Make a Mood Board with Shannon Fricke
Your Guide to Cut-and-Paste and Virtual Mood Boards
If you dream of decorating (or redecorating) your home but have no idea where to begin, this decorating workshop-in-a-book decodes an interior designer’s thought process on creating a stylish home with vision and flow. In this chapter excerpt, Shannon Fricke reveals her method for creating the ultimate mood board for design inspiration. She believes that developing a mood board is the first step towards translating your ideas into a creative concept.
So go on, get crafty!
Creating a Cut-and-Paste Mood Board
Whenever I’m creating a concept – whether it’s for a book, a range of products or a decorating scheme – I always play around with a mood board. If you were to witness this process, you might feel that it’s a rather childish one. And on the surface of it, it does appear this way. At its core, however, a mood board is one concrete way of transporting the ideas from your mind into the world. Sometimes the ideas are kinda crazy – and when you see them laid out in front of you, this is confirmed – but other times you can really be onto something. A colour might stand out or a general theme may start to emerge, and with this you have your beginning.
The idea behind a mood board is to play around with colour, texture, form, materials and other inspiration, until you find a common thread and balance.
You can use anything at all as the backing for your board, from a corkboard to a torn piece of brown paper. Keep moving your inspiration pieces around the board until they’re in balance – avoid fastening them down before you’re ready.
For your inspiration pieces, collect anything at all that you like: ribbon, cotton, pebbles, stones, magazine clippings, photographs, postcards, stationery, paint and fabric swatches, painted colour brush-outs (see page 88), buttons, cotton reels, jute, twine, leaves, flowers, feathers, shells, tiles, and so on. Keep your scissors handy (or a scalpel, ruler and cutting board) so that you can cut your pieces to a size that feels right for the board. Too much of a bright and geometric fabric swatch might overwhelm your board, for example, so don’t be afraid to cut things down to a more manageable size. Interacting with small pieces like this is the precursor to creating a decorating scheme using the real elements. The key is to be playful.
Look at your board critically once you’ve created the initial layout – and add and take away as required to create a sense of balance. You might find that one colour or texture is outweighing the other elements on the board. This will give you a lead, perhaps inspiring you to use this colour or texture as the base of your interior. Once you’ve achieved balance and you’re completely happy with your mood board, paste or pin everything down.
The Virtual Mood Board
Although I prefer the tangibility of a ‘real’ mood board, creating a concept on your computer is another great way to see your ideas working together within a framework. You can use any format, from Microsoft Publisher to a PowerPoint presentation or the more advanced Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. Use your scanner to take in images from magazines and any bits and pieces of inspiration you find (you can scan all sorts of things, including ribbon and string) and save them in one easy-to-access folder. Scour the internet for images, graphics, fonts – really, anything that takes your fancy – and save them to the same folder as your scans.
Try not to be too inhibited by a particular colour or style at this stage – the key is to let your imagination run wild. Once you’re satisfied with what you’ve gathered, use your critical eye to decide what will make it to your inspiration page. Move your images around the page until you strike a kind of balance. Layer images over other images; play around with their angles, size, rotation, borders and so on, so that your board develops a kind of depth. Once you’re happy, save your board (as a PDF file if you can) and print it out.
Go through this process as many times as you need, until you reach a mood board combination that feels ‘just right’.