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Design Inspo

How to Create a Beautiful Mood Board for Interior Design

Mood boards are the first step in every creative project. Define goals, select images, organize layouts, and add minimal text. Bring your visions to life.

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Top things to know about creating a mood board:

  • Defining the goal of your mood board will help you in your creation process.
  • The images in your mood board will help bring your vision to life; they can be people, places, things, anything really!
  • Mood board tools allow you to easily drag and arrange your images until your layout feels just right.
  • If your mood board doesn't speak for itself, add text to help contextualize your overall vision.

Mood boards are the first step in every creative project. Whether you're working on your interior design portfolio, interacting with a client, or working on a personal project at home, a mood board will help you bring your vision to life. Mood boards, also known as vibe boards or inspiration boards, are a visual representation and source of inspiration that will help you articulate the ideal vision for your project. Call them what you want, but they will be a game-changer in your design process!

Read on for our five-step guide on creating a mood board if you want to learn how to bring your design vision to life.

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1. Define what the goal of your mood board is.

Clearly defining what the goal for your mood board is will help you throughout the creation process.

Keep in mind that there can be more than one goal for a project; there are no rules! If you're having difficulty defining your goals, try to write out anything that comes to mind first. If you're designing for a multi-room home, you will probably have different plans for the living room than the bathroom. Think through each section and ask yourself what the purpose of each space is.

2. Source images for your mood board that represent your vision.

The images in your mood board will bring your idea to life; they can be people, places, things, colors, interiors, materials, literally anything! Don't worry about how all the photos will fit together at this stage. Instead, stay focused on sourcing the best images for your collage. For example, let's say you're working on a mood board for a client who wants a beach bungalow in Venice—you'd likely pull a close-up of sand for color inspiration and a specific chair that fits the bungalow vibe. Or maybe you'd select a photo of a couple lounging on a big comfy, white canvas sofa. Finally, you're painting a picture for your client and getting those creative juices flowing!

sandy beachy blue mood board made in spoak
A mood board that speaks to a bungalow aesthetic through visuals and texture.

3. Organize your mood board and play around with placement until everything looks just right.

While there's no right or wrong way to organize your mood board, a few helpful layout options can get you started. For a more cohesive and linear look, you can create straight grid lines where every image fits into each other like a puzzle. For something more free-flowing and magazine-esque, you can overlay and collage photos directly on top of each other. With mood board design tools, you can drop and arrange images in just a few clicks. Don't be afraid to move things around and try different iterations until you're happy with the finished product. I like to lean into the cut-and-paste effect by removing the backgrounds of some elements in the mood board so they appear to float over other images. But, again, there are no rules so have fun with it!

4. If your mood board doesn't speak for itself, add some text to your board.

Sometimes mood boards speak for themselves; other times, adding a few notes to contextualize what you are trying to articulate is nice. The key here is to keep things as concise as possible. You don't want to crowd your board with too much text; rather, just the right amount. For example, you might want to write "Goal Aesthetic" underneath one primary inspiration image or "Key Inspiration" next to a picture of a beautiful home's interior. While text can help guide your viewer, it's not always necessary.

5. Put any finishing touches on your board before showing it off to the world.

Before sharing your mood board with your client or friends, be sure you've double-checked everything looks finalized and good to go. If you're presenting this mood board to a client, add your studio name (or name if you don't have an official design business) somewhere on the corner of the board, as well as the project name and date. While this isn't required, it's a nice way to track your work over time.


Related mood board content to make your heart sing...

Looking for more mood board inspiration? Check out these articles to get your creative juices flowing:

Photo Credit: (Left) Mood board made by Lisa Galano

To create your mood board and bring your vision to life, join Spoak.

Date Posted
August 21, 2023
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