Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home: The Mood Board – Family Room

I adore interior design. One of my favorite things about the new house is that I have a whole new blank pallet to play with; not only a new pallet but also 2.5 times the space which means purchasing some new furniture. Which can also translate to hours upon hours of time suck... just what I need when I am super busy!

Since the new house has a family room and a living room (our current home only has a family room) we have to purchase a whole new set of furniture. I am currently going to use our family room furniture for the new living room since the rooms are about the same size. The family room however, attached great room style to the kitchen, is a GIGANTIC room and since we will probably spend most of our time at home in this room I wanted to start designing it first. After two weeks of screwing with it, I am so excited to finally have figured out how I want it to look.

Most of the time when starting to design a room I have to find a special piece as a starting point, which to me is the hardest thing to decide. Usually it is something that I saw, that I adore and that I love enough to base an entire room around. Usually it has many colors, a color pallet that has a good range of tones I can easily translate into a room. It can be a painting, a pillow or even a theme like the nature. For me that inspiration point was a rug from Anthropologie. I first saw the rug in a showroom and then obsessed over for a week. I adore the cool blue/grey pallet and then the pops of cherry and orange. I decided to use the rug as my starting point for the new family room design.


Generally when starting to design a new space I start with a mood board, a common tool used by interior designers to put their ideas on one piece of paper to get a feel for the room. The idea is to do this BEFORE you purchase anything. I know that I cannot stand to go to a store and just wander around trying to decide on the spot if the things in the store will work with my space. To me that is just too much information overload and I usually end up purchasing a bunch of things that I like but when I get home they don’t go together and the room looks wrong.

To make my mood boards I do a ton of research trying to find things online that I adore, that are in budget AND that go well together. I also take photos of things that I already own to add to the rooms if they fit with the theme. Then there are the millions of walkthrough’s of stores, mini point and shoot camera in hand, taking pictures of anything that catches my eye (be sure to write down the prices, the name of the piece and the place you saw it at so you can purchase it later easily).

Once I have a nice amount of photos of things that I like that I ‘think’ will go together I digitally cut everything out and start moving them around on a blank sheet of paper. You can also do this old school style with some scissors and glue on a blank sheet of paper. Some things get deleted at this stage and others find a permanent home on my board. When I am done it gives me a general idea of how a room will look. This is the point where I can generally see a flow to the look of things and I can start looking for specific pieces to fill in holes. For instance in my original board I wanted a mirror for over the fireplace. I specifically went searching for mirror that would complement the room and found a perfect piece that reminds me of the pattern on the rug.

After the board is complete I live with it for a few weeks. I print it out and look at it every few days making sure that later I still like the things in the room; after all I will be living in this space for quite some time.


1. Anthropologie: Festival Rug
2. Mortise & Tenon: Tarika Mirror
3. Z Gallery: Twig Vase
4. Target: Fieldcrest Luxury Scroll Curtain
5. Target: Medallion Pillow – Cream
6. Cokas Diko: African Mod Leopard Pillow
7. Crate & Barrel: Taza Pillow
8. Crate & Barrel: Tailor Sofa – Charcoal
9. An original piece of artwork by Mr. Rogue’s sister, Mrs. Painter
10. Todd Anthony Home: Astor Square Table
11. Target: Ratan Lamp – Honey
12. Cadelabra: Tressa Silver Side Table
13. Pottery Barn: Tibetan Bar Stool – Mahogany
14. Terra Nova Designs: Antique Red Console
15. CSN Stores: Oriental Indonesia Stool
16. Lazyboy: Jennings High Leg Recliner - Mosaic Petal
17. Crate & Barrel: Rojo Media Storage that we already own
18. Anthropologie: Astrid Chair – Posy

Of course a mood board is just a general idea. Sometimes when I get all the pieces I selected into one room it does not quite fit as perfectly as I thought. Thank goodness most things are easily returnable. Also I generally don’t focus on the smaller nick nack stuff in the mood boards. Once I purchase all the major pieces for a room and make sure that I like them I keep my mood board printout in my purse and slowly find things that I love in stores over the next few months. By always having the mood board in my purse I can reference colors or style of the object I am thinking about buying for the room.

A few tips about designing your space:
1. Take your time choosing the things for your room but try not to take longer than a few months. Stores tend to change their stock often and some of the ‘perfect’ things that you took so much time to find can go out of stock never to return again.

2. Keep a list of all the items, where they came from, their names and their prices. Sometimes I will splurge on one or two pieces in a room but then have to cut back on another place. A spreadsheet with the prices allows me to make sure I stay in budget and I can easily see where I am spending the bulk of my money.

3. Generally I like to stick with plainer couches and chairs, that way I can change a rug and a few pillows after a couple years and get a slightly different look without replacing the bigger ticket items like the couch.

4. Mixing metals and woods is ok, and actually preferable than trying to go all matchy matchy, but don’t go too crazy.

5. Color is good, fantastic even, but color for some people can be very difficult. Usually if you choose your inspiration piece (which should be colourful) you will be ok, as an artist put those colors together for a reason. I usually like to pick two major colors from my inspiration piece to really pop out. In my case that would be the red and the orange from the rug.

6. Pattern can be tricky. I have quite a few different patterns in my room and feel pretty confident that they will all blend together well in the room. However if pattern has you a little worried you can try texture. Using silk, cotton, rattan, wood and metals can give a feeling of pattern. By mixing the different materials, even if they are all the same color, you can get pattern without being loud.

I can’t wait until we get the keys in a few weeks so I can order all of this and see how it looks in the new room!


Inzodda said...

I love the methodology. I love the pieces. I love you! Brilliant!

lilmansworld said...

All looks great! Isn't it funny how fashions are recycled too? Hence Anthropology was discovered!

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