Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Mood Boards: A Thesis Statement For Design

As I meet with a client for the first time and have them walk me through their space, we discuss what they love and hate about everything that is existing in their current home. We talk about their style and aesthetic and their design "dreams"... and then we talk about the best way to achieve those dreams while considering all that is practical and functional in their every day life.

I always encourage clients to gather photos of things they love, whether that be a fabulous pair of shoes, a photograph of the ocean, or a magazine interior that they've had saved for years. Being the visual person that I am, I'm always surprised and a little impressed with myself when the things they show me illustrate the style that I was already picturing for them in my head. To me this means that I'm becoming more in tune with people and understanding my clients better, and in turn, becoming a better designer.

To put my understanding to the test I create a mood board for my clients before I shop for any fabric, draft any floor plans, or specify any furniture. It's something that I haven't always done, but have found it to be an important part of the design process and the perfect first step before embarking on the sometimes long journey that is designing a home.

A mood board is meant to create a feeling and set the tone for the project as a whole. It can be added to or taken away from as the process goes along, but I have found it to be an important step in the beginning for a few reasons; it let's the client know that I understand them and the direction that they want to go, and it also provides a visual guide for the overall design concept.

I love mixing and matching, but that can also leave room to get off track and lose site of our aesthetic. The mood board acts as a thesis statement and as long as everything going in to the space references a color, pattern, texture, style, or feeling of the thesis statement, the home will have purpose and cohesion without being too contrived.

photos from Peter Dunham, Schylar Sampterton, Tabarak Studio 


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