Moodboards have a bad wrap a little bit, don’t they. Too much glitter and fancy scissor work going on. Sort of like making star shaped sandwiches for your kids’ lunch. Surely there are better ways to spend your precious few free minutes?
Except when it comes to creating a good, coherent interior, then making a moodboard is essential. Why?
Because it gives you a visual overview of what you want, like and love in your home or on your project. This quickens the process of putting it all together – leaving you more time to lay flat on the very sofa you have just so beautifully arranged.
So. If there’s no scrap booking activity going on, no gluing on pearls and lace, how to make one, and how to be quick about it? Ah, but I have all the answers: Create an account on Pinterest, and you’re good to go.
Here’s a moodboard I made for the arrangement of all the photos in this post, five furniture rigs, all from the same work assignment. For this job, the client agreed to let me do a shoot in the style of Mad Men crossed with Norwegian nature. So I selected these images for my digital moodboard:
I pick two opposing styles from what these images represent to me (opposing, because contrasts really make an interior):
- Mad Men-sophistication, meaning midcentury modern furniture and stylish glamour, plus the tongue-in-cheek.
- Beat up, rugged and cosy, to match Norwegian nature and quaint wooden houses. And I want things to be dynamic too, we are in autumn after all, so Norwegian nature is quite the opposite of static.
Then I look at what I already have in house. In this case a bunch of vintage furniture, hand picked by me, not at all limited to midcentury modern stylewise, because it is from a charity shop. Need to find a way to tie them all together. So I use my moodboard for every image:
Picture 1 – the study:
- I put vintage furniture with that warm, wooden midcentury modern glow in there to represent the sophisticated Don Draper, and I use a restricted colour palette for that same reason. The yellow parrot brings in the tongue-in-cheek (and even better, it won’t poop on your stuff, because it is a fake parrot) in a sculptural way.
- The green plants (from Hageland in Lillestrøm) and the green wallpaper (from Liberty/Poesi Interior) bring nature into the picture. The way the plants are arranged, represents the moodboard-image of the small wooden houses, in leading your eye up and down – so there’s dynamic covered.
Too abstract for you? Let’s try again:
Picture 2 – the living room:
- The midcentury modern Don Draper-sofa is there, so is the restricted colour palette, and the warm glow of different browns and yellows, wooden and not wooden. We got the tongue-in-cheek with the mannequin in a yoga pose. The Mad Men-reference is intact.
- The dynamic is there in making your eyes dance along the silhouette of the greenery and the lamps without lampshades.
Done. (Not really, I could go on about other tricks and my reason for pulling them, but that’s for a different blog post.)
Picture 3 – dining room:
- The lamp is the midcentury modern alibi – at a stretch, it is a little late in the period, I suspect, but the crystal shades make up for it, as they go very well with the Mad Men-theme. The table was spraypainted black for this shoot to make the red ceramics stand out even more. In total this look feels slick, decadent and a little morally worng, much like Mad Men at it’s most enjoyable.
- Went a little crazy with the plants here, no? Yes, tongue-in-cheek and dynamic in the way it is arranged.
Picture 4 – the reading nook:
- Mid century modern credenza and chair, that last one is a little too rugged, but you aren’t always spoiled for choice when making a selection from a charity shop. A sheepskin glams up the chair. The crystal glasses in the credenza add to the Don Draper-aura of heavy whiskey tumblers. The kissing couple on the painting by the chair is the tounge-in-cheek.
- The plants bring in nature, and your eyes are invited to dart around from the paintings on the floor to the paintings on the credenza, with different heights of books piled on top of each other in a way where they could just tip over. The point is working against a static expression, and creating a relaxed and inviting atmosphere.
I feel I have to explain the tongue-in-cheek-bit more than I should, on this one, though. These things must be obvious, hence this is my least favourite image of this post. Other than that, the photo references what it needs to.
One last pic?
Picture 5 – the bedroom:
- This is a tricky one too, because was going to make a bedroom – and there was no bed in the charity shop, let alone a midcentury one. So built the bed on the spot out of wooden pallets. The Mad Men-glam and tongue-in-cheek is instead worked in through the gold sequin jacket on the bed and the mannequin spray painted with copper paint.
- When one element of what should be there to get the proper feel is weak or even missing, the aim must be to make the other elements from the other images clearly recognizable in this last image too. The plants set up the way they are in every photo, and the restrained colour palette aids too.
Making a moodboard and having it in front of you for every desicion you make, reminds you always of what kind of mood you are after. Something from every image on that moodboard specifically made for your project, should be in every interior you go on to create.
Now off to make hell shaped sandwiches for my kids’ dinner.