How is it that interior designers create such perfectly styled rooms? Partly it's because of their education, of course. Designers have a lot of schooling and internships under their belts. But part of it is a magic little tool called the design inspiration board, and you can make one for your home, or different ones for each project.
What is a Design Inspiration Board?
Chances are, you’re well versed at using Pinterest. If so, you’re already on the right track (You should also follow us on Pinterest!) Also known as a mood board, especially in digital design circles, a design inspiration board is a collage of sorts that lets you collect, arrange, and keep ideas together. When you find a paint swatch that you love, stick it on the board. Want to compare how different upholstery fabrics complement the shape of a chair? Add them to the board.
You can also have more than one inspiration board. Maybe you would like to have a board where you tack up everything from magazine clippings to paint chips. Interior Designopedia everything you love should go on your board. By collecting all the things you love in one place, patterns will appear. You'll see which colors you really love, the style of furniture you gravitate towards, decorating styles and even things like simple, clean lines with minimal clutter or more traditional rooms with lots of accessories.
With a design board you get to test out your ideas before going through the time and cost of shopping, bringing things home and finding out that new chair doesn't work with your flooring. You can add or remove pictures of furnishings and light fixtures, layering on the color, texture, and light, until you can really visualize the space as it will look once complete.
How do I Create a Design Mood Board?
Building a design inspiration board is simple. You don’t need anything fancy, but the more effort you put in, the more likely you'll use it. First you'll need to create a blank canvas. Many designers prefer to use a black background, such as what you’d have with a sheet of arts and crafts black foam board. Black doesn’t add any unwanted tones to the images on the board the way white and other colors may. It helps you see the colors more true.
If you had a black chalkboard wall, that could be an ideal space. But you don’t have to use black at all, not if you don’t want to. Cork is a great material, because you can use push pins and reuse the space over and over again. And so is a magnetic board.
There’s even magnetic paint that will allow you to turn an ordinary wall or the side of a cupboard, into a metallic surface where magnets will stick and hold up your ideas. It’s all about how large a space you want, and what you want it to look like. Remember the ribbon-strung media boards that were so popular a decade ago? That method still works.
Where Do I Use a Design Idea Board?
Some home owners like to keep creative ideas contained to a single area, such as a home office or craft room. And those are great places to gather everything together. But one thing is sure, you’ll want excellent lighting, either from windows or from ample light fixtures.
If you’re redecorating your whole house, there’s nothing wrong with leaving a design inspiration board in every room. In the kitchen, you can visualize how that new range or countertop material might look. (Read: Kitchen Design: Thinking Outside the Box) In the living room, you can begin to see how the upholstery fabric you like will look under the lighting you’ve got.
Wherever you have a project, there’s a reason to create a board to help plan it.
Of course you aren’t required to use a design inspiration board, and there’s no rule that says your projects won’t turn out beautifully without one. But they certainly do live up to their name — any board that you make is an inspirational design tool that helps you hone your creative skills a little more. (Read: Decorating Ideas from Hotel to Home)
Are you thinking about reworking one or more of the rooms in your home? Or maybe even planning ahead for outdoor spaces? Why not take a trip to an art supply store and begin with one plain black foam board. You may surprise yourself with the ideas you can create using something so simple and effective.