Apr 2017

Suburban Years: In Praise of Design Mood Boards

Suburban Years: In Praise of Design Mood Boards

Since we last connected on suburban happenings (previously: Welcome to the Suburban Years, Lessons Learned in Home Buying, and Move-In Ready), I’ve been channeling my inner Emily Henderson. One of the best #protips that I’ve gleaned from reading way too many design blogs is the general helpfulness of mood boards.

Pinterest is a great tool during initial ideation, but mood boarding allows for the best ideas to be culled in a useful way. Best of all, you don’t even need Adobe Creative Suite or any other fancy software. PowerPoint gets the job done, allowing you to virtually build a room to your heart’s content.


In our old apartment, the furniture was composed of either used finds from Craigslist and thrift stores or basic builds from Ikea (hello, Malm). Hand-me-downs from family filled in the gaps. The generally mismatched nature of all of our furnishings didn’t bother me in the least. However, now that I’m hardcore adulting, I am insisting that our house be at least presentable.

living room

For a non-designer with a track record of prioritizing function over form, being able to visualize a room’s color palette and layout prior to buying anything is incredibly helpful. Mood boarding also lets me sit with an idea for a few days and show my vision to The Astronomer for his buy-in and input.

reading nook

Our house is still a work in progress. I’m currently on the hunt for a pair of cozy accent chairs, preferably vintage and leather, and some soothing but modern artwork for the walls. The Suburban Years are long, winding, and with the help of mood boards, hopefully cohesive. Any home design #protips from veteran home owners are certainly welcome.


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2 thoughts on “Suburban Years: In Praise of Design Mood Boards

  1. You are on the right track. We bought a house about 3 years ago and developing a ‘what might work’ board has helped a lot. I especially focused on homes that looked like our early 1920s Spanish for color tips, furniture ideas and landscaping plans. Two common mistakes by new homeowners: they buy too much furniture and they try to make the house something it isn’t. Go slow, don’t overfill and flow with the style of the house, not against it. Oh and have fun!

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