I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been intrigued by beautiful inspiration boards. I love that they offer a sneak peek behind a creative’s process and often reveal their true inspirations. A matchbook from your favorite restaurant, a ribbon from a memorable gift, an iconic Irving Penn image torn from the pages of Vogue when you were fifteen—together these little mementos form a lasting picture. Luckily, these inspiration boards (also often called mood boards or vision boards) are easy to create and can be a great tool for gathering our own thoughts and visually communicating with others.
Types of Inspiration Boards
There are many reasons why you might feel compelled to create an inspiration board. Below, are just a few.
Fashion designers like Tory Burch often use imagery to help gather inspiration when designing an upcoming collection. If you have an upcoming project–whether it’s decorating your living room, landscaping your garden, or making over your wardrobe–consider creating an inspiration board to guide and focus your vision. This Charlotte Moss book has great collage inspiration.
If you can see it, you can be it! Vision boards are popular among the motivational set for visualizing and manifesting one’s goals and dreams for the future. For example, if you want to save for a house, create a board of your dream house—picket fence and all. Every time you’re tempted to throw away money on something frivolous, take a good long look at your dream house vision board and remember why it’s worth saving for.
Interior designers in particular are presentation board pros. These types of inspiration boards are fantastic for visually communicating ideas with team members or clients. On a decorator’s board you might find fabric swatches, trims, finish samples, and images of furniture selections, alongside an elevation of the room being designed. A well-designed presentation board inspires the viewer and helps them visualize the finished project.
Examples of gorgeous inspiration boards:
Let’s look at examples of particularly pretty boards from some of my favorite creatives, shall we?
Large linen covered inspiration boards in fashion designer Rebecca Taylor’s sunny office.
A cobalt board by Abby Ward for Ariel Orkin’s collaboration with Chasing Paper.
A tropical inspired board by Abby Ward for Ariel Orkin’s collaboration with Chasing Paper.
Another gorgeous green board by Abby Ward for Ariel Orkin’s collaboration with Chasing Paper.
Inspiration pinned up in the studio of designers Claudia Dey and Heidi Sopinka.
A more minimalist mood board by P. Johnson Femme.
A bold red inspiration board by Mark D. Sikes.
A lush green inspiration board by Mark D. Sikes.
A blue and green board by Mark D. Sikes.
During her time at J.Crew, Jenna Lyons used colorful washi tape to display her inspiration.
A vibrant yellow inspiration board by Atlanta-based fashion designer Ann Mashburn.
A mood board for one of Tory Burch‘s previous collections.
Correspondence and mementos pinned to a board by Citrus & Cedars.
Inspiration gathered by interior designer Summer Thornton for a secret hotel project.
Spring entertaining inspiration gathered by interior designer Sarah Bartholomew.
Tips for Creating an Inspiring Mood Board:
Below are some simple steps to take your inspiration board from basic to beautiful.
#1 / Consider a Pretty Frame or Fabric
Consider covering your bulletin board in a pretty fabric secured with a spray adhesive (I love a plain linen, ticking stripe, floral, or gingham) or having your cork board framed like Tory Burch did in her office above.
#2 / Print striking, high-quality images
Boot up the printer. Great images for your board are a must. Personally, I prefer mine printed with a thin white border for a subtle vintage feel. Of course you can also save imagery you love from magazines.
#3 / Step up your thumbtack game
Brass, wood, acrylic…? Pick push pins that match your board’s aesthetic, after all, no detail is too small. I love shopping for thumbtacks on Etsy. You can also emulate Jenna Lyons and mount inspiring images with colorful washi tape.
#4 / Add some dimension
Hang more than just flat imagery to bring your board to life. Pin up bits and bobs saved from your adventures–notes from friends, paint swatches, clever branding, jewelry, anything that catches your eye…!
Bulletin Boards To Get You Started:
Because a standard cork board is the perfect blank slate.
Accessories for your Board:
Thumbtacks, washi tape, fabric, ribbons, and more!
I hope this post has inspired you to create an mood board of your own!
Do you already have an inspiration board at home or the office…?
Be sure to let me know if you have any more tips I should share with everyone!