mood board interior design

How to Create a Mood Board / Design Board for Interior Design (Free)

mood board interior design

Are you a home decorating blogger and not sure how to create a mood board for a project? Or you’re not a blogger and just need a way to get your ideas for a remodel visually in front of you. If you’re familiar with them you may have seen mood boards or design boards on Pinterest. Do you ever wonder how the heck they do that? I know I did. I scoured the web to figure out how exactly did they do that. And actually there are a lot of ways that you can create them, but many popular ways require softwares that cost some good money or require a membership. I stuck my hand in my pockets and only cute white moths fluttered out. Was differently not going to spend more money after the chunk that’s was thrown down for the web hosting and other crap thats handled on the back end of blogging. So I have made it my mission to help a sister out and find ways to create a mood board for free. 

What is a Mood Board or Design Board?

If you’re not familiar with them you’re probably wondering what the heck is a mood board and why should I use one? It’s basically an arrangement of pictures that will give you inspiration or a render a vision for a project. They can induce an emotion just by looking at them. They are especially used for designing a room or a space by making sure every item has a purpose and the color scheme is cohesive. I have so many projects I want to tackle, and utilizing a mood/ design board will help me get organized and help me see the vision for the space. Wait hold the phone. You said design board too, what is that? I find that these two terms can be used interchangeably as both are used for design. For the context of this post I will just say mood board. However, a mood board is not just for interior design, but can be used for branding of a business, or anything you are trying to get a visual vision on.

The Best Pictures to Use for a Mood Board

PNG has got to be one of the best types of pictures to use. PNG means “portable graphic format”. It’s a higher quality photo that will have a transparent background. However a lot of the times you will not find the products that you’re looking for with a transparent background. So you’ll have to search for pictures with a white background and then manually remove it. See the example below. These will be the most easiest to remove the background from. You can use an image with a busy background, but It will be a lot harder to remove it without a software like photoshop.

To find a white background image you can literally search in google and search the item plus white background. For example “rustic table with white background”.  Now this can be a hit or miss. I find that the easiest way to get my images is straight from the retailers webpage. Usually a retailer will have this kind of image in their product page that you can save to desktop. Sometimes you will run into a problem when you are trying to save it, and it will only save the url and not the image. That is not what you want it to do. If that’s the case you can fix that by doing a selective screen shot. Press shift command and 4 all at the same time. You can then click and drag to however big the image is that you want to take a picture, and whatever that was in the box will be screen shot. Pretty easy. Now that you got your images let’s get into the first tutorial. 

How to Create a Mood Board Using Keynote or Powerpoint

The majority of the time our computers will already come with free software. So let’s use what we already got shall we. I am a Mac user so the software that I can use is Keynote.  If you are a Windows user it will be powerpoint. And if I am being honest this is probably my most used method for creating a design board. And since I am biased to Mac this tutorial will mostly be in Keynote. Oh wait am I saying it’s all in Keynote. Even so, Powerpoint and Keynote are similar so it has the same basic steps only the buttons will be in different locations. The wording should be the same though. But if you would like a little bit more help on the powerpoint front check out this post by  The Homes I Have Made. I found it very detailed and extremely helpful. 

How to Remove the Background from the Image


Open up keynote and select the white background slide.You can choose any that you want, but then the design board is going to feel too busy. Simple is best. 


Ok now that your slide is up, let’s clear it out.

keynote design board how to

You slide should be empty now. Go to your image that you want and add to the slide. I think starting off with one at a time is better till you get the hang of it. Below you can see I added a dresser. 

Remove Background from Image

I scaled down the size so that I can see what I’m doing. Next head over to the side bar. Click on image. Below you will see Instant Alpha. This is the button to remove the white background. 

keynote design board how to

Once you click Instant Alpha you will get a box as your cursor. Click on the white background. Since you can’t really tell where the white background end just click anywhere closest to the image, but not on the image. 

Remove Background from Image
keynote design board how to

Hold Down on the cursor button and drag slightly until all the object is surrounded band highlighted. If you drag too much this will make the  highlighted portion get on the picture, and you don’t want that because everything that is highlighted will disappear. If that happens just click on reset and start again or edit and undo the last instant alpha.

Remove Background from Image

Let’s add another picture and do the same process with this one. Click. Drag. Boom background is gone. Now I want to have the dresser on top of the rug. 

Remove Background from Image

Arranging Your Images in Keynote

keynote design board how to

Crap! The chest is behind the rug, but you want it to the front. No worries. Head over to the side bar again, but make sure you are clicked on the picture that you want to tweak. Click on Arrange and just below is back and front. Since we want the chest to the front click on front.

Remove Background from Image
Remove Background from Image



The Trick to Get a Transparent Background Image for Free

Anyway back to the tutorial. I will take you the first method I do when using Canva for mood boards. First things first as before we are going to need to remove the background of the white background of the images if you are not using Keynote. There are two ways to remove the white background on the Mac that I found. You can do it in Keynote like before and save the image that you instant alpha’d. 

how to create a mood board removing the image background

To do this you can simply just right click the image and select copy. Then head over to your launch pad and click on the image previewer. Click on the file tab and hit New from Clipboard. 

How to remove a background from an imageHow to remove a background from image


Your Mac will then open up the picture that you copied in Keynote. You can now go to the file tab at the top and save your image to desktop. If you are a Windows user it will be less steps. Basically from powerpoint its right click, save as, desktop, and bam. Done.

How to make a mood board  Making a mood board

Saving a png image

How to Make a Mood Board in Canva

I tend to create mood board in Canva two ways. It will either be like the a room render method or with a mood board template. If you like the template that I use this tutorial be sure to click the graphic right here and get a free mood board template. Plus you get access to the resource library and furniture plans. I’m just saying. 

mood board creation
Ok you got a few images saved to desktop. It time to get into canva. If you did get the template you can follow along. Don’t know what Canva is? Let me enlighten you. It’s a graphic design software that online based. There is a free version and a paid monthly membership. I use the paid version, but you can still do everything I am doing here in this tutorial on the free version. 

Once you have created your login and all the basic stuff its time to start designing. You can bring up the template from here or you can start from scratch. 

how to create a mood board in canvahow to create a mood board in canva


 The good thing about canva is that I can do the Mood board in two different versions. They can either be vertical or horizontal  like the keynote method. The first version will be the vertical. 


Now with the vertical, I personally go with a my template to create the mood board, but you can make your own with the grid elements. I might be a little bias, but I like my template a lot and it saves me time from looking through all the grids. If I really want to change it up I will, but for the most part I stick to my template. 




Below is an example of where the grid elements are and a sample of how I put two together to get a different look. You don’t have to combine the grids, but you can if you want. 

How to create a mood board in canvagrid elements in canva


Once you are happy with your grid choice you can now start adding life to you mood board. I always start by how to I want to feel when I walk into the space and what is my color palette. From there I will select image that are within the same color palette and that invoke a feeling I want to convey with the space. And that all it is to it really. I think the hardest part is getting your creative juices flowing for the actual design of the space. 

Mood Board Examples

To see some example of completed design boards using both methods check out these posts Winterfell inspired bedroom design or the Modern Rustic Italian Patio Design to see it in full action.

So I hope this was helpful to you and that you were able to learn some tricks that you didn’t know before. Let me know in the comments down below what else you would like to learn regarding mood & design boards.

As Always….

Make sure you pin to your favorite Pinterest board and if you haven’t signed up to the Rough Edger newsletter you are totally missing out. Tons of helpful cheatsheets and printables, plus nothing but fun times in the weekly newsletter with blog updates and quirky jokes. Oh and one last thing shout out to all the DIY bloggers that made the Feedspot Top 25 DIY Furniture Blogs and websites to follow in 2019. Way to go ya’ll. By the skin of my teeth i’m there at number 19, but hey 19 still feels good. Make sure you check out the other DIY bloggers there a spread the love. Catch ya’ll on the next post. 

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    1. awesome! How exciting, I always get excited to makeover a space. I would love to see what you come up with.

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