The last few days I’ve been feeling full of optimism and excitement to start new projects.. and finish half abandoned ones. A mood board is the first step in any design project.
I’m going to take you through an easy way to make up a mood board using office WORD on a Mac or a PC, an every day piece of office software. If you can’t use Photoshop or Canva or Pic collage don’t worry, follow these easy steps.
Years ago, designers used to cut pictures out of magazines, take photos and cut out the prints and stick them on a piece of white or black board. For this mood board I will show you how to use your phone, Pinterest, Instagram, Google and WORD to put it all together. We’re making an easy mood board. No Photoshop No special software.
A mood board helps you can decide what feeling you are trying to capture in a room or an advert or a piece of branding and helps you share it / sell it to your client. Your mood board builds your design’s story and helps you take your client on that journey reaching a decision and on board with a plan.
I’ve worked in branding, tv design and commercials for over 20 years and I make up mood boards as the first thing I do – before I design anything. The mood board helps you decide on the mood to convey. My clients are looking for a way to express their product’s message and speak to the their audience. Whether you are designing a brand, creating an advert or designing a room’s interior, your thought processes are the same.
If you are making over a room your client might be a paying client, a friend, your family, your partner, your mum. In fact anyone who will use this room and moan about it if they don’t like it!
This guide will help you make up a mood board in WORD easily, you won’t be daunted making up a few versions to give you and your client options and help you get everyone on board.
Print out your boards A4 on your inkjet printer, talk through them and discuss, mooch over with a friend, client, your family or your partner and when you decide on the mood and colourway take that board round the shops with you.
Remember a mood board when planning an interior is a starting point so that you can all agree this is the direction you want to take.. before you fall in love with that special lamp and you’re the only one who likes it.
Your mood boards will make decisions about how to achieve the feeling your are looking for in a room and actual final decision of what you are going to buy will come later.
Step 1. Decide on the Mood and Corresponding Colour
First question What mood do I want to aim for and in which room?
And the answer: A bright sunny happy family Kitchen.
Start to look around you for inspiration to capture the mood, go for a walk, take lots of pictures on your phone of colourful things that catch you eye.
Go home and look back on your pictures. Think about what each color means to you and how you feel when you look at that picture. Pick out the best picture of the day and post it to Instagram write a few words about why you like it.
I picked out a picture of some delicate narcissus because they made me feel full of hope and positive for Spring. Looking back on my past posts I found a similar picture of primroses. Thinking about it the pale soft yellow and the white petals summed up a feeling of gentle happiness, fresh mornings and optimism.
This is what made me happy. Looking at my Instagram account I noticed that people responded well to these pictures and they both got lots of likes.
I decided that yellow would be my #happy colour. But what kind of yellow? Soft mustard, egg yellow? Taking photos I began to notice yellow everywhere I looked and I began curating my pictures choosing the best and Instagrammed those images.
Apart from my curated collection on Instagram I had taken loads of pictures not only of things in the street but also furniture, I began to notice yellow everywhere I looked: in cafes, kitchen shops the more I looked the more I found yellow things.
After a few days I could look back on my collection of pictures on Instagram and I could see how I just didn’t like some tones of yellow for my happy kitchen , some were too warm, they sucked lightness in, mustardy was too sophisticated and acidic yellow glowed too much.
Apart from my Instagram pictures, I had taken loads of snaps in shops, shop windows of yellow interiors items
Step 3 Google and Pinterest it
Next step start looking everywhere else and start to focus on your shade of yellow. Make a Pinterest board and do a Pinterest search – “yellow” “kitchens” and pin as much as you can be really free with your pins. The benefit of Pinterest is that you preserve a link to the source of the picture and you can pin lots of pictures really quickly. The down side is that it needs curating to convey the mood that your mood board is going to tell.
Do a Google search based on names of shops. I Googled Next as I know that they have a good selection of homewares, paints and décor. Within the Next website I then searched yellow.
Step 4 Create a Folder on your Computer and Use Screen Grab to Fill it up.
I have now decided on your colour scheme- yellow and white
It will be an accent colour to a white kitchen
This will create a happy, fresh, mood. Not overpowering and not too dark.
I made a folder on my computer and started to store screen grabs of my Google searches, of my favourite Pinterest images – kitchen décor items that matched my colour choice and that I really liked. And anything that told the mood story.
Step 5 Make a Mood Board in WORD
At this point I decided that I was looking to capture the mood of a happy bright fresh kitchen with a fun family feel. The mood board I was starting was going to tell a story to my client
You know what you thing works now you need to get your client to understand this idea and feel what you feel.
Open a new document.
Set the page up to be a landscape image
Start inserting images: File Image Insert.
Keep them small, Crop Shrink
Start telling the story with your visual prompts:
- Key words
- Your inspiration images
- Examples of items that can help set the scene – cushions, curtains etc etc
- Keep to your colour pallet and keep to images that support the mood and the story.
- Keep it simple and to 1 page
- Compress all the images
- Save as a pdf to make it a smaller file
A mood board is your way of exploring a particular mood and explaining it to other people, your client. It’s a way for telling the mood story and use it before you start to choose what furnishings and decor items you will use.
Use autosave so that you save as you go – images are big files until you compress them down. Make a selection of mood boards in different colours so that you can explore this with you client before you make any décor choices. But most importantly: Make it in WORD and it’s simple and straightforward.
Go over to Buildmumahouse Pinterest boards and look through the selection of HAPPY interiors inspiration. Take a look at Buildmumahouse Instagram for my yellow colour inspiration. Leave a comment if you have any questions.