How to Make a Mood Board for Interior Design

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I’ll show you a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a mood board for interior design. Use this to plan room designs and coordinate color schemes.


Have you ever wanted to plan out a room makeover but had no idea how to visualize it all?

I’ll show you an easy way to do this online. It’s so helpful with decorating and I’ve used this countless amount of times when designing a new room.

In fact, it’s a little bit addicting and you’ll find yourself designing rooms that don’t even exist. No? Just me?

Ok. Moving on…

What is a Mood Board?

Let’s start with the basics. What is a mood board, anyway?

It’s basically a collection of our ideas in a visual representation.

With interior design, this can be a collection of textures, paint colors, furnishings, rugs, artwork, etc. You can go as detailed as you want, or as simple as you want.

You can also put together a mood board of favorite spaces. This gives you an overall vibe of the design and it helps to refer back to this throughout the designing process.

Mood boards can either be digital or physical.

how to make a mood board for interior design - get the full tutorial in post plus some handy tips and tricks.

In today’s tutorial, I’m teaching you the digital way to do this. However, if you have a bulletin board, a pair of scissors, and a bunch of magazines/catalogs/paint swatches – you can go hog wild creating one that way.

Making a mood board has become the starting point for all my room makeovers. It’s just so helpful to see how everything will come together!

Where to Begin?

I like to start a design with one piece of inspiration.

Maybe it’s a space I saw on Instagram that really caught my eye. Or, maybe it’s a favorite rug or piece of art that I want to design around. Perhaps I fell in love with a specific wallpaper. It can even be an heirloom – a quilt passed down, a vintage piece of furniture, etc.

Whatever it is, I suggest starting with this one thing for your mood board and going from there. Then, you can start pulling in coordinating colors and textures.

I also think it’s helpful to stay true to your design style and the vibe of your home. You don’t want to go so far off base that it looks disconnected from the rest of the house.

This might take some soul searching. For instance, I used to pin a ton of different styles. But as time went on, I realized what I was pinning over and over and over again – a little bit vintage mixed with a little bit modern. That cozy cottage feel!

How to Create a Mood Board for Interior Design

I’ll take you through this step by step. It’s a little bit techy but totally doable. Oh, and you can do this on a computer or a phone – either works!

Step 1: Start Saving your Favorites.

Whether you are on your phone or your computer, you’ll want to start saving images, furniture, etc to fill up your mood board. Remember that one piece of inspiration? Make sure you have the image form, so you might need to find a similar style online or take a quick snapshot of it.

(For me, it’s this beautiful rug from Rugs USA!)

How to Make a Mood Board for Interior Design - I'll show you a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a mood board for interior design. Use this to plan room designs and coordinate color schemes.
Rugs USA El Dorado Rug

You can save images from Google and other stores by right-clicking with your mouse, then selecting “Save Image As”. If you are on your phone, you can long-press on an image, then select “Save Image”. You can also take a screenshot!

Not all images are able to be saved and sometimes you’ll just have to move on and find a different image!

Try to think about all the elements you’ll want and/or need in your room such as;

  • furniture
  • rugs
  • window treatments
  • bedding
  • pillows
  • artwork
  • greenery

Step 2: Canva

I use Canva to make all my mood boards. It’s easy to use, available as a mobile app (when I want to work on my phone), and it pretty much has every feature I need. It’s available free or you can get the Pro version. I personally use the Pro version because I use it a lot for blogging.

If you are working on your phone, you will want to go to the App Store and download Canva. If you are on your computer; you can simply head to Canva.com.

It’s helpful to make an account because then you can save all your uploads (and they have a bunch of other Pro features I love). I save all my furniture picks into a folder on Canva for easy access. Then, I can pull from this same folder when designing multiple rooms.

Step 3: Upload Images

You’ll want to upload all the images that you saved from Step 1 into Canva. Here’s how to do that.

First, you want to create a design by clicking on the “Create a Design” button in the top right-hand corner. I use the Instagram Story or Pinterest Pin templates, but you can use whatever dimensions you want here. Maybe you have a small square room or a long rectangular room that you want to match.

how to make a mood board for interior design - get the full tutorial in post plus some handy tips and tricks.

Second, when the template pops up you will see a side panel on the left. Click “Uploads” on the side panel and then click “Upload Media”. You can also drag and drop your files directly into Canva.

how to make a mood board for interior design - get the full tutorial in post plus some handy tips and tricks.

Step 4: Design your Mood Board

Now the fun part! Once all your images are uploaded into Canva, it’s just a matter of selecting the image and pulling it over to the template. It’s very easy! You can either click once on the image or drag it over with your mouse.

how to make a mood board for interior design - get the full tutorial in post plus some handy tips and tricks.

Canva has guidelines to make sure everything is centered and nice and straight. I usually start my mood boards with the rug and then put all the furniture pieces on top to see how it would look.

resize/crop your images

You can also resize your images by clicking on them and moving the white dots in the corners to your liking. The white lines will crop your image (there is also a “Crop” button in the top bar) – if you want to take away some of the empty space around it.

It’s so fun to play around with this!

remove the background from your images

If you are a Canva Pro user, you have access to this neat feature called Background Remover. You take your furniture images and remove the background with the click of a mouse.

To use this feature, sign up for the Pro version and then head to “Effects” on the top bar. Background Remover is the first option under the search bar.

How to Remove the Background from your Images - Making a Mood Board Online

If you don’t have the Pro version, you can go to Remove.bg. You’ll have to do this BEFORE you upload them into Canva.

flip your images

Another feature I really love is the “Flip” feature on the top bar. This is especially helpful if you have a chair that’s pointing in the wrong direction. A simple flip takes care of that issue!

How to Make a Mood Board for Interior Design Online! Full tutorial in post with step by step instructions.

pull in coordinating colors

Canva also has this amazing feature for pulling in coordinating colors from an image. This is something I discovered by accident and I’m so happy I did.

how to make a mood board for interior design - get the full tutorial in post plus some handy tips and tricks.

Start with an image that you want to pull colors from; maybe it’s your one piece of inspiration or a rug or piece of art.

how to make a mood board for interior design - get the full tutorial in post plus some handy tips and tricks.

Then, click on “Elements” on the left side panel. Under the search bar on the left, scroll down until you see the “Lines and Shapes” section. Select either a gray circle or square – doesn’t really matter the shape.

Once you select your shape, you will see a small square box of color in the top bar above your design. Click on this small square color box and you will see a bunch of colors come up on the left, as well as a section titled “Photo Colors”.

This will automatically populate all the colors from each one of the images that you have on your template! Isn’t that so cool?

You can use this to coordinate paint colors, fabrics, and window treatments. Or, you can download a paint sample from your paint store (i.e. Sherwin Williams) and use this to coordinate with the rest of the room.

How do you get a paint sample online? Simple! Just google your paint color – such as Stardew by Sherwin Williams – go to images, then right-click on the color and choose “Save Image As“. It’s as easy as that!

position objects in your mood board

There might be times when you want to move an object in front of another, and vice versa. And you can do that in Canva as well.

On the top bar of the template, on the right side, you will see a button called “Position”. Select your image on the template, then select “Position” and move your item forward or backward as needed. Easy peasy!

how to make a mood board for interior design - get the full tutorial in post plus some handy tips and tricks.

Saving your mood Board

Once you are happy with your design, you can save it to your computer for printing or reference. To save it – go to the top right-hand corner of Canva, you’ll see a “Download” button. Click it, then click “Download” again. Done!

Whether you are designing a room yourself or working with a designer, these mood boards will be so helpful during the design process. You can refer back to them often to stay on track and keep motivated.

And that about wraps up this post! I hope you found this tutorial helpful. Thanks for visiting today!

xo Karen

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