Design Notes Archive

Mood Boards

Mood Boards

Starting a project can be a daunting task, not least of which is figuring out where to begin. Whether you’re going for a full-fledged renovation or making smaller adjustments to spruce up a space, organizing your ideas to narrow down a launching point is key. Take a cue from the professionals and start with a mood board. For interior designers, this practice is decorating 101.

Walk into Ilse Crawford’s office and immediately you’ll notice a dividing wall that acts as an ever-evolving inspiration board. In fact, nearly every wall at Studio Ilse offers up an opportunity for pinning. When Italian visionary Paola Navone curated a collection for Few & Far, Priscilla Carluccio’s beloved but sadly shuttered Brompton Cross boutique, she quite memorably transformed a single wall, floor-to-ceiling, into an installation of inspiring objects and images. For designer Suzy Hoodless, the process often begins with a single image. She carries a camera always and sites everything from shop windows to photos of nature as tipping points, once decorating a Scottish sitting room around a picture of moss she had snapped in the Highlands.

While images can often evoke a feeling or sense of place that you’re after, more literal translations apply here as well. By tacking up fabric swatches, paint cards and even tile samples, a visual begins to emerge which can be quite helpful to see if something is working as you had imagined. Not to mention it’s a much cheaper way of experimenting than trying it all out in situ!

Photograph © Andrew Meredith, Rizzoli