Interior design is more than just picking out furniture and artwork. It’s about creating a unique and inviting atmosphere that reflects your personality and style. One of the best ways to get started on any interior design project is with a mood board. A mood board helps you visually organize the different elements of your space and create a cohesive look. Read on for tips on how to make an interior design mood board that will have you ready to start designing in no time. 

Mood Board Interior Design Guide

Elements of a Design Mood Board 

In general, a mood board is all about gathering and arranging inspirations. This could be a photography mood board, a mood board for fashion, or a film mood board. When creating an interior design mood board, there are several key elements you should include: 

Paint swatches — these are essential for setting the color palette for your space.

Fabric swatches — these can be used for upholstering furniture, window treatments, pillows, etc. 

Flooring samples — this will help you determine what type of flooring works best.

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration Flooring

Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration  •  Flooring

Wallpaper samples — if wallpaper is part of your plan. 

Photos and images — this could include photos of furniture pieces or styles that inspire you.

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration Photography

Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration  •  Photography

Artwork — this could be anything from photographs to paintings to textiles.  

Lighting fixtures — take note of the types of lighting fixtures that would work well in your space.
How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration Lighting Fixtures

Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration  •  Lighting Fixtures

Accessories — these are the finishing touches that complete any room such as coffee table books, rugs, plants, etc. 

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration Accessories

Mood Board Interior Design Inspiration  •  Accessories

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary items for your mood board, it’s time to assemble them into one cohesive composition. There are many ways you can do this — from physical boards with push pins or tape to digital boards created with graphic design software like Adobe Illustrator.

We used the StudioBinder mood board app to create our interior design mood board example that you can check out below. 

Interior design mood board template

No matter what option you go with, make sure it serves its purpose — to help bring your vision to life. Now that we’ve covered the general elements of what to include within your board, let’s take a closer look at how to determine a theme that will dictate the visuals you use.

Themes in a Mood Board for Interior Design

1. Select Your Theme

The first step in creating a interior design mood board  is selecting your theme. This could be something as simple as “modern minimalism” or “eclectic boho-chic” or it could be more specific such as “mid century modern with Scandinavian influences.” 

Interior design themes provide the opportunity to create a unique and distinct look for your interior spaces. By utilizing an interior design theme, you can create an interior design mood board that will reflect various aspects of your personality, giving you the chance to express yourself in ways that range from bold and dramatic to soft and subtle. 

Through color palettes, textures and patterns, interior design themes allow you to customize your interior space with creative flair.

Additionally, interior design themes can evoke feelings or fit certain styles depending on their application. For example, designs inspired by nature will show this in their theme. 

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Themes in a mood board for interior design

Themes in a mood board for interior design

With a theme, you can also choose to focus on one room or area of the house (such as the living room) or you can create a mood board for interior design for an entire house. 

Interior design themes differ from traditional decorating in that they are often more focused on unifying larger elements — such as style, color palettes and interior layout — to create an overarching look with greater cohesion than simply pulling together a few pieces of furniture for a single room. 

Because interior design themes tend to be multi-faceted, getting started may seem intimidating. However, with the right level of planning and knowledge up front, interior design can be incredibly rewarding and lead to truly amazing results.

Materials for Interior Design Mood Board

2. Gather Inspiration 

Once you have chosen your theme, it’s time to start gathering inspiration for your mood board. When gathering inspiration, think about color schemes, furniture styles, fabrics, and textures that fit with your theme. You can use magazines, catalogs, websites, and even Pinterest to find interior design mood board examplesand images that appeal to you visually.

For example, if you are going for an industrial look then try incorporating metal accents with exposed brick walls and concrete floors. 

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Industrial mood board interior design

Industrial mood board interior design

If you’re looking for interior design inspiration on websites and blogs, keep an eye out for various textures, colors, shapes and furniture pieces that could influence the overall vision of your final project. Do not be afraid to venture out and gather inspiration in other mediums such as editorial photography, film mood boards, historical resources, etc. 

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board

3. Choose Your Materials

Once you have gathered all of your inspiration images together its time to start choosing materials for your mood board for an interior design project. This includes all of the elements we listed at the beginning of this article from paint and floor swatches to accessories. This also includes any broader design references such as complete rooms. 

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Troye Sivans Melbourne Home via Architecural Digest

Troye Sivan’s Melbourne Home via Architectural Digest

You can also add notes and other elements such as ribbons and buttons if you want to give your mood board for interior design some extra visual interest. Remember that the goal here is not only to represent the overall aesthetic but also to capture the feeling that you want your space/room/house to evoke when complete so make sure everything ties together well. This also means utilizing materials outside of the world of interior design such as photography, film, or paintings like we mentioned earlier. 

How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Inspiration for mood board interior design

Inspiration for mood board interior design

Creating an interior design mood board is an excellent way for students and professionals alike to express their vision without having any prior experience in interior design. 

By carefully selecting colors, materials, and furniture pieces that fit together in harmony while still expressing individual personality and style it is possible to create beautiful spaces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional at the same time. 

So go ahead - give it a try - what do you have to lose? With this guide in hand, nothing should stand between you from creating stunning interiors

Up Next

Mood Board Examples from Art 

Interior design inspiration can come from anywhere. Other designers, photography, cinema, and art. To find more inspiration for your interior design mood board, check out our next article where we dive into a plethora of mood board examples from a variety of creative mediums. 

Up Next: Mood Board Art Examples →
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  • Kyle DeGuzman graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Television, Film, & New Media. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado spending his time writing, filmmaking, and traveling.

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