How to Make an Interior Design Mood Board Super Easy

Ever wish you could put your room makeover ideas on paper? See how easy it is to create an interior design mood board with color inspiration and renderings by following this simple step-by-step tutorial.

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience to brands I love. You still pay the same price but I may earn a small commission.

Do you get frustrated trying to visualize a potential room makeover? Or maybe coming up with the right color palette? Guess what? You can create an interior design concept board, color palette, and even room elevations or renderings without fancy CAD programs or photoshop. Check out how I did this for the New Year New Room Refresh challenge and then make your own!

A Windowless Office Makeover Update

Welcome to week two of the New Year New Room Refresh Challenge hosted by Casa Watkins Living where 17 bloggers are refreshing a room in one month sharing weekly updates every Tuesday in January. Last week I shared a design board and plans for our windowless office to turn it into a bright and colorful office-den-guest room. Scroll down to see how easy it is to create an interior design mood board for your own space!

Week one: Windowless Office Decorating Ideas and Mood Board | Week Two: How to Make an Interior Design Board Super Easy | Week Three: Home Office Makeover Paint Update | Week Four: How to Install Cove Moulding the Easy Way | Week Five: Reveal – Decorating Tips for an Office with No Windows

*This challenge is generously sponsored by some amazing brands.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience to brands I love. You still pay the same price but I may earn a small commission.

Woodland Bird Wallpaper | Green Paint Green Tassel | Blue and White Curtains | Blue Pillows | Coral Obi Pillows | Marmalade Trim | Pink and Brass Wall Sconces | Zebra Rug | Wood and Brass Pulls |Sun Tunnel | The Hallmark Desk Cabinet Collection | Courtney Transitional Sofa

A little challenge update….. Well friend, rarely can you take on a full room makeover without hitting a few snags. I was on a role finalizing design plans and getting started on the very long to-do list and managed to almost finish installing a pair of french doors with a friend.

But then everything else came to a halt after a meeting with our foundation guys last week. If you live in Texas, you probably know how that goes! Once again, our piers (under our slab foundation) are getting adjusted and new ones are being put in.

The good news is it will happen within a couple of weeks (fingers crossed). The bad news is that I can’t make any progress to the walls, doors, or built-ins in the space because of potential movement during the adjustment.

My plan this week was to install cove molding, wallpaper the room, and finish the french doors. The only thing I can do now is prime and sand the walls and paint below the chair rail. Everything else has to wait until the LAST WEEK of the challenge! EEK!

How to Create an Interior Design Mood Board Online with Free Tools

Creating a plan for a room makeover can be overwhelming!! Especially if it is not something you do often. Since I don’t have much of a room update to show you this week I wanted to share how easy it is to come up with a color palette, create an inspiration board, and even how to how to make elevations (wall renderings) so you can see how your room will look when planning a makeover.

First, let me answer some common questions about mood boards in interior design.

What is an interior design mood board?

A mood board in interior design is a creative representation in a physical or digital collage featuring inspirational pictures and/or home decor items, colors, and text to convey the overall feel for a (proposed) space. In basic terms, a collage of ideas used by interior designers or in design services.

What should be on a mood board for interior design?

Pictures that feature the mood, style, and colors you want for a room.

What is a material board, concept board, colour board, and mood board in interior design?

The material board will have fabric, finishes, paint colors, and other material samples. A concept board is closer to the actual room representation and can include renderings and wall elevations which are often created to scale. A color board is for color inspiration and often includes an inspiration piece with a few sample colors so you can see how they look together. The mood board is for the overall “feel” of the room. All of these are often used throughout the design process.

What is the purpose of mood boards and why are they important?

Besides being a visual aid for a room design, mood boards help the creator or interior designer to stick to a color scheme, style, and mood.

Color Mood Board How To:

Use a color generator or eye drop tool to create a color palette for your room. If you have a piece of art, a fun cut of fabric, or colorful wallpaper for inspiration, pull your main color and a 2-3 accent colors from it. Use Canva‘s color palette generator or Picmonkey‘s eye drop tool to select colors from your image and create your own customized mood board.

  1. Find your inspiration piece online and save the picture or take a picture of your inspiration piece and save it to your computer.
  2. Free tools to generate your color palette.

Pick the main color and a few accent colors. Use the main color on walls and larger pieces of furniture. It’s even better if your prominent color is tied through the rest of the house for a cohesive feel. Make each space unique by introducing a new accent color(s).

Choose 2-3 accent colors from your inspiration piece. These will help when picking out items like throw pillows, rugs, curtains, and decor. Add in a pop of black, metallic, and other neutrals! Wood tones, brass, and pops of black and white are my go-to materials to add in the right details for a well-designed room.

How to create a design board!

Now that you have an idea for your color palette and maybe a great inspiration piece to start off the room design, Next comes the mood board! My favorite tool for creating a mood design board is Canva. You can also search for free collage creators online for more free options.

  1. Collect pictures that have the colors, syle, and mood. THese can be picures of items you know you want in the room including furntiure, paint, rugs, window treatments, light fixtures, fabric, and accents like hardware! I like to find pictures that are similar to items I already have and know will stay in the room to see how they look with other items and fit into the overall mood and design! The pictures can also be more general and abstract like you see on Pinterest and other search tools when you look for mood boards.
  2. Open up Canva Collage Creator and select upload your images. Next drag and drop into the canvas and arrange until you are satsified.
  3. Add extras like the color pallete with the object tool and eye dropper tool and font to describe different elements.
  4. Alternatively, you can also use one of their templates to make the last two steps simpler.
  5. Save your collage and print to have it on hand!

Here are some design mood board examples I have done in the past.

Bedroom Mood Board inspired by Parisian style with gold mirror, velvet textiles and light blue and white overall color palette.
Parisian Chic Inspired Bedroom Interior Mood Board
New Year New Room Refresh Girls Room Boho Vintage color mood board with pink and mint green, bird wallpaper, and eclectic furnishings.
Vintage Colorful Girls’ Room Interior Mood Board
Piano Side Mood Board interior design mock up with picture of living room pictures window and foyer and elements for makeover including wallpaper, paint ,curtains, rug, and furniture for a piano studio.
Eclectic Glam Open Concept Living Room Moodboard Interior Design

It is really amazing and rewarding to see the literal design come to life and how it aligns with your mood board! The best part is, anyone can do use this easy tool to decorate a room.

The easy way to create interior elevation drawings:

Now that we have color inspiration and a mood board you can take your design a step further and play around to see how it will translate to your space.

Draw a wall elevation to scale. Roughly. No need for a design class to do this! Just use a ruler on plain paper and mark an inch for every foot for a larger scale or 1/2 inch for every foot for a smaller scale. I did this for our built-in desk and cabinet wall to really see how it would fit in the space.

Desk Elevation as a hand drawn wall elevation
Desk wall elevation

Create a wall elevation using a photo editor now that you have colors and possible ideas for decor, furnishings, and other items, and see how it all works together. Look for pictures from your favorite online stores of products you might want in your room. Right-click and save them. Open PicMonkey, click “create a canvas”, and add items as overlays to start playing with arrangements.

Turn it into digital creation. Scan and upload your wall elevation to digital a creator.

Picmonkey lets you crop the overlays so you can cut out space around the items for a more realistic rendering. I simply took a picture of a hand-drawn rendering that I knew was the right scale and uploaded it to PicMonkey. I then added elements right on top of the drawing using the transparent tool so that I keep track of my drawn lines.

Desk Wall Elevation virtual design board
The back wall that you see from the doorway.
Seating Wall Rug Elevation virtual design board
The right side of the room will be a cozy seating area and guest bed when needed.
mood board interior design showing french doors, wallpaper, and curtains virtual design board
The doorway from the inside of the office. Curtains can be drawn for extra privacy.

Not bad right? Now I can really see how the room will come together with all of the elements I chose for the refresh. And since it is part of the New Year New Room Refresh challenge I have to give a huge shout-out to VeluxUSA and our official sponsors.

Sponsors logos for the New Year, New Room Refresh Challenge
New Year New Room Refresh Sponsors

And don’t forget those other 16 bloggers participating!! I had so much fun seeing what rooms they were working on and can’t wait for their progress posts today!!

Collage of new year, new room refresh participants thumbnails and logos.
New Year New Room Refresh Participants

Casa Watkins Living // The Boho Abode // Delineate Your Dwelling // Haneen’s Haven // The Happy Housie // Homemade by Carmona // House by Hoff // Jeweled Interiors // Kaleidoscope Living // Our Fifth House // PMQ for Two // Rain on a Tin Roof // Southern State of Mind // Taryn Whiteaker // This is Our Bliss // Thou Swell // Up To Date Interiors

And the old project to-do list: Ugh…..

  1. Install french doors. (ALMOST DONE!!)
  2. Have the skylight installed.
  3. Sand, repair, and paint walls.
  4. Add cove crown molding with corner details.
  5. Install wallpaper on all four walls.
  6. Install built-in desk cabinets with countertop.
  7. Paint built-ins green.
  8. Paint and hang floating shelves.
  9. Hang light fixtures.
  10. Add a new sofa bed with new bedding and throw pillows.
  11. Add a side table if there’s room.
  12. Add trim to curtain panels.
  13. Hang curtain rod and curtains.
  14. Add in office items and decorating accessories.

Are you working on any room updates this month? Leave me a comment, and let’s chat!!

kathy name logo
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