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Get in the Mood…for Design

by Suzanne M. Harvey

Get in the mood...for design

How do you get in the mood for design?  When I start a new project I start with a mood board.  It can be electronic or digital & should be filled with images of objects, paint colors and rooms that inspire you.  And bonus…it really gets the creative juices flowing.   It used to be our secret weapon but with the explosion of Pinterest everyone can create a mood board for their next project.  However, if you are like me, we usually select a million pins with the intent to go back & create it later but we never do.  I love Pinterest and all it offers but I need something a little more tangible to stay focused so I can get in the mood…for design.


While digital boards are the current way, I still prefer tear sheets from magazines, a notebook and a 3-ring binder. Just find the way that works best for you to organize your ideas.  If you create a very specific board on Pinterest for your project that is a great digital option.  But I know what you’re thinking I don’t need to know how to organize it I need to just get started.  Hopefully these tips will help you take the next steps.

Get in the mood...for design

1. Pick your space

What space do you want to re-invent?  Or do you have a space that doesn’t function for you & your family? The first step is to decide what space you want to update.  Once you have decided on the space you can dive right into the fun part and get inspired.


 2. What moves you?

Your spaces should help you feel relaxed at home; not stiff or fussy.  Do you have a favorite place you visit?  Is there a color that just makes you happy whenever you see it?  Is there a special piece of furniture that has sentimental value?  These are the things that move you.  Make note of these things. That’s right…write it down.  Then on to the next step.



Get in the mood...for design3. Sit down and read a magazine.

Grab a stack of your favorite design magazines & catalogs.  Get a hote cup of coffee, your favorite wine, etc. and find a comfy space to curl up.  Spend some time looking through them to see what catches your eye.  If you see something tear it out (or pin it ;).  Don’t think too much here, just go with your first reaction.  If you love it keep it.  If you hesitate move along.  The goal is to find those things that inspire you immediately.  Take your finds and file them.  Keep going…you’re making progress.


Get in the mood...for design

4. Go shopping!

I have to say this is my favorite part.  You don’t have to tell me twice to go shopping.  This is a great way to get inspiration but be careful here.  It is easy to get overwhelmed & caught up in the trends.  So while shopping refer to number 2.  Stay true to what moves you.  Make sure to snap pictures of anything that catches your eye.  Also don’t shop for 8 hours.  An hour or two is sufficient. Only check out a few stores (your favorites).  BONUS: You will get to do this again later!



5. Revisit and Refine

Take some time to review your pages/pins, your ‘moves you’ list & any pics from your shopping adventure.  Now start to sort your inspirations.  Follow the rule from #3 – go with your first reaction.  As you look at each one trust your initial reaction.  If it ‘screams’ at you put it in the keep pile – if not just move on.  Whatever is in the keep pile will become your mood board.  These will be the items that will lead you in creating the space you have always wanted.

I like to post my mood board where I can see it often.  It helps to keep me on track. It also keeps me inspired to continue to create.  I hope this inspires you to take the plunge & start your next project.  I can’t wait to see what inspires you.  So let’s get in the mood…for design.



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