An essential aid for any interior designer; a moodboard is a collection or collage of materials (photographs, magazine images, text, paint, textures, colours etc) which capture the ambience, intention or feel of a design. It is the easiest and most logical way to physically evaluate or summarise your aspirations and thoughts with regards to a design scheme and furthermore, are a crucial element in communicating your ideas to clients. Whether a professional or simply looking to update your own home, I would always recommend this process to ensure you are focused and clear on your design aim.

Although not always, design inspiration often comes from an individual fabric, texture, image or experience. However great a starting point this is; the difficultly is turning this basic idea in to a beautiful and practical interior design scheme that is reflected in the fabric, wall covering, furniture, lighting and layout of the room. Consequently, to enable you to take this step, gather together a collection of visual stimuli and begin to work your way through it having the original inspiration piece in front of you r at the forefront of your mind. When looking through your collection consider each image, object and picture in terms of three things:

  1. Do you like it?
  2. Does it complement the original design inspiration in terms of colour, texture, form or pattern?
  3. Would you like this idea in essence to be incorporated in your scheme?

If all three of these answers are correct, put the image or object to one side and begin to collect a variety of visual statements about your intended design scheme. Alongside this, brainstorm words that help express what you are looking for whether it is soft, clean, ethnic, deep, innocent, grand etc. Once finished grab a piece of A3 card and begin to arrange the various cuttings and objects next to each other; establishing which work, which clash, which aren’t quite in keeping with the others and which on reflection don’t suit your intended design scheme. This can be a lengthy process and often requires you to revert back to your original sources and the internet. Once happy with the collection, stick the pieces down and add text where appropriate to further express the design. Hang this up in the room or on your fridge so you can look at and review your choices over a few days. Remember however, a mood board is only supposed to capture the essence not the exact elements of your design: that is the next stage. You should generally only take from the moodboard basic colours, forms, textures and styles not necessarily specific objects, materials and so on. Furthermore, it may be necessary to create two or three mood boards to enable you to decide on the best scheme for the room in question.

This stage, although to the impatient seems somewhat too much fun to be useful, is essential in the creation of a effective and cohesive design scheme that truly replicates your original intention and design brief.