Inspiration Boards (and how they help focus your design)

Inspiration Boards (also known as Mood Boards) are a really great way to collect all your ideas to narrow down your focus when you are designing something.  Whether it’s a room of your house or the look of a party, collecting everything in one place helps you see what will work and what may not.  Pinterest is a great tool for this, but it’s also very easy to get carried away while pinning.  To help me focus, I like to create a specific mood board where I can see everything laid out and see how the final vision will come together.

For instance, here is a mood board that I created when I was designing my bedroom in my very first apartment.

My ultra girlie bedroom idea!

I knew I wanted a bright pink room, but I also wanted it to look sophisticated and girlie.  Some things on the mood boards were things that I definitely knew that I wanted.  Other things were just representations of things that I wanted, and others were pipe dreams – like that gorgeous egg chair that I knew I couldn’t afford.  One thing that I really wanted, but after I moved in realized I couldn’t have was the chandelier – as it turned out, my apartment didn’t have overhead lighting in the bedroom, and I wasn’t quite skilled enough to wire it up!  I also really liked the idea of a wire dress form, and I ended up finding a table-top version which I used as a jewellery hanger (You can sort-of see it in the photo below on the dresser).

In the end, this is how it turned out:

bedroom, condo, pink, damask, black & white, pretty, girlie

This isn’t the best photo, because I took it at night. I did three walls with the Peony paint by Benjamin Moore (in the mood board above), and one wall in a soft grey. I chose that exact Damask bedspread above, and you can’t see it in this photo, but I also used those hand mirrors from Urban Outfitters.  I didn’t end up buying a giant Audrey Hepburn photo because I couldn’t find one that was perfect for my room – but if I had, before I moved out, I would’ve hung it right above the bed.

DIY Curtain Tie-Backs, Daisy, Flower, Pink, Black, Damask, Bedroom, I also did some little things to bring it all together – like creating my own curtain tie backs.  These were a simple project that I completed in one afternoon, but it made such a difference to the overall look of the bedroom.  The windows in the condo were one of the things that initially drew me to buying it, because they are so unique.  They are recessed, so they actually go up into the ceiling to create a unique architectural feature.  This made it hard to find a proper curtain rod, but I got creative with a shower tension rod!  Once the tie-backs were in, it completely transformed the look of the room.  (Note, the photo links to a tutorial on my photo blog to create these tie-backs yourself)

For the walls, I wanted to create art out of my own projects.  I made these canvases using scrapbook paper and packing tape, which meant that I could change out the photos if I got tired of them.  (I never actually did, because I love NYC!) I had these hanging on the small wall next to the door that borders the closet.  Because it was such a small space, I didn’t want anything very overpowering, so these small canvases were perfect – and I got to showcase my art as well! I photographed these pictures on my Diana+ camera on b&w film, while I was in New York in 2008.

DIY wreath, felt, pink, white, black, cute, puffy, circles, One last project that I’ll leave you with – my DIY wreath – who says you can’t have a wreath on an inside door?!  This was made out of a styrofoam wreath form, and hundreds of little felt circles that I cut out by hand and pinned to the form.

I added this to the front door of my bedroom, which was a super cute bridge between the turquoise & tan hallway/living room area and the pink & black bedroom.

In the end, I really love the way my bedroom turned out!  I found that the inspiration board really helped to focus my ideas, and the end product was nearly exactly as I envisioned it!  Have you created a mood board before?  Would you, now that you’ve seen how beneficial they can be?