Working with Vision Boards for Your Next Decorting Project

An inspired way to develop, organize and communicate decorating ideas by working with vision boards

Planning a re-do in one room or undertaking an entire home reno? Gather thoughts and inspo with the same tool favored by decorators to set up their master design plans. A mood board, also referred to as a vision board, is an arrangement of images, materials, textures and colors that evokes the style and color palette of a project or concept. For starters, creating a mood board crafts a clearer understanding of specific elements necessary to bring a vision to life. These include paint color and fabric. In addition, mood boards also show how a finished space may ultimately come together. The mood board is ever-evolving and able to easily accommodate new inspiration images, color cards, patterns and combinations.

Vision boards are an effective way for those designing on their own to hone their ideas. Further they work well for those working with a professional. Working with vision boards express taste, style and function—and may ultimately translate to inspired collaborations. Lara Fishman, of Storm Interiors in Los Angeles, recalls one such scenario involving a client’s mood board of landscape images. At the focal point of the board was a famous Mark Rothko painting. “That single image inspired a live green wall in her backyard. The succulents, air plants and ferns were even organized by color to emulate the iconic piece,” explains Fishman.

There are a few different ways to go about building a vision board. First choose the method that strikes your mood—then prepare to be inspired.

20/20 Vision for the Hands-on

Start by compiling materials. For instance, gather paint chips, fabric swatches, wallpaper samples and content. Look for pieces at favorite home improvement stores, online sources (many offer free samples or charge a nominal fee) and magazines.

For the noncommittal, consider the flexibility of a cork or pin board. But for those sure of their vision and glue stick proficient, paste the pieces onto a poster board.

Then, take a photo of the board on your phone for on-the-go design decisions.

For the tech savvy

With the evolution of the digital age, there are countless online sources for design inspo.

Check out digital design magazines such as Domino, AD and Elle Decor, as well as sites and design blogs including MyDomaine, Houzz and EyeSwoon. Likewise, the ever-present Instagram provides never ending swipes of ideas.

Once you’ve culled a pile of top images, head over to Pinterest, an easy and intuitive tool. Use the “Create a Board” function to set up virtual boards—create one or more. This is especially useful if favorite prints or textures come in multiple colors or your style is not yet set. The trick here is to be as specific as possible when searching to narrow down results.

For the overachiever

Try the apps and websites that the pros use to take a vision board to the next level.

The prsnt app has templates or allows free-form designs. Further, it has a web clipper function where images on a mood board will have links back to their original websites. The app even allows sharing of boards with others.

Likewise Morpholio has an app called Mood Board, which can be used on an iPad or iPhone. It has layout and collage functions.

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