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An interior stylist's guide to creating a moodboard

a table with cards and flowers
How to create a moodboard in 6 simple stepsHouse Beautiful

At the beginning of every interiors project, you need to have a strong idea about how you want your room to look – and one of the best ways to work that out is by creating a fabulous moodboard.

With so many brands now offering samples, it's easier than ever to pull together different materials, colours and textures, and to play around with ideas to find looks you love. If you have a solid framework from the beginning then you won't stray from the plan when you’re sourcing lovely items for your new space...

Here are my six top tips to help you get started.

1. THINK ABOUT WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

You ideally want to feel inspired, content and happy when you're in your home, so first of all you need to figure out what it is that will make you feel that way. Is it a colour from a particular city or country that has left a positive impression on you? Is it a certain shade of yellow that makes your heart sing when you're surrounded by it? Or a favourite outfit in your wardrobe in a colour or pattern you love?

how to make a moodboard
Plan your perfect scheme with colours that bring joy, a couple of textures or finishes, and accessories that work well together.Photography: Jon Day for Furniture Village. Styling: Lucy Gough

2. BUILD UP YOUR COLOUR PALETTE

If, for example, the thing you've found that makes you happy is a blue painting, then let your main colour be blue. Then complement it with a neutral and add in one more accent hue. Those three shades will become the palette for your scheme.

3. GO FOR A MIX OF FINISHES

Textures help make a room feel interesting and unique. Consider different ones, such
as wood, marble and concrete. But also think outside the box – there are less expensive ways to achieve a look than opting for the real deal. Use magazines (House Beautiful, of course), Instagram and Pinterest, to see other people's projects – there are so many great ideas to steal out there!

yellow and blue samples of fabrics, moodboard
House Beautiful / Rachel Whiting

4. PLAY WITH ACCESSORIES

Once your big ticket items have been decided, you can start to pepper the moodboard with smaller elements, such as lighting, picture frames and stationery. You can't really go wrong if you stick with the same colour palette throughout.

5. NOW IT’S TIME TO START ARRANGING

Once you've gathered together some paint swatches, texture samples and images of items you've cut out from magazines or found online, you need to style them on a board. Overlap your swatches so they look inspiring and play around with layering until you're happy with your choices.

moodboard dark woods work well in a rustic country style
Create softness with lush, verdant shades, and accent with richly toned hues in painterly printsHouse Beautiful/Carolyn Barber

6. ENJOY THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE!

Most importantly, the moodboarding process should be fun! Once you're confident with your choices on your board (and not before), then you can whip out your bank card and start buying!

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