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How to Create a Mood Board on Olioboard

We’ve been talking for the last couple of weeks about the design process as I go through the steps in redecorating my home office and today I want to show you an easy way to create a mood board. Mood boards are such a great way to help you visualise your space (and possibly help your partner do the same!). With a mood board you are able to see what you’ve got mixed with what you would like to add and then plan accordingly. Planning your space in advance will save you so many costly purchases and returns. The pros use Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create professional boards, but I’m going to show you a free online tool I have been using for years to create easy and beautiful mood boards.
Here are a few examples of mood boards I have created on Olioboard over the past couple of years.

Elegant Entryway


Playful Boy’s Room


Cozy Living Room


Modern Grey and Brown Living and Dining Area

Here are 5 easy steps to creating a mood board:

  1. Start with a Pinterest Board  So how do you get started on a mood board? The first place to start is actually Pinterest. If you are thinking about redecorating a space you should have a Pinterest board devoted to this room. I have a board called “My office”and this is where I put all products I am thinking about buying for this room and it’s also where I pin ideas. I search for beautiful home office spaces and pin them on this board to get inspiration. Because I’m thinking about doing a gallery wall of prints, I also save ideas and inspiration for gallery walls here. Everything that has to do with this space gets saved here.

2. Save all your items and ideas  You are going to need images to put onto you board, so start saving all the pinned images of products or inspirational images you might like to include. Save them all in one folder so you can easily find them. When you click on a Pinterst image and it fills your screen, just right click on it and “Save image as” and save it to your designated folder. You can always add more images later to this folder as you continue to find interesting products and ideas.

3. Create an Olioboard account  Once you have images saved that you’d like to create a moodpboard with, we’re ready to take a look at Olioboard. First create an account by clicking on Join Now. Once you have entered your email and created a login and password you are good to go. At the top of the screen on the main page you will see “+Create” and this is where you go to start a new board. 
4. Upload your items  You will have a blank canvas to start with. On the right sidebar you will see “Items” at the top. Olioboard has thousands of items you can use in your boards and you’ll find these under “Categories.” The products are mostly from the US so I don’t search for items that I intend to buy since I’m located in Germany. But I do use this function to look for items that I already have but don’t have a picture of or if I want to add an example of a pink pillow or a green plant, for instance. But for nearly all the images in my board, I upload the images myself. You do this by going to “My items”. Then click on “Upload Items” to add the images you have saved in your designated folder. Once you upload them, Olioboard will ask you to add a description. You can be really detailed with this by adding the brand, website, prices, etc. You can do this if you want, but you do not have to. You can just add a simple description like “Bloomingville wall lamp” and be done with it. Once you start uploading your items you will create your own catalog of products that you can simply drag over into a mood board at will. You can add more images to your catalog of items at any time. You might notice the rugs in my items below from my Ethnic Rugs post because I created my boards right here in Olioboard. 
5. Insert and arrange your items  Next start dragging your items over. When you click on an item a circle appears over it. Click on the little yellow circle on top to rotate an object or make it bigger or smaller.

Use the tool box on top to do lots of things: duplicate objects, send something to the back or front or (my favourite tool) flip it to face the other direction. See what I do to the office chair below by moving it to the other side  of the board and clicking “flip.”

Don’t forget to save your mood board. You can download it as a .jpg so you can print it out.
Tip: If I want to add in a paint color, I just google the paint I am thinking of using or a similar color. A square of that color will come up and then I save that image in my designated folder. Then I upload it to Olioboard and put it in behind the other objects. This is a great way to get a feeling for what a color will look like with all of the furnishings you have put together. If you’re trying to decide between a couple of different colors, then try out all possibilities and see how each one looks. You could even create different boards with the various looks. Sometimes I do separate boards to compare different furniture or light fixture pairings.
Another tip: Be sure to add images of furniture you already have and intend to keep to your boards. You want to see all of the bright and shiny objects you’re thinking of adding all together on one board, but you also need to know how they will fit in with what’s already in the space. If you can’t easily find a picture of the exact piece you have, find something similar on the internet. If your grey couch is no longer sold by the company you bought it from, just do a search of images of grey couches and find one that is approximately the same color and shape.

Here is the mood board I have created for my office. I uploaded all of the images myself except for the plant and baskets in the Kallex shelf. I found these objects on the Olioboard catalog. I know I will add some plants to the room and although the baskets are not exactly what I will use in the Kallex shelves, they add a little more life to the room than just a bare white shelf.
For me, the mood board is such an essential part of the design process. It really lets me know if everything works together and it also gets me really excited about the look of what I’m creating. It’s a great idea to hang it up when you are finished for inspiration and motivation, especially if you are taking things step by step and it will be awhile before you actually make all the purchases and implement all the changes to the space. This brings me to the next part of the process, knowing where to start if you can’t just do it all at once. Stay tuned for that post next week….
If you missed the earlier posts about the design process, you can find them here:
How to Create a Design Plan: 5 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Start
How to Create a Floor Plan

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