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Working With A Designer: Using Mood Boards To Create A Space YOU Love

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Mood boards have almost always been a thing. They are a great way to ask yourself the hard questions, pull visual representations of what you’re looking for into one spot, and make sure everything looks good together while cohesive. Additionally, designers love to see and work with your vision in that same way -

I am currently finishing up another round of revising and refreshing my own brand and website design (so be sure to check it out in the link at the end of this article). In working with my web designer, she asked some great preliminary questions that made me stop and think about what I wanted out of my brand. This process took some time.


* What do I want my company brand to look like?

* What do I want it to feel like?

* What do I want my clients to feel, see and think of when they hear the name, Lemontine?

* What sort of message do I want to send with everything from the logo color to my social media presence?

* What is my "why" for what I do?

* And, most importantly... how do I want my website to function?

Now, this wasn't the first time I have had my website worked on- but it was the first time that I really understood how important these questions were to my outcome. I needed the colors to not be "close to what I love" but I needed them to be "the exact palette I loved."

I also needed the website to be user-friendly and function properly. No one leaves a site faster than a frustrated shopper on a site when the site doesn't perform.

Because I am not a tech person (no surprise there), I called in the professionals and got the help I needed. It may have required some investment and some homework on my part, but how I answered those questions helped me hone in on the "design direction" that I wanted, ultimately saving me money and time in the end.

Now, apply that same concept to designing your own home...

Ironically, this is the same process I use with my own clients when beginning their projects.

We start with a digital questionnaire where you have to answer all sorts of questions like -

*Do you have pets?

*Do you cook or entertain regularly?

*Do you eat at the table or in the family room

*And even, what is your favorite drink?

This helps me get to you know you more and how learn how you live your life in your space.

My goal is to help you love your space, provide you with a space that functions for your lifestyle and to create an ambiance that evokes all those senses in a positive way.


We walk through your space and discuss the questions in more details. Once we begin your project, the inspiration mood board comes into play. This is a collaborative approach because it starts with me asking you all the questions and you showing me through visuals what I hear you saying you want and what I envision for the space.

Portland interior designer mood board


Pinterest. This is probably the easiest place to start. It may not be where the final mood board is displayed, but it's a great place to source photos, furniture, color schemes, and more, in order to set you on the right path.

Take some time, scroll through, search different keywords (like the ones below), and make a board title such as: My Future Home. Next, save everything you see that resonates with you (you can always delete stuff later).

How to Search Pinterest to find Mood Board Inspiration Photos (use these keywords):

  • Your favorite season

  • Your Favorite color

  • Your Favorite cookie (followed by the words “color palette”)

  • The word “room” along with descriptors like warm, modern, boho, contemporary, cozy, clean, open, breezy, country, wood floors, big window, etc.

  • Your first name followed by the word “aesthetic” (i.e. Nicole aesthetic)

I often will ask that you create and share this Pinterest board with me so that we can begin to use the same language in your design. This also helps you, the client, work through what you are drawn to. Often times, if clients can't tell me what they want, I ask them to start with what they DON'T want and I ask them to show me photos!

Pulling together "like-items" can help the vision begin to take shape. You will often begin to see a pattern in what you are pinning and that can be the starting point for defining your design path.

how to put together a mood board for interior design.


home decorator ideas Portland.

Putting feelings into words is probably the hardest thing for most of us to do unless you are a trained therapist, of course. However, a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, we all know when we see a photo of something and we love how it makes us feel but may not be able to explain it. That is why we start with visuals.

While you’re scrolling through Pinterest, make note of how certain textures, colors, or elements make you feel, what they say to you and chase that feeling!

For your mood board, you might save a favorite quote, or cut out a few key words you think define your personality or you want to associate with your space. If you have an idea of how a room will be used and what you want that room to feel like then you’re going to find it a lot easier to make design decisions.

P.S. Organized is a feeling and a very real actionable design feature, so if that’s all you got, run with it!

Creating the Mood Board

how to create an interior design mood board.

All of this might seem sort of simple, and let's be honest, most of us have been on Pinterest for far too long, but that’s the beauty of mood boards: they depend completely on your what stage you are at and what your next project focus might be. You will see things differently when your focus is different.

So really, mood boards are about jumping in and playing with the different aspects to see what you like best.

When I work with clients, there are many decisions that we make to bring the room or rooms together such as;

  • Hardwood flooring, tiles, or carpeting

  • Rugs

  • Lighting (bedside lamps, floor lamps, chandeliers, pendants, wall lights)

  • Furniture (sofas, beds, side tables, credenzas, cabinets, benches, bookshelves, desks, chairs, dressers, poufs, etc.)

  • Bedding and throws

  • Pillows

  • Towels (don’t forget floor mats and storage options for these items too!)

  • Hardware (Lightswitch covers, outlet covers, doorknobs, cabinet pulls, even the metals you want to see in lamps and shelves)

  • Paint colors (samples for every piece of furniture that will be in that room to make sure they all go well together)

  • Window treatments

  • Appliances (even if you aren’t replacing anything, it’s key to know that what you have in order to be sure it remains cohesive with any new additions and changes)

  • Decorative accessories (the options are endless!)

  • and SO ON...

dining room interior design mood board.

living room interior design mood board concept.


Once we have gotten through the initial inspiration phase, I begin designing by taking all your information and all my design expertise and pulling the vision together by creating a color palette, furniture space plan, sourcing products and with an optional option of a digital render that gives you the overall visual of items pulled together.


My final tip: just like I called in the expert to help with my website, it might be time for you to call an interior designer!

Not ready for a full design overhaul? That's okay! You might be the perfect fit for my Virtual -Design package or smaller Furnishing package, or perhaps, you simply want to do a Design Session for a day and call it good! You can learn more about my new design services on my website by clicking below and while you are there- check out how the new site feels and functions.

After working with my amazing web designer, linked below, I am so happy I invested in an area that is not my strong point and called the expert!


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