You’ve probably liked, shared and saved numerous mood boards on Instagram and Pinterest as inspiration for a room renovation, or even your dream home. Designers have used mood boards for decades to help bring their designs to life before their client sign’s off on a project.
We’ve partnered with Interior Designer @AshleyIzsak to create her dream living space and thought it would be great for her to share how she creates a mood board in her professional life. Here are some easy ways that you can create a mood board for your own home and avoid potential design pitfalls.
While Ashley uses Photoshop to create her mood boards, the steep learning curve and cost of the applications likely doesn’t make sense for those of us who aren’t design professionals. Luckily—there’s Canva, with both free and professional versions available there is no need to feel intimidated. Canva is super simple to use and allows you to create all types of content (including mood boards!) that you’ll be proud to share with your followers!
Step 1: Inspiration Always start the design process with the first thing that really speaks to you—it could be a large piece of furniture, paint colour, wallpaper, a print, or anything really - there’s no wrong way to be inspired. Pinterest is a great resource if you have no idea where to begin planning a room.
Step 2: Get organized Gather pictures of your items. Once you have the first inspirational piece, you are setting the tone of your space. Keep looking for more items to fill up the room.
Step 3: Select your template Open the Canva App and just do a quick search for “mood board”. Select the template that appeals to you the most or try this one (one of Ashley’s go-to’s!). Don’t worry too much about what the template looks like initially—remember it’s just a template, you will be turning it into your own vision in no time!
Step 4: Curate your collection Remember those colours and furniture items that inspired you in Step 1? It’s time to upload all those saved, pinned and liked photos into Canva. All you need to do is click “Upload” on the left panel to create your own curated collection of items to select from for your mood board.
If you are saving a photo from a website (just right click and select “save as”), you’ll often find it will have a background. Feel free to leave the background in the image, or if you want to go next level you can use the Background Eraser tool within Canva to, well, erase it. The tool is only available in the Paid/Pro version; however, you can get access to it if you sign up for a free 30-day trial.
Step 5: The fun part! Now you get into the good stuff, just click on your uploaded images to appear on your mood board. Have fun sizing and placing your images until you feel your vision has come to life. In addition, you can even curate your palette colours to match your items. All you need to do is click on one of the colours in your palette and then navigate to the top left to find the colour menu. From here you can either select from one of the default colours or pull the exact match from your photo.
Step 6: Sharing is caring We’re almost there—the last thing we recommend you do is tag your sources—in IG you can do this directly on the photo when you share it, but if you are sharing in a location you can’t do that we highly recommend tagging your sources in some way so that anyone seeing your mood board can easily access the items in it. And that’s it—all that’s left is for you to download your mood board and share it with the world on Instagram, Pinterest or your blog.
Want to take it to the next level and really get your mood board working for you? Sometimes you have a challenge all the elements coming together—or the general idea is there but the pieces just aren’t right. It can be tricky when you have your heart set on a piece of furniture only to drag it into the mood board and discover it really doesn’t work like you thought it would. This is a great opportunity to save that version, then go back and switch out a couple things—maybe it’s just switching out your feature piece, or trying out different pieces of art, paint swatches or wallpaper—sometimes one small change can make your mood board suddenly come together in harmony.
Now that you’ve got the know-how to create your mood board like a pro – we have some final tips from @AshleyIzsak:
Start your board on Pinterest to gather ideas and pin specific products onto you board—that way when you are ready to design your mood board you can easily access all the products you’ve already saved.
Find pieces that feel right to you—if you don’t love a piece of furniture, keep looking. If you have a picture in your mind on what you’re looking for don’t settle for anything less. Consider customizing your key pieces like your sofa so you can have exactly what you want. Often the small difference in price is a big impact in style.
Your mood board/design plan is a great start—but a room will never feel like it’s truly yours until you add in your own personal items like books, photos and art. For me it is a balance of coming up with a functional layout that encourages flow and conversation in a living room as well as pieces that will serve your daily life well. If you have children and pets, make sure you take that into consideration when choosing a sofa but also realize that does not mean you automatically need to order a dark leather sofa. There are amazing performance fabrics out there so that you can have that lighter sofa you are dreaming of without the fear of stains.
If you want more design inspiration, we highly recommend you follow Ashley on Instagram @AshleyIzsak—her feed is full of home design inspiration, sharing the heart behind the pretty of her home, and our personal favourite—her signature “Tap & Style” stories.