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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

The Mood-board

One very important piece of advice I can offer to those who are starting work on a new home build or renovation, is: "maintain consistency throughout your home!" This is called 'the flow' the way that one space looks flow into the next, from the front door right through to the back yard. With so many new 'looks" and interior products available we are continuously exposed to such a wide range of items: "I really want that... and that ... and oh that tile looks nice... but so does that one!" Yet, as tempting as it might be, it's important to not get distracted when creating the palette for our home. In a similar way to when you're deciding what to wear, the 'dressing' of your home (colours, materials, finishes and styling) has to tell the same 'story' in a continuous and effortless flow, because continuity offers a welcoming effect that is not always obvious, but noticeable if not there! To help me achieve this I often give the project I'm going to work on a theme to as a guide, and useful to ensure the 'mood' the 'look and feel' I'm after remains consistent throughout all my interior design choices.

Designer James Treble in his studio

all images © James Treble Designer

By creating a theme, or a title, I find it works as a reference point, and helps me clarify the subtle details. I do start with an inspirational image library first, essentially a pictorial reference guide, allowing me to pinpoint the important elements that I want. A mood board is about collecting information which will help you keep you on track with key decisions, and it's quite fun too, and because I love to know items first-hand, to touch and feel them with my own hands, I also love placing together samples of the finishes and materials I intend to use..

But yours doesn't have to be a literal board, like the ones I build when presenting to builders or clients. Just as I do in my initial stages, you can easily create a mood-board, or more than one, on your computer by collecting photos from lifestyle magazines or off the Internet. You can easily place all your images and info together in a Word file, for example, and keep it handy for further additions and scrutiny: your choices may feel and look different when going back to them even just a few days later. Or perhaps you may find an App to easily use on your smartphone or tablet, there are many available, both free and for purchase. I admit to being 'old school' and love magazines, the touch and smell of them, so I still cut images out and use them as reference material, and YES I am also guilty of ripping images out from a magazine in a dentist waiting room, but I call this research (and because it helps me with anxiety relief I don't feel too bad about it! LOL)

If you're unsure where to start if looking for inspiration, I suggest flicking through lifestyle magazines, jotting down ideas you get when watching TV shows, and surfing the Web of course, an immense source of images and how-tos. Search and save images that depict the look you're after; try to pinpoint the elements, the colours and finishes that attract your attention and ask yourself why and what you like in that particular image or setting; take notes. Of course we all have cameras on our phones, so just as I do, don't be afraid to take a pic of someone's facade as you walk by (NOT while you're driving!!). Whether from print media or on-screen these pictures and material samples are then placed next to each other, and the look you're after starts coming together.

Placing images and samples next to each other by area, such a bathroom images, kitchen shots or facade ideas helps you to maintain focus and understand the finer details of each specific area for the home in order to create the overall 'look & feel' your after, and as you do so, it becomes clear quite quickly what fits and what doesn't. So, as sad as it may be, you will have to let go some of the beautiful elements that you loved at first, and by doing so you begin to realise that what is appearing in front of your eyes is a cohesive and comfortable look. The theme is keeping you on track and the whole selection is making perfect sense: your project will be a success!

playing with finishes samples and creating moodboards

A Treble of Tips:

  • take notes and pics when something hits your inspiration or you might forget

  • collect images from magazines, samples from hardware stores and retailers

  • choose 'a theme' for your project to help you trim and achieve a cohesive look

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.


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