Today we’re going to share how to create a design board so you can create a cohesive look in a room and confidently make decisions when designing your home.
Designing a room in your home can be overwhelming especially if you’re like me and you like so many different styles and see so many things that inspire you. Creating a design board is the solution! This will work great for you whether you are simply decorating a room by updating furniture and accents or you are going after a full-blown renovation.
I want to share that I am not a formally trained designer. I’m a homebody who loves getting creative in my home to make it a wonderful place for my family. I’m not sharing any fancy software or strategies that a novice could not take on. Scroll down to access templates that I premade for you to build your own design boards on if you don’t want to start from scratch. These are completely FREE and so EASY to use.
STEP 1. FIND INSPIRATION
Before creating a design board I start by perusing Pinterest and Instagram. I like to give myself a couple of days if not weeks to do this so I can stumble upon inspiration organically.
FIND HOME INSPIRATION ON PINTEREST
First I create a Pinterest board. I’ll start with a broad search like “Master Bedroom Inspiration” and then once I find a pin I like I will pin it and use that pin to find more inspiration. When you open the pin you love scroll down a little and you’ll see it says “More Like This” where Pinterest populates pins with the same look. This is often where I find my very favorite inspiration on Pinterest.
FIND HOME INSPIRATION ON INSTAGRAM
Next, I create a collection on Instagram. Many are familiar with Pinterest boards but don’t use Collections on Instagram. It’s super simple. As you’re scrolling through Instagram if something inspires you hit the “Save” Icon. To create a new collection push the Plus Icon and name the collection whatever you’d like.
As I’m pinning and saving on Instagram, I try to not overthink what I’m saving. If I love it I save it and we’ll work out the details after. So many people get stuck here because they feel like they have to find the perfect inspiration that applies specifically to their space.
For my hall bathroom, the photo I was most inspired by was an entryway. Many people would hesitate to save an entryway photo for a bathroom, but it’s totally okay to let all sorts of things inspire you.
I also like to use this time to solve the problems in my space. For example, for my master bedroom, the best place for the bed was directly under the window. This felt like a limitation until I started finding beautiful inspiration of rooms with windows over the bed.
This was something specific for this room so the inspiration took a little bit longer to find so if your room has specific challenges give yourself time. I would be scrolling Instagram and see the perfect inspiration with a window over the bed. This inspiration wouldn’t have the hashtag #BedwithWindowOverIt or anything mentioned about the window and bed placement in the description so it’s something I never would have found other than simply enjoying scrolling on Instagram and stumbling upon it.
STEP 2: FIND THEMES IN YOUR INSPIRATION
Take a wide look at your inspiration and try to find themes. As yourself questions like:
- What colors are commonly coming up in my inspiration?
- Do I see a lot of patterns or is the design more simple?
- Is there a distinct style or is it more eclectic?
- What finishes are you attracted to? Gold, Bronze, Nickel?
- Did I gravitate towards spaces with specific practical features? i.e. If you were designing a kitchen did you pin more kitchens with more drawers than cabinets? Do you see a microwave visible or did all of the kitchens you saved have the microwave/small appliances in discrete locations?
- Just in general what repeats itself
For my master bedroom themes, I saw neutrals, lots of texture like upholstered headboards, throw pillows, layers on the bed, and woven shades for the window. I also notice multiple rooms with ceiling treatments which I love because it adds another layer of interest since we can’t have art over the bed as I typically would.
STEP 3: MAKE YOUR DESIGN BOARD
I use Canva for this. I use Canva on my computer, but they also have an app on your phone. It’s so easy to use. Most of the videos I’ve watched sharing instructions on how to create a design board use Photoshop or another software that takes years of experience to confidently use. With Canva you simply drag and drop your design elements.
Let’s create a mood board for both my bedroom and the nursery to show you completely different examples and how easy it is.
HOW TO REMOVE BACKGROUNDS OF IMAGES
One feature I want to highlight with Canva is that you can automatically remove backgrounds on items. So if you drag in a pillow and you want to layer it on the chair you can click remove background and it’ll take it away so when you layer it on the chair it gives the true look you’d get in the design. This is a paid feature but it’s very affordable. If you have many rooms that you’re designing in your home this might be worth the monthly fee while you’re designing and then you can cancel after.
To remove background click ‘Edit Image’ then click BG Remover and it will automatically do it. Most of the time I’m removing backgrounds on screenshots I’ve taken of items on the internet and it’s super easy to remove the background. Other times I’m incorporating a piece that I own in the design board like the chair shown on the right. I simply snapped a picture of the chair and uploaded it to Canva and removed the background. You can see a screen recording of this in the YouTube Video. Sometimes pieces like this are a little bit more complicated, but once Canva removes the background it pulls up two brushes to either restore or erase from the original uploaded image.
START WITH THE FOCAL POINT
I like to start with the focal point. In the bedroom, the center is typically the bed. In the living room it’s often the fireplace, but not always. If you’re having trouble deciding the focal point ask yourself what caught your focus the most in your inspiration photo.
WHERE TO FIND FURNITURE AND DECOR FOR YOUR DESIGN BOARDS
When hunting for the perfect pieces to use on my design board and then eventually in my room, I will first see if my inspiration is shoppable. One amazing thing about the internet these days is that really talented people share where they got things. Most home influencers on Instagram share their sources on an app called LTK or LiketoKnowIt. These posts are shoppable and really easy to use.
If your inspiration photos don’t share their sources or maybe their sources are out of your price range then simply search online. If a feature I love is a slipcovered sofa then I will simply google slipcovered sofa and find one that is within the budget that I love.
A good example of this for me was for my son’s nursery. I loved this inspiration with a basket bench but it was $1000 and I didn’t want to make that investment in a kid’s space. I searched basket bench and I found one with the same measurements for under $300!
Another thing I check when hunting for pieces for my design boards is when they will ship. If you have a deadline it’s best to choose items that will ship quickly. Amazon has so many more home finds than you’d expect. For the nursery, I bought almost everything from Amazon because I was 8 months pregnant when we crated the design board.
FINISHED DESIGN EXAMPLES
Now it’s time for you to create your own design board! If you need a little help getting started I created Canva templates that you can build on if you’d like. Each one can be modified and has a shopping list attached so you can purchase whatever items you kept in your design.
I hope this was super helpful and inspires you to design a home you TRULY love and takes all the overwhelm away! If you create your design boards I’d love for you to share them with us on Instagram. I love hearing from you and cheering you on. Have a great day guys!