5 Reasons Why Mood Boards are Essential for Designers

Last Updated on March 15, 2023 by SampleBoard

Learn why mood boards are such powerful tools in interior design and how you can use them to optimize your creative process.

We all know mood boards are important for design creatives, but what is it that makes them essential for interior designers?

There isn’t a single interior designer who hasn’t struggled with communicating his design ideas to clients.

Since using telepathy is still an issue for most of us, we have to find the most efficient way to share our vision with peers and avoid spending too much time going in the wrong direction.

Where words fail miserably, mood boards strive, and using them at the early stages of a project can help win pitches and get you on the same page with the client.

It is easy to misread someone’s expectations, especially if the person has been vague about how they imagine their new interiors would look.

What one person considers “minimal,” another might call “sterile,” and the last thing an interior designer wants to hear after countless hours of work on creating a perfect hygge space is “Seems cold to me.” Argh!

To avoid such a scenario, start creating mood boards at the early stages of the project and stop wasting your time on assumptions that will ultimately be rejected by the client.

Mood boards are the perfect jumping-off point for any design project.

Creating mood boards allows you to collect thoughts, ideas, color schemes, and moods in one place and define a coherent design concept without the risk of losing sight of the bigger picture.

Visual concepts are a constant source of inspiration and huge motivators that make you feel empowered. After all, creating mood boards is like playing!

All You Need to Know About Wall Art Trends for 20192020 Sampleboard

Coming up with a well-designed mood board might seem intimidating to some, but to a design creative, it is like putting together pieces of a puzzle. Easy, exciting, and so much fun!

If you still have any doubts about the importance of mood boarding for the design business, check out why every interior designer needs to include mood boards in their design process.

1. Step-by-Step Design Process

Instead of spending endless hours creating the impeccable look and facing the anticipation of feedback that might tear the entire design apart and send you back to the drawing board, create a simple mood board that represents your initial idea and ask for the client’s input.

Designers often fall into the trap of striving for perfection. But when you are trying to produce as many ideas as possible, the race for perfection only wastes precious time (and money).

Mood boards allow you to swiftly pump out concepts without worrying about execution.

Relax! Your draft won’t be seen as the final product but rather as a conversation starter, allowing you to discuss the most important issue of all—the concept.

If you are using SampleBoard, creating a mood board like this takes only a few minutes. All you need to do is gather the photos that best describe your idea and arrange them aesthetically pleasing.

Mood Boards Are Essential for Designers

You can also simply use one of the templates from the editor to keep the look consistent. Look at the example below and tell us if it leaves any doubt about the direction of the future project.

After receiving a mood board like this, it will be easy for the client to tell you whether you are on the right track.

Rust Color Interior Trend

Mood Board

2. Building a Relationship with the Client

Design taste is a matter of personal preferences, and as such, it can be highly subjective. When pulling together a concept for someone’s home, you must ensure your vision matches the owner’s.

If you are lucky enough to score a client who knows exactly what he is looking for (and is tech-savvy at the same time), ask him to create a Pinterest board and pin the photos that show off the vibes of his dream home.

If the style of the board ends up being inconsistent, with the help of a few simple questions, you will quickly find out why they made such choices and be able to prioritize.

Mood Board
mood board interior design

Mood boards empower clients to get involved in all stages of the process, lowering the risk of disagreements later on while encouraging team-building.

Clients know their ideas are heard and understand the logic behind the designer’s decisions.

This way, you can eliminate the presumption that you make your choices on impulse, which is often believed to be true.

Clients will probably be more satisfied with the results if they feel their contribution to it was invaluable.

African Inspired Interior Design
African Inspired Interior Design

3. Visualize the Ideas

But what if the client can’t show you anything but his words?

Chances are you are going to have a hard time visualizing their thoughts. Drawing a picture in your head is often not an option, as it can get rather confusing.

By spending just a few hours on a detailed mood board that mixes your and your client’s thoughts, you will be able to see your objectives and, ultimately, the final design.

The prompt feedback from the client will allow you to fine-tune the concept while in its roots.

5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

Selecting the right color scheme

Choosing a suitable color scheme for a design project can be challenging, especially if the client prefers precise and calculated colors.

The best way to approach such a task is to create a color mood board that reflects the mood you hope to achieve.

In this case, the furniture choice is irrelevant; what matters is the feeling that a certain color palette creates.

That doesn’t mean you should stay inside of the box and consider them as a template! Let your creativity loose and develop your concepts for presenting inspiring color palettes.

As always, showing your personal style is what is going to separate you from the crowd.

Curved Furniture Trend

4. You Don’t Need to Play Safe

Limiting yourself to just one concept is not what a true artist would do. You should create something safe you are sure the client would like but is like good enough for you?

With mood boards, you can quickly create a few alternatives to the original idea and showcase your creativity.

A simple twist to spice things up, or even something edgy with your personal signature, would go a long way.

After all, you have been hired thanks to your portfolio, so it makes perfect sense to assume the client might love to see what YOU think would be the best thing to do with his space.

It won’t cost you anything, but a few minutes could potentially lead you from I like it to Oh my, this is brilliant!

Mood Board
Curved Furniture Trend

5. From Concept to Creation

If you are in the e-design business, your creative process probably ends with the final design board, which contains the shopping selection needed to achieve the desired look.

This type of mood board, or style board, differs from the ones we discussed earlier and is all the client will need to bring your concept to creation.

Coming up with a perfect shopping list can be daunting, but with a bit of help from SampleBoard’s furniture and decor library, anyone can do it in no time.

If you prefer to curate the collection yourself, create folders according to projects and save all the pieces you will need for them using the bookmarklet or importing directly from Pinterest.

Or, if you wish to keep your favorites in one place for future endeavors, group them according to style or purpose.

This way, you will have instant access to the stylish picks of your choice. You may keep this collection private or share your treasures you found with the design community.

Feminine Design Concept Modern Art Deco
5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

In the era of all things digital, the time of traditional sample boards came to an end.

No one has the time to create physical presentation boards anymore, curate and store collections of samples and swatches, source them, and arrange them into life-size concept boards (at least not for all projects and certainly not for e-design work).

Not to mention presenting their ideas to clients in person (unless working with local clients only). And covering travel costs for holding live presentations is just against the grain.

Nowadays, the world is your market, and you should take advantage of opportunities being presented to you.

Interior Color Trend Beige is Back
5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

But for a project to be successful, you still need to gather images that inspire you and find a way to visualize your ideas, and only this time can you do it much faster, simpler, eco-friendly, and for free.

By using online mood board creators such as SampleBoard, you can do just that from the comfort of your creative space anywhere in the world.

We would love to know where you source your inspiration and learn how mood boarding fits into your design routine.

Can you imagine a successful interior design project without a design board?

5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

Who else is using mood boards for their business?

Digital libraries and mood boards are tools for every modern design creative, not just for an interior designer.

Mood boards are popular among businesses, especially in the creative industries.

They can be used to communicate a project's overall feel or tone and get everyone on the same page before starting work.

But who else is using mood boards?

In addition to businesses, individuals can also use them to plan their weddings, redecorate their homes, or even just get some inspiration for their next fashion purchase.

Mood Board

Design students

Design students use mood boards to complete design and marketing-related assignments that must be delivered visually.

Mood boarding helps them develop their personal style and learn how to articulate their design thoughts.

Design students use mood boards to help them visualize the overall feel or tone of a project they are working on.

By gathering images, colors, and textures related to the project topic, students can better understand what their finished product might look like. 

5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard


Stylists use visual boards (or style boards) to express their styling ideas to clients and PR people. A quality style board shows much more than fashion industry buzzwords can.

Style boards can also be used to negotiate with clients about some aspects of the design.

For example, if a client wants something that doesn't fit with the rest of the design, the style board can show them why it might not work well. 

Interior Color Trend Mood Board

Interior decorators

Interior decorators use concept boards in order to achieve their clients’ dream looks without providing the furniture and decor pieces first.

This way they save both their and their client’s time and money. Interior decorators use concept boards as a way to organize their thoughts and ideas for a project.

They can be used to communicate with clients, as well as other designers and contractors involved in the project.

Concept boards can also be used as a tool to help sell a design idea to a client. Mood boards are an essential part of the design process for any designer, but they are especially important for interior decorators.

That’s because interior design is all about creating a certain feeling or mood in a space. And the best way to communicate that feeling or mood is through visuals.

A concept board is basically a giant collage of images, fabric swatches, paint colors, etc. that all relate to the overall design concept.

Putting everything together in one place, allows the decorator to really visualize the space and make sure that all of the elements work together harmoniously.

Why Mood Boards Matter

Home stagers

Home stagers use mood boards to style properties in order to sell them faster and get the top dollar for them. When it comes to styling and selling a client's home, home stagers know that mood boards are essential.

Mood boards help them to get a feel for the overall style of the home and what kind of furniture and accessories will work well in each room.

They can also use mood boards to get an idea of the kind of atmosphere they want to create in each room. This is especially important when selling a home, as potential buyers need to be able to envision themselves living there.

Mood boards are also a great way for homestagers to communicate with their clients.

By putting together a mood board, they can show their clients exactly what they have in mind for each room.

This can help to ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start, which can save a lot of time and frustration later on.

If you're thinking about hiring a home stager, be sure to ask if they use mood boards. If not, you may want to consider working with someone else who does. Mood boards are an essential tool for any home stager worth their salt!

Mood Board Home Staging

Wedding and Event planners

Wedding and Event planners use mood boards to stage perfect environments for their clients’ special dates. When it comes to wedding planning, mood boards are an essential tool for pitching ideas to a bride.

By creating a visual representation of the overall feel and style of the wedding, planners can communicate their vision more effectively and ensure that the final event is everything the bride dreamed it would be.

Mood boards can be created for any aspect of the wedding, from the overall theme and color palette to specific details like stationery, florals, and decor.

Wedding Mood Board
Pastel Wedding Inspiration Board Created on Wwwsampleboardcom

By pulling together images, fabric swatches, and other elements, planners can give brides a clear idea of what their wedding will look like.

This way, there are no surprises on the big day – everything will be exactly as the bride envisioned. Not only do mood boards help with communication, but they also help wedding planners stay organized.

By having all of the visual elements in one place, it’s easy to refer back to when making decisions about other aspects of the wedding.

And when it comes time to start working with vendors, a mood board can be a great starting point for finding vendors that fit the overall vision.

If you’re a bride-to-be planning your own wedding, don’t be afraid to ask your planner to put together a mood board for you.

It’s a great way to get a better sense of what your wedding will look like and to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page.

Liliac Wedding Theme
Emerald Wedding Theme
Wedding Inspiration Board Created Using Sampleboard's mood board creation software


Photographers use mood boards to show off their talent and to style photo shoots. They help photographers to capture the feeling and atmosphere of a shoot, and to communicate their ideas to the client.

Mood boards can be created for any kind of shoot, from weddings to fashion editorials.

They usually contain images that inspire the photographer, as well as details about the location, props, and wardrobe.

Creating a mood board is a great way to get your creative juices flowing and to make sure that everyone involved in the shoot is on the same page.

It’s also a helpful tool for convincing clients to book you for their event!


Bloggers use mood boards for branding purposes and as part of their blogging content. The act of curating images for a mood board can sometimes lead to new insights and ideas about the project.

Marketers and Web designers

Marketers and Web designers use mood boards to pitch creative concepts to their clients and as part of their branding strategy.

Web designers use mood boards to get a feel for the overall tone and style of a project. By collecting images, colors, and other design elements, they can get a better sense of what the end result should look like.

Mood boards can also help designers communicate their vision to clients or collaborators.

Mood boards are particularly helpful when working on branding projects. By creating a board with a cohesive look and feel, designers can ensure that all of the elements work together to create a strong brand identity.

When starting a new project, web designers often begin by doing a bit of research. They'll look at similar projects and see what's been done before.

This research helps them to understand the client's needs and what direction they should take the project in.

Once they have an understanding of the project, they can start putting together their mood board. Web designers use mood boards as a way to collect inspiration for their projects.

By gathering images, colors, and other design elements, they can get a better sense of what the end result should look like.

Mood boards can also help designers communicate their vision to clients or collaborators.

Here are some great examples of mood boards made by our users:

Designer: Laura Cross, Keeki

5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

Michelle Ayala, Wedding planning

5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

Designer: Karen Schmidt

5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

Designer: Laura Slaney

mood board interior design

Designer: Penelope Herbert

5 Essential reasons to use mood boards for interior design -SampleBoard

Happy creating!