Mood Boards: how-to and why

Anybody who follows me on Instagram or Facebook will know that I am about to launch an online shop with a collection of handcrafted, sustainable goods for a coastal home and lifestyle.  It’s all been a bit crazy trying to set this up alongside doing my usual tutoring work.  Last week I realised that with my (self-imposed) deadline of August drawing to a close and the website nearly finished, I needed to source goods to place in the shop!   I’m not quite as unorganised as I sound, having kept a list of any amazing brands/makers that I’ve come across over the year.  But I needed clarity.  Clarity on the look and feel for the coming Spring /Summer, and the colours I intended to focus on.  So I created a mood board and if this interests you, you might like to see my process.



The key reason for creating a mood board is to establish the intended feel/mood/atmosphere; all words that mean the same thing really.  The images you collect don’t necessarily have to be used in your kitchen, workspace, wardrobe, shop – or whatever it is you’re creating your mood board for – but they have to conjure up the right feelings/emotions.  Notice how the room setting has been used above to show the intended atmosphere.


This image above captures for me the feel of laidback, warm Summery days.  I’m not intending to sell clothing this Summer, but that doesn’t matter; the colours and tone of this image fit perfectly.


If I were creating a mood board for an interior design client, using hard copy images (not digital), then I’d put a lot of time into getting the size and placement of each image right, so that they can be arranged in a aesthetically pleasing way.  (Refer to the first image.)  But when creating a digital board I tend to fill the page.  The key is to overlap images, and vary the size of images so that the boards look tidy and not too cluttered.  It needs to look balanced.  Balance comes largely down to use of colour, so avoid clustering the same colours together – instead place them apart in a way that looks right.  Here’s my Spring/Summer mood board below:

Large Summer Mood Board

To create a digital mood board in a format that could be uploaded to Instagram and Facebook I used Canva.   The format is a little smaller than the one shown above, and the images are large enough that they can be seen easily in a social media feed.  So I had to pick the key images that I felt really portrayed the look and feel I was creating.  Here’s what I chose:

Social Media Mood Board Summer 17 18


This process has really helped me in selecting what I want for my shop, and should avoid that awful angst in decision making that can easily happen to all of us when planning or designing anything!  I visited a small trade fair on Tuesday, mostly to touch base with a few key people, and having already created this board last week I found it really helped my decision making.

Hoping this helps you if planning for a new room in your home, for key new pieces in your Summer wardrobe, or your wedding!  I’ll leave you with this Summery image below – if you’re in the southern hemisphere like me, we’re getting closer!

Kim x

NB: all images, including those in my mood boards, are sourced from Pinterest and can be found on my Pinterest account.

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Author: The Coastal Creative

Living close to the beach encourages a relaxed way of living and this influences my work as an interior designer. I am drawn to the eclectic, faded colours, rustic timber, the imperfection of things hand made, and objects that tell a story.

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