Interiors | Use a mood board to pin down the right look.


If you want to design inspired interiors, make sure you pin down your ideas first

Have you ever started to think about redecorating and your ideas circle around in your head until it all gets messy and you have no idea where to start.

Inspiration overload is one reason why mood boards are really important, especially at the start of a project, says Ellie Bradley, Partner & Director Atelier Lane.

“A mood board focuses the ideas and helps you stick to your look and style, ensuring you don’t stray. Mood boards are a great reminder of what you need to do, what colours you are working with, what textiles and patterns suit your style. So many of my clients complain about going out and shopping and buying things that just don’t’ suit so having a reminder helps keep you on track when buying. A lot of money and time is saved, which is always a good thing.”

“A clear vision of what you need to make your idea a reality will help you make sound decisions.”

So where do you start?

I am always asked how do you start the process. My approach is practical but also fun. Depending on your renovation, I will suggest how many boards you have. For instance, a building renovation such as a new kitchen or bathroom, I suggest two boards – a concept board (this helps define your style); and the second board is for practical considerations such as materials and finishes. If however, you are just styling, for instance, creating a new look for your living room, you only need the concept board.

Before you start, you need to assess the room you are working on; what is working for you, what’s not. How many people do you need seats for? Will the room be mainly used at night? How many windows are there? Where are the power sockets? This will give you a starting point and list of requirements to start your boards.

The concept board will feature your creative influences. If you don’t know where to start, create a Pinterest board of the rooms you like, once you have about 20-30 images you can take a look through them all and figure out the main characteristics. It could be colour, pattern, a style such as tropical or coastal, it may even be a type of wood that seems to feature most. This will help you view your current room in new light and define the style you want to go with.

Mood boards can be a physical, tactile board or nowadays digital. I work mostly with digital mood boards as it allows me to work with clients overseas or in regional cities via my online interior design service. I always, however, make sure that I was am suggesting items can be sourced locally to my client. 

At the end of a project, look back at your boards and learn from them: Were you too ambitious? Are you naturally drawn to things that are too expensive? Or are you being too safe? Add a surprise into the mix.