{decorating with style} The Easiest Way to Create a Mood Board

Friday, April 1, 2016

It's been a little quiet on the blog this week because I've been so busy behind the scenes to get ready for our next big project. The One Room Challenge kicks off again next week, and this time we'll be tackling our master bathroom. 

Putting together the mood board and design plans for the bathroom makeover reminded me that many readers have asked me to share a tutorial on how I create my mood boards, so today is the day!

Create mood boards using Olioboard


Whenever I begin designing a new space, whether for myself or for a client, I always start by creating a mood board. It helps me to pull together a color palette, design ideas, and inspiration. Rarely does the room wind up looking exactly like I envisioned in my mind, but starting with a mood board helps me to get the jumble of ideas in my head down on paper at the outset. Throughout the process of pulling together all the details of a room, I'll often refer back to the mood board to help guide me in achieving my design vision.

When it comes to creating mood boards, I sometimes use Photoshop {which is not only a pricey program, but also has a steep learning curve}. More often, however, I take the easy route and use an awesome online resource that's available to everyone and requires no special graphic design programs or skills. 

It's a website called Olioboard, and it makes it super quick and easy for anyone to create a mood board to kick start the design process.

Start by going to the www.olioboard.com and create a free account by clicking "Join Now." It's free!

How to create a mood board

Once you have signed in, you can begin creating and saving mood boards by clicking on "CREATE" tab.

How to create a mood board

When you click "CREATE," it will bring you to a screen where you can get started designing immediately. The large blank space on the left is your blank mood board, waiting to be filled up. You have a couple of options for adding items to your mood board. The first is to find items within Olioboard's database. You can browse by category {as I've circled below} or by brand. 

How to create a mood board

Alternatively, you can save items directly from any website as you shop online. By the time I sit down to create a mood board, usually I've already been searching for inspiration and shopping online for quite a while, so this second option works better for me. In order to save items to Olioboard as you shop online, all you have to do is download and install Olioboard's "Browser Clipper" tool {just follow the simple instructions on that page}.

Once you have installed the Olioboard Browser Clipper, you will see a link on your browser bookmark bar that says "Add to Olioboard." With this link, you can quickly add items from your favorite stores to your Olioboard library, and from there, you'll then be able to add them to your mood board.

How to create a mood board

For example, I have been shopping for mirrors for our master bathroom, and found an option that I like at West Elm. The first image of the mirror that shows up on the West Elm website is of the mirror in a styled space - but this is not the ideal image for me to save to my Olioboard library because there is so much stuff around the mirror.

How to create a mood board

When creating a mood board, it is preferable to have an image of the item by itself. Fortunately, West Elm has numerous images of the mirror, including one of the mirror in the color I want {white} on a plain background.

How to create a mood board

Once I have identified the image of the mirror that I want to add to my library of items on Olioboard, I simply click the link on my bookmark bar that says "Add to Olioboard." A blue bar then appears across the top of the window with instructions to "click on the picture you want to add to your library."

How to create a mood board

When I click on the image of the mirror, a pop up window appears that shows the image I have chosen and automatically populates with the item name, brand, and link. It also auto-populates the price of the item - but it never seems to be accurate. I just ignore the price, but you can update the price once your items are added to Olioboard if you'd like to also use Olioboard for budgeting purposes.

How to create a mood board

In this popup window, you can also choose where you want to save the item. The first choice is "My Library," which is the default location for all of the items you save to Olioboard. You can also created "Sets" to categorize items within your Olioboard image library. For example, I have created a new set called "Master Bathroom" to collect items that I might want to add to my master bathroom mood board.

To create a new "Set," go to the Olioboard home page {make sure you are logged in} and select "Sets" from the drop down menu. 

How to create a mood board


On the Sets page, choose "Create New Set."

How to create a mood board


Then you can give your new set a name, and select whether you want the items in your set to be public or private {I always choose private}.

How to create a mood board

Ok, now let's hop back over to the West Elm website, where I was in the process of adding the mirror to Olioboard. Now that I have a Master Bedroom "set" created, I can choose that as the location where I will be saving the mirror. Then click "Save Item" at the bottom of the window.

How to create a mood board
Once you have saved all of the items that you want to add to your mood board, you can get started with creating the mood board. To get back to that mood board creator page in Olioboard, click "Create" at the top of the screen.

How to create a mood board

To find the items you have saved, choose the "My Sets" tab.

How to create a mood board

I don't want to show you everything I have saved to my master bathroom set {you'll have to come back next week at the start of the One Room Challenge to see that mood board}. Instead, I'm going to use a set of fall decor items that I saved previously to show you how easy it is to create a mood board.

Simply choose an item from your set that you want to add to your mood board by clicking on it...

How to create a mood board

And then drag it onto your blank mood board.

How to create a mood board

The circle that appears on top of the image when it is selected on your mood board is the tool that allows you to resize or rotate the image. Click on the orange and white dot at the top of the circle and pull it up to make the image bigger, down to make the image smaller, or to the left or right to rotate the image. In the example below, I made the pillow much bigger, and rotated it to the right a bit.

How to create a mood board

In addition to resizing and rotating images, there are many other tools in Olioboard to control the way the images look on your mood board. 

How to create a mood board

You can duplicate an image, move one image in front or behind another, flip or flop {to create a mirror image}, crop or add frames, and even automatically remove the background of an image {which works better on some images that others}. These tools are pretty easy to use and learn through trial and error, so I'm not going to provide a detailed tutorial on each. But you can find answers to any questions you may have about these tools in Olioboard's FAQs.

How to create a mood board

Continue dragging items onto your mood board and rearranging them until you've created your perfect mood board.

How to create a mood board

Once your mood board is created, be sure to save it! Click the "Save Draft" button, which will bring up a window where you can give your board a name.

How to create a mood board

Next to the Save button is a button that allows you to download your mood board as a JPG file and save it on your computer. You can also return to Olioboard to make modifications to your mood boards at any time. Simply log in to your Olioboard account, and click on "My Olioboards" in the top left corner to choose the board you'd like to work on.

Pretty awesome, am I right?! This is seriously the simplest way I have found to create a professional looking mood board without needing to know how to use any fancy graphic design programs, like Photoshop. It's so quick and easy to add items from all of your favorite websites, and then combine the together on a mood board so you can see how they look together and come up with a design plan you love for your space.

If you want to get even fancier,  you can add backgrounds and text using the tools in Olioboard. There's so much more I could show you {maybe I'll need to add a Mood Board 2.0 post in the future}, but I hope this tutorial will get you started in the right direction. 

Here's an image you can pin to Pinterest to help you find your way back here when you the inspiration strikes to design a beautiful room!

The easiest way to create a mood board using Olioboard

I would really love to see the mood boards that you create! Share them with me on Facebook or Instagram.

And I hope you'll come back next week to see the mood board and design plans that I've put together for our master bathroom. I'm pretty excited about this one!!

13 comments :

  1. Great tutorial, definitely pinning for later! Can't wait to follow along with this next ORC Angela!!!

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    1. Thanks, Kristi! I can't wait to check out your ORC plans, too!

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  2. I love olioboard!! Great tutorial. xoxo

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  3. I haven't tried olioboard - primarily use polyvore & picmonkey! Thanks for the tutorial - pinning!!

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    1. I haven't tried Polyvore... I'll have to check it out to compare at some point!

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  4. This post could not have come at a better time!! I was pretty unhappy with the way I created my last mood board, and needed some direction for one I'll be creating this week. Thank you!!

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    1. So glad it was helpful! Was your new mood board for the ORC? I'll have to swing by your blog to check it out!

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  5. Awesome! I've never tried Olioboard. Can't wait to see your ORC room!

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  6. This is perfect timing, Angela!! Was just looking for a turorial for the ORC!! And excited to follow along on your next one! Thanks!
    Kendra @ www.joyinourhome.com

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    1. I can't wait to see your ORC plans!! I'll be stopping by soon!

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  7. OMG... The BROWSER CLIPPER TOOL is a game changer!! Woohoo!

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    Replies
    1. Right?!! I'm so glad it was helpful to you!

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  8. Thanks so much for this tutorial. I had no idea where to begin:)

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