The mood board

The mood board is a visual document made up of different images, the purpose of which is to illustrate a decorative concept. The interior designer generally includes several types of boards in the book: inspiration board, mood board, trend board, concept board, materials board, shopping board, etc.
Creating a mood board is not something you can improvise. Here are some tips if you want to try your hand at it.

The inspiration board

It is much easier to create a mood board after you have first made an inspiration board.

Put yourself in the shoes of a decorator. Imagine yourself having discussed with the client to find out their tastes, needs and desires… Ideas will come to you, let your imagination run wild, listen to your feelings… In the end, inspiration can come from a word, a material, an image, a feeling… 
The idea is to remain spontaneous, faithful to a feeling, to produce a board that evokes an atmosphere.

The inspiration board does not contain elaborate or structured elements. It should be seen as a preparatory work for the mood board. On the other hand, there must be a common thread that will be found on the second board: the general idea, the visuals, the colours…

There are 2 main ways to proceed :

cutting and pasting images from magazines
creating a photomontage on the computer
I tested both. I much prefer the second method. For the first one, you need a lot of material (a lot of magazines) and you spend your time browsing through them, sometimes being frustrated not to find the visual that corresponds to your inspiration. But it’s really up to each person’s taste, because the manual method can actually increase your creativity because you don’t limit yourself to filtered searches for images. It’s up to you to try out the method that best suits your personality!

créer planche inspiration

If it’s just for fun, to practice, you can use a visual, a painting as a starting point. During my training at MMI Déco, we did the exercise of using this painting as a starting point to create an inspiration board:

tableau sud de la France
planche inspiration

The mood board

Now that the inspiration board has set the tone, we can tackle the ambience board. This should reflect what the customer will find in his home. Visually, it should be very similar, even if it is not exactly the same furniture, materials, etc.
The project must appear precise, the decorative concept is clear.

For a perfect rendering, we can even add an additional constraint, that of perspective: we must be able to immerse ourselves in the image as we enter a room.
The spirit of the architecture (volume, type of window…) must be the same: you don’t choose visuals with sloping ceilings if the project is in a room with a high ceiling.

The larger images should be placed in the foreground and the smaller scale images in the background. And don’t forget the floors, the walls, and of course, all the accessories.

Here, for example, is the mood board for the petanque game:

planche inspiration


It is advisable to start with an A3 format, with a horizontal reading direction. If you make several plates for the same project, the reading direction must be identical on all plates.

The visuals must be perfectly cut out or cropped. Do not leave any logo, price, piece of text… The assembly can be aligned, structured or completely random. The important thing is to maintain visual consistency.

For the manual method, use glue sticks, which do not warp the paper, and prefer images from magazines to satin paper. The background and borders should be covered, without colouring in to fill in the gaps (find a small image, a material). Ideally, do not mix the different papers so as not to break the illusion of a photomontage. Once the plate is finished, you can make a colour photocopy to standardise the work.

For the computer method, the board can be organised almost in columns as in the example below. But if you are good with photo editing software, you can blend the different visuals so that there is no white background.

Let your creativity run wild!

Share the good vibrations of Feng Shui :)

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