5 Reasons why mood boards are essential for designers

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Learn why mood boards are such a powerful tool in interior design and find out how you can utilize them to optimize your creative process.

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

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 the 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 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 hasn’t been very precise 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 early stages of the project and stop wasting your time on assumptions that will end up being 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 risk of losing sight of the bigger picture. Visual concepts are a constant source of inspiration, the huge motivators that make you feel empowered. And after all, creating mood boards is like playing! 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 the crucial reasons why every interior designer needs to include mood boards in their design process.

1. Step by Step Design Process

Instead of spending endless hours on creating the impeccable look and then facing the anticipation of feedback that might thorn 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 a conversation starter, allowing you to discuss the most important issue of them all - the concept.

If you are using SampleBoard, coming up with 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 in an aesthetically pleasing way. Or simply use one of the templates from the editor to keep the look consistent. Take a 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 if you are on the right track or not.

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

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 need to be sure 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. You can later easily pull the photos from Pinterest in your SampleBoard library and start from there.

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

Mood boards empower clients to get involved in all stages of the process and lower the risk of disagreements later on, while at the same time encouraging team-building. Clients know their ideas are being heard and understand the logic behind the designer’s decisions. This way you can eliminate the presumption that you make your choices on an impulse, which is often believed to be true. Clients will probably end up being more satisfied with the results if they feel their contribution to it was invaluable.

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

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 yours and your client’s thoughts together, you will be able to see your objectives and ultimately the final design. The prompt feedback from the client will give you a chance to fine-tune the concept while in its roots.

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

Choosing the right color scheme for a design project can be challenging, especially if the client prefers precise and calculated use of color. The best way to deal with such a task is to create a color mood board that shows off the mood you are hoping to achieve. In this case, the furniture choice is irrelevant, what matters is the feeling that a certain color palette creates. Take a look at these examples from the articles Muted Colors - In the SpotlightAll the Colors of the Year 2017 and Ultra Violet - Pantone Color of the Year Promises Hope to find out what a good color mood board looks like. That doesn’t mean you should stay inside of the box and consider them as a template! Let your creativity loose and develop your own concepts for presenting inspiring color palettes. As always, showing your personal style is what is going to separate you from the crowd.

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

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

Ultra Violet interiors

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 pull together a few alternatives to the original idea and showcase your range of creativity. A simple twist to spice things up and even something edgy that has your personal signature written all over it 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 and it could potentially lead you from I like it to Oh my God, this is brilliant!

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

5. From Concept to Creation

If you are in e-design business, your creative process probably ends with the final design board that contains the shopping selection needed to achieve the desired look. This type of mood board, or style board, differs from the ones we spoke about earlier and is all the client will need to bring your concept to creation. Coming up with a perfect shopping list can be a daunting task, but with a little help of 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 faves in one place for future undertakings, group them according to the style or purpose. This way you will have instant access to the stylish picks of your choice. You may decide to keep this collection private or share your found treasures with the design community.

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 into life-size concept boards (at least not for all projects and certainly not for edesign 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 that are being presented to you. But for a project to be successful, you still need to gather images that inspire you and find a way to visualize your ideas, only this time that can be done much faster, simpler, eco-friendly and for free. By using online mood board creator 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 do you source your inspiration and learn about how does mood boarding fit 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 a tool of choice for every modern design creative, not just for an interior designer.

Design students use mood boards to complete design and marketing related assignments that need to be delivered in a visual manner. Mood boarding helps them develop their personal style and learn how to articulate their design thoughts.

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 will ever be able to.

Decorators use concept boards in order to achieve their client’s dream look without providing the furniture and decor pieces first. This way they save both their and their client’s time and money.

Home stagers use mood boards to style properties in order to sell it faster and get the top dollar for them.

Wedding and Event planners use mood boards to stage perfect environments for their clients’ special dates. Mood boards help them pitch innovative ideas and unexpected color combinations before bringing them to life.

Photographers use mood boards to show off their talent and to style photo shoots.

Bloggers use mood boards for branding purposes and as part of their blogging content.

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

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

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

Designer: Penelope Herbert

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

Feeling creative? Discover how easy it is to create stunning design boards with SampleBoard and don’t forget to label them as public to enter our monthly giveaway and share your talent with our community.

Happy creating!

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

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