What in the world is a Mood Board?


Image via polyvore.com

We are not newcomers to the design world. But this term, “mood board,” had us scratching our heads. When deciding to start our Interior Design business, we of course wanted to see who else was out there, what they were offering, what their qualifications were, etc. And we kept bumping up against this idea of mood boards. Usually digital, mood boards are a compilation of images found on the web that theoretically comprise a room design. According to the all-knowing (so long as some joker doesn’t edit it) Wikipedia,

“A mood board is a type of poster design that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator. Designers and others use mood boards to develop their design concepts and to communicate to other members of the design team. The mood board may be used as a frame of reference during the design process in a variety of abstract disciplines.”

And from WiseGeek,

“A decorating mood board often contains magazine clippings of furnishings that inspire the design concept. Sketches and a floor plan are also usually included on the board. Paint chips and other color swatches are also featured on a decorating mood board. The client can view the mood board and decide whether he or she likes the main design concepts the board represents.”

Ok, sure – that sounds great. Aside from the name – MOOD board? It sounds so flaky, like a mood ring. Sara and I MUCH prefer concept board, or design board. Those are terms we’ve actually heard of in our education, and professionally we often call them presentation or finish boards. In a little bit of research, the seemingly ubiquitous “mood board” came from graphic design or fashion, and has been adopted by decorators. There are a LOT of sites out there offering decorating services for sale via these digital clipping boards. And sure, we see the value there – many clients can’t visualize their space via plans and elevations.

However, my point in all of this is people who put themselves out there as “designers” offering JUST these digital mood boards make me very nervous. The pasted together imagery makes me feel that the design was pasted together. (Maybe it wasn’t – this is just my impression.) At EF eDesigns, the mood (CONCEPT) board is just a PART of the package we offer. We do real space planning based on real and accurate room measurements, so that your purchases will work in your space. Furniture is an investment!! Imagine getting it home and finding it 3” too large for your room! Not only will you get the pictures to help you visualize the space, but you’ll get the layout to confirm that it will work. If there is something special or unique happening on the wall, we will draw the elevations as well.

I also am a firm believer in PHYSICAL SAMPLES. How often do you see a disclaimer, “Colors may vary from your monitor”? It’s SO TRUE!! Just because two pictures from two websites look like a match, the actual products might clash in person. We believe in ordering samples of the actual materials, and looking at them together in daylight – SO much more reliable than artificial lighting when it comes to color rendition. And we give you these samples as part of your package.

We also provide a narrative of your space – why pieces are placed in certain places, the sense of space we are trying to convey, what the textures mean, why this type of paint is best in the space, the order in which you should execute your room, etc. I know I often find it difficult to pick up on the nuances of a design on paper without a description, so why should our clients have to? Sure, you might “get” that seating area once you’ve purchased everything and set it up – but I think it makes taking the leap so much easier if you can truly visualize your final product before making that investment.

So after all of that, maybe you are thinking, “Ok, these ladies SEEM to know what they are talking about, but why should I hire them? Where are the actual samples of their work?” Well, they’re coming. Promise!! A portfolio is a hard thing to put together! To that end, to build up our portfolio content, we are willing to work with you during this development stage of our business. If you are interested in room design, or the mood boards you’ve seen other places that are tough to get, send us an email at info . Chat with us about your project, we can work with you on pricing as we haven’t set ours in stone at this point (discount alert!), we can send you the down and dirty images we are considering for our online portfolio. We would love to work with you!!


Blue House


One thing I’ve learned from being an Interior Designer is that people feel very strongly towards the color green.  Either they love it, or they hate it.  Since green is my favorite color, and since it is everywhere in nature, I just assumed that most people liked green.  But just the opposite–a lot of people hate it.  I can’t tell you how many of my clients have either asked that I not use green or who have told me that they hate green when I show it to them.  I have no idea why people have such strong feelings towards green, but as much as people hate green, they seem to love blue.

Blue is a very soothing color and is even more prevalent in nature than green is.  We’re used to seeing blue in large expanses–think the sky and the sea–so we’re not uncomfortable with large amounts of blue in interior spaces.   Take, for example, the cover story from the latest issue of House Beautiful.

The Entryway

The Living Room

The Dining Room – LOVE the chandelier!

Sitting Nook

Breakfast Room

Fireplace – This is my favorite shot.  Red, white and blue DO go together, but the effect is usually patriotic.  I like the twist on red, white & blue here…orange-red, aqua and beige.  The pop of color from the red really makes the space.


The entire issue (March 2010) is actually all about the color blue and how it’s used in design and in interior spaces.  You should check it out, it’s quite inspiring!


Design is in the Details


Often, I think it’s much easier to find that signature piece of furniture, or that just right seating arrangement, than it is to find the touches that really pull the room together into a space in which you’d like to spend time. Which is maybe why my own walls sat bare for over a year….However, it’s the stuff – the art on the walls, the collection of family photographs, the right number of accessories (more than none, less than cluttered!) – that really finish a room. Ideally you can take your time, and wait for inspiration to strike. Usually though, a client isn’t going to wait for a year for you to think of that perfect piece – they want it now! To that end, I’ve been compiling a bunch of ideas, focusing on wall installations – if I gather enough quantity, I know that the right décor will appear. I’ve been noticing a bit of a theme out there that I like – vertical panels in groups of three. Here are some of those I’ve come across!

Source unknown



Some very poor screenshots from my computer from Inhabitliving.com


I know the photo collage wall and decals are really popular out there currently, and while I like them in certain situations, I just don’t think it’s right for the space we are considering right now….

Where do you look for wall inspiration? What are you drawn to right now?


Take a Trip to Morocco


I’ve already expressed how much I love pattern, so it should come as no surprise that I’ve found more patterns to share!  Moroccan or Moroccan-inspired patterns have been popping up everywhere, in fabrics, in fashion, in furniture, and I’m in love.  There’s just something about the graphic nature of them that’s really appealing to me.  They’re bold, expressive and intricate all at the same time.  Take a look at some of my loves…


Moroccan Tile Stamp




Ballard Designs – Trellis Wallcovering

Ballard Designs – Geneve Rug

3 Form – Marrakesh

West Elm – Morocco Headboard

Moroccan Arches


The last two images are great, aren’t they?  That’s not a wallcovering–the arches are stenciled onto the walls.  Such an easy technique and it adds so much drama and interest to this space.  I’m sure a lot of us cringe whenever we hear the word “stencil” in reference to walls and paint.  Remember the 80s and early 90s?  My sister had green vines stenciled onto her pink bedroom walls.  It took me many coats of white paint to cover those dark green vines!  Some of the newer stencils are so beautiful though, that I definitely say it’s worth it to think about stenciling if you want a change but don’t have a big budget.  Especially if the end product looks anything like the Moroccan arches above.


Fashion Week


It’s fashion week in NYC, and many blogs are talking about, of course, the fashion. While fashion, especially couture, can often influence a room design, I thought I’d direct your attention to a room actually designed for the fashionistas! According to this article in Interior Design magazine, “Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams … were chosen to create the annual Mercedes-Benz-sponsored Star Lounge.”

It’s definitely bold, but I must admit I’m surprised by the slip covered couches – they seem very informal in combination with the red lounger and the upholstered console. I would have expected something more sleek, like these from Room and Board

Room and Board

Room and Board

Crate and Barrel

Is it just me? What do you think?


The Man Chair


Listen up men.  We ladies have nothing against a big comfy chair for you to claim, put your feet up, and relax in.  Really!  We don’t!  We’re happy to give you a spot of your own.  Unless it looks something like this…..

Remember Martin Crane’s wrecked chair from Frasier?

Or how about the boys from Friends?

Their upgrade wasn’t much better…

Maybe Red Foreman’s chair was fashionable at the time….

Gentlemen, it’s time for an upgrade!  A man chair must have certain characteristics.  In my mind, it’s usually leather, but it could be cloth too – just not white.  The light colors just seem too dainty (and not forgiving) for most men.  Next, it needs arms.  The men I know, they like to lean.  (I get this – I like to lean too!)  And finally, they need a place to put their feet.  Whether it’s a recliner or an ottoman, you have to give them something, or those boots are going right up on the glass coffee table!

I’ve liked the Addin Armchair at Pottery Barn for quite some time, but it needs the companion ottoman!

The Petrie Chair from Crate and Barrel strikes a nostalgic note without looking like it’s suffered the ravages of time.

I think the Manhattan Chair from Pottery Barn is a timeless classic.  (The whole line is on sale now!)

Or if there’s some extra change lying around, he could spring for the classic Eames Recliner by Herman Miller at Room and Board.

So men (or ladies who know what men like) – did I miss anything?


Some Color For Your Monday Morning


It’s Monday morning, and since I’m not feeling particulary awake yet (nor very verbose), I’ll just share with you a beautiful new turqoise image from Veranda.  It shows some nice ways to integrate turqoise into your space.  If you aren’t willing to commit to a wallcovering or even a painted wall, how about some turqoise throw pillows or side tables?  Art is also a nice way to integrate a little turqoise.  If you have the ability to make it yourself, it’s one of those things you can change out every few years or so.