimes there’s a lot of things in those catalogs that get me inspired and I might find myself sitting down to put together my own vision board using those pages.

I think that vision boards are really great for pulling out creativity and helping you find your style. It’s really a decorating 101 starting point.

Let it inspire you

I thought it might be a neat idea to show you a finished mood board that I created recently with my magazine pages method:

creating a mood board
My quick mood board from magazines has a green velvet, gold and crystal theme to it and I love it!

What’s great about this mood board that I created is that it’s from some of the random catalogs I had, and it’s nothing that I would’ve selected when out shopping or cruising on Pinterest. It’s something unique that I put together, and it came from this really simple, fun process.

You might be surprised at what comes out of this process for you and you might actually love it.

So here’s a few examples of some mood boards that I’ve created with an app that I use regularly:

creating a mood board

When it comes to creating mood boards, what do you think? Have you done this before, do you like it? Or are you one of those people that gets caught up in Pinterest, endlessly scrolling and you have all of these beautiful pins saved to your decorating board and still have no clue on where to even start?

Then mood boards are the thing for you!

Please! Drop me a comment below to let me know your thoughts. It’s really important for me to know if this was helpful to you, and if it was, then do me a huge favor and share this post on Pinterest or with your friends on Facebook.

As always, thank you so much for dropping by and spending time with me through my post. I hope this helps you to Love the home have.

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