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Are you looking to design a dream room but do not know where to start? A Mood board should be an integral part of your design strategy. As they say, 'A picture is worth a thousand words.’ The Interior Design Mood board is a vital tool to organise your ideas and visualise the room plan. Unlike whiteboards, mood boards are a creative canvas with a preliminary sketch of the interior layout and décor. According to HAL Research, mood boards represent an in-discipline and design rationale approach by bringing together heterogeneous objects to establish a cluster of possible relations. Designers use a mood board to showcase the layout, furniture placement, fittings and lighting of the room. Not only do they display designers' ideas with clarity, but they also showcase their creative depth. An interior designer’s mood board is that it includes the client's preferences of colour, theme, etc. and can be used for iterations and modifications based on his feedback.
Interior design mood board ideas are given shape in the form of a creative collage of images, text and samples of home décor objects or an actual room mockup. A mood board can be physical or digital, depending on your preference. However, a digital mood board saves time and can be modified easily. It is also relatively hassle-free due to the availability of several design software, which eliminates the need for physical props to represent design elements.
Interior design mood board elements
A mood board for interior design generally comprises the following elements.
At the outset, it is imperative to understand your objective, project requirements, and client preferences. For instance, if you are creating a mood board for the interior design of a luxurious villa, you must understand the current trends in this space and ways to incorporate them into your design. Moreover, it would be best if you used pictures that aptly depict the high-quality construction material to be used in the project.
Traditionally, designers used physical mood boards to express their ideas. However, technological advancements have led them to use advanced software and tools to depict their ideas.
Choosing the presentation of the interior design mood board plays an instrumental role in showcasing your ideas constructively.
Here are two popular interior design mood board ideas.
a) Collage: A collage is an artistic composition of pictures depicting your interior design ideas and preferences. It does not have any standard rule for the shape or placement of images.
b) Template: A template is an organised chart combining pictures, materials and colour schemes in the form of a design.
Once you choose a specific presentation of the mood board, keep updating it as and when new ideas occur.
The next step is to decide on the tool for creating a mood board. While several tools are available online in freemium mode, you must make a smart choice depending on your budget, objective and usability.
Some of the common software to create a mood board to depict interior design ideas are:
Step 1: Gather Images
Begin the mood board design process by gathering sample images. The choice of images will depend upon the design and décor you have selected for the project. Interior design magazines, interior décor blogs, Instagram and Pinterest serve as great sources of inspiration. Select an appropriate design based on the trending styles, budget and accessibility. For instance, you might want to add a fancy accessory but refrain from putting it on if it doesn't fit your client's budget.
Step 2: Trim any background of images
Ideally, a designer downloads all their favourite images to his laptop or a storage device. Chop off any white or irrelevant background of photos, especially of décor items. Removing the background makes room for more pictures to fit a given size of a mood board and clearly depicts your interior design ideas. If you are working on Photoshop, lasso tools come in handy to remove the extra background. In the case of other software, simply upload the images to a tool like drawing and press Bg to eliminate the background.
Step 3: Start with the Essentials
Start with the essential items for the interior design mood board. If making a collage, jot down essential design elements before placing them on the mood board. Pay attention to their placement and the rationale behind them. Specify the material to be used for each component. For instance, for a living room, flooring, furniture and upholstery items are non-negotiable and must be included in the mood board for a clearer picture. A designer must also consider the quality of the material being used in the fittings and lighting. In a mockup, these elements must be arranged into a little vignette of your room which will reflect your ideas coherently.
Step 4: Experiment with Different Options
Any mood board for interior design gives scope to experiment with different image combinations. Put the key elements onto the mood board, then swap them in with other options to see which combination works best. It is recommended to have a solid image bank to experiment with a set of pictures for each element, such as a rug, cough, etc., and zero in on one that goes well with the rest of the images in the mood board. Ensure that colours and patterns on the mood board go well together; they can either contrast or supplement each other.
Once you are finished designing the mood board, take a pause and reflect. Ask the following questions to yourself-Am I missing out on something? Does it look good? What can I do differently to make it look better? Is it financially viable? Is the layout and design in line with the current trends and client expectations? Don't be hesitant to make further modifications to the mood board if you are not satisfied with its final look. It is also essential to gather feedback from various stakeholders, peers and clients and make further improvisations to achieve its objectives.
An interior design mood board is a powerful tool to give shape to ideas and optimise the entire design process. It offers a sound visualisation of the interior design project with the entire design details, depicts each element and establishes a close connection among them.
In interior design, the mood board is the most viable option to determine the project requirements and plan for it accordingly.
The project execution becomes easier once an interior designer has worked on the framework. The mood board makes the entire design process coherent by helping designers put across their ideas and incorporate clients’ requirements and feedback. It serves as a good starting point for the design process and helps track progress over a period of time.
A digital mood board serves as a great collaboration tool to help a team of designers work simultaneously and modify and save changes on a common platform in real-time from any device.
Mood boards are a fun way to express your creativity. It helps designers explore various layouts and styles and experiment with them without restrictions.
The same mood board serves as a good reference for upcoming projects.
The mood board also minimises revision cycles and ensures all interior design stakeholders are on the same page.
A designer can do without words, but mood boards are indispensable for his success. Using them for new business pitches can help win clients and grow the design business.
A Mood board can be used as a canvas for exploration, reflection and experimentation. There are no set patterns or predefined norms for designing a mood board for interior design. In contrast to a physical mood board, a digital mood board offers more scope for brainstorming and saves time for designers. However, designing an effective mood board is the key to reaping the benefits of the interior design project.
As mentioned by Garner, Steve & McDonagh, Deana (Published in Problem Interpretation and Resolution via Visual Stimuli: The Use of 'Mood Boards' in Design Education),
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