Define Your Interior Design Style

by Becky Hoh in Designer style at home

Putting a mood board together for the first time can be a daunting experience leaving you feeling like you are working on a school project. But when it is done right it is one of the most important tools at an interior designer’s disposal.

So we asked Roland Hartmann and his team at Hartmann Designs to talk us through the process and give their tips on creating the perfect and most useful mood board for your residential scheme.

‘We take an extensive approach in putting together mood boards, it is a real labour of love for us” says Ayanthi Attanayake, designer at Hartmann Designs. ‘They are the starting point in identifying the client’s preferred aesthetic and are integral to the design process thereafter. We begin the process by presenting the Client’s with a range of mood images. These are finished Interiors which give them an overall impression of different styles. These will suggest the feel of the scheme and gives the client an opportunity to isolate key features that they like or dislike.’

‘We constantly refer to the mood boards throughout a working project. In particular, when we are re-specifying items and want to make sure that new items work with the other design elements.’

You can use a similar method to find the style you love and the direction you want to go in by looking at image-sharing websites such as Pinterest. Hartmann Design find Pinterest a really useful tool to find finished and dressed inspiring Interior images and is a great place to begin your initial research.

‘Once the brief has been established, a General Arrangement plan is developed and signed off by the client,’ Attanayake continues. ‘The mood boards then work in conjunction with the GA Plan. The mood boards are a focal point of the concept presentation to the client and we like to include as much information as possible.’

Each piece of FF&E (Furniture, fabrics and electrical) is individually chosen and all of the relevant finishes will be included on the board. “This allows the client to see how each element is working together as a whole,” says Attanayake. Following this example, the team recommend including the following images, swatches and items on your mood board.

1. Floor finishes

2. Area rugs

3. Wall finishes

4. Furniture

5. Lighting

6. Drapery fabrics

7. Scatter cushion fabrics

8. Artwork

Hartmann Designs of course has an image and material library in the studio but also visit the Clerkenwell design district (mostly furniture and lighting) and Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (furniture, lighting, wallpapers and fabrics) for each new project to keep up to date with current trends and new product ranges being launched. They would advise visiting these design hubs, or your own local design centres or areas, to collate swatches and samples and for general inspiration as well as specific choices.

You can either take actual swatches, textures and tear sheets out of magazines to make a physical board or put together a digital board with digital images, using programmes such as Photoshop and InDesign. They find a combined approach using both mediums is the most effective approach, yet have a strong emphasis on the physical boards mocking up actual small scaled models.

‘We upholster cushions, paneling and show the drapery as it will hang in the space,’ Ayanthi describes. ‘In doing so, we are creating as realistic a representation as possible of the proposed space so that the client knows exactly what they are getting and are able to visualise the interior.’

The mood boards will then evolve organically as the project develops and certain pieces may change, but they serve to keep the overall mood of the scheme intact and always in mind.

‘We constantly refer to the mood boards throughout a working project. In particular, when we are re-specifying items and want to make sure that new items work with the other design elements.’ So they are also a great resource to keep after you feel you have finished your own project as you may evolve or add to it further down the line and the board can be a quick visual reference to revisit your initial vision.

In conclusion, mood boards are an essential part of the design process as exemplified by Hartmann Designs. It can be a very labour intensive part of the process but is definitely worth investing the time in the early stages to ensure the overall success of the project.


Hartmann Designs –

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