Can a Moodboard Help You Plan the Perfect Room Makeover?


It can be really difficult to decide on a decorative scheme, particularly if you are starting with an empty room and four blank walls. The world is your oyster and you can pick literally any colour you like from the paint chart. So can a moodboard really make the whole process easier, or is it just a gimmick used by trendy interior designers on daytime TV shows?

What is a Moodboard Anyway?

Moodboards are an incredibly useful tool. Yes, interior designers use them, but this doesn’t mean that they are a clever gimmick. A moodboard is a like a scrapbook of ideas. It is a place where you can stick the pictures you’ve ripped out of magazines from the doctors’ waiting room, scraps of fabric, wallpaper samples and anything else that catches your eye. How you put together your moodboard is up to you. Some people treat it as a small-scale version of their room and place pictures and fabric swatches accordingly. Others see it as more of an organic creation and stick photos, wallpaper samples and paint charts on it haphazardly with a bit of masking tape. There really is no right or wrong.

The point of a mood board is to provide a handy place to pool your thoughts and ideas. You can use a moodboard to play around with colours and textures before starting work on the real thing. It is an opportunity to experiment, to see whether a colour scheme will work. A moodboard can also help stimulate your creativity and spark new and exciting design ideas.

How to Put a Moodboard Together

There are lots of ways to make a mood board, but the key to success is to make sure you can move things around easily. Some designers use glue to stick their samples down, but it is a much better idea to use blue-tack or masking tape.

  • Scrapbook – Buy a cheap scrapbook from a stationery store and fill up the pages with photos, images from magazines, fabric swatches, colours from paint charts, and anything else that you find inspirational.
  • A3 board – Stick samples on to a large piece of cardboard or heavy-duty paper. Paint the board in the main colour you intend to use in your room as this will give you a good idea of whether (or not) the rest of your ideas are a good fit.
  • Whiteboard – Large whiteboards are useful as a design tool. You can stick your samples on using masking tape and move them around to suit your ever-changing ideas.
  • Notebook – Keeping a small moodboard in the form of a notebook is useful if you like to spend time browsing around home furnishing shops or DIY stores. That way you can add to your moodboard on the move.

Once Upon a Time…

Use your moodboards to tell a story. For example, you could begin by sticking a picture you like from a design magazine on the moodboard and then build everything else around it. Or, take a photo of a piece of furniture or rug you saw in a local store and use this as your starting point. Once you have the opening chapter of your story you can begin to experiment with different colours, textures and patterns. Use the moodboard to see what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully this will prevent you from making any ghastly mistakes before you go out and spend a fortune on paint, wallpaper and soft furnishings.

A moodboard is a great way to get the whole family involved with your decorating project. Encourage everyone to bring their own samples and ideas to the board. You never know, your son or daughter could turn out to be the next Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen!


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