In Home Design

8 Great Living Room Mood Board Examples and Design Guide

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When you are planning a new living room, you have one chance to get the planning right. Don’t just stare at the blank piece of paper and hope that everything will come together.

Your living room mood board will drive your design from start to finish. A mood board is your quick overview where you gather all of your inspiration and ideas so that your living room is cohesive at the end.

Living Room Mood Board Examples

Choosing an interior design style

Before you start designing a mood board, you’ll need to choose an interior design style that seems to work for you and your family. Do you tend to leave things on the table? Or do you want something with super clean lines?

What is a mood board?

What is a mood board

In interior design, your mood board is your guide.Your living room mood board is what you will come back to again and again when you are at the store selecting colors or items that you want to include in your room.

Mood boards will have color swatches, samples of fabric, drawings or pictures of furniture, and anything else that inspires a design. If you are inspired by a work of art, don’t be afraid to include it on your board.

A living room mood board can contain any image or product that you find to be inspiring in your interior design and overall feel of the room.

Why is a mood board important?

Rooms designed without a mood board, even with the best of intentions, tend to go awry as people get inspired at the store. 

However, if you go to the store knowing that a dark navy couch with gold legs is on your mood board, you will not be as tempted by a red couch with wood legs.

The living room mood board that you layout will be crucial to maintaining your focus and making sure that your original design ideas are the result of your remodel.

What should a good mood board include?

Don’t misunderstand and think that your mood board needs to be a rigid design that is similar to everybody else’s. There is no perfect recipe for what a mood board needs to include. But there are a few things that they are recommended to include.

Mood board layout example

Room Colors

One of the easiest places to start a living room mood board is the room colors. Go to the store and pick out 2-4 color swatches that you like together. For the best results, have one main color and a couple of accent colors.

If you need help choosing colors, start by choosing colors in a photo that you like. It can be a photo from a magazine, a friend’s house, or maybe even a landscape.

Room Furniture

Obviously, you can’t put an actual piece of furniture on your mood board. But you can put fabric swatches on your board. Don’t be afraid to ask companies for sample swatches.

You can also get photos off the internet to put on your board. Pay close attention to the lines the furniture has, whether ornate or simple. And then look at the main colors of the furniture and how it works with your color swatches.       

Overall Mood

Overall Mood

Another thing to include in most mood boards is actually the hardest to define. But you need to make sure that your living room mood board has an overall “mood” to the design. Basically, does it all look cohesive? Does it make you think of certain adjectives?

For example, a coastal mood may include coral and blue colors, easy to clean fabric, and light colored wood. A country feel may include more saturated colors, darker wood, and richer fabric. If you don’t feel like your mood board has a specific “mood” to it, you probably aren’t done yet.

Sourcing Information

Just in case you want to take pieces directly from your living room mood board, make sure to include sourcing information with your mood board. There is nothing worse than knowing that you have a sample of the perfect fabric but no idea where you found it.

Sourcing information can be put on the back side of the inspirational material, in the case of fabric or color swatches. Or you can put sourcing information in the corner of the board to indicate where you found certain pieces.

How do you make an interior mood board?

There are a few different ways to make an interior mood board that are great for homeowners. Each method of making a living room mood board has its benefits so it’s worth it to try each of them to see what you prefer.

Pinterest or Canva


Pinterest is a free online bulletin board combined with a search engine. You save ideas to your profile in the form of “pins” on different boards that you create. Pins can be accessed at any time easily from your profile.

Since Pinterest is an image search engine, it is great for getting quick ideas and perfect for mood board design. With just a few minutes of searching, you can get tons of ideas for your project.

If you don’t already have one, you can sign up for a free pinterest account. If you want somewhere to start, follow Just A Homeowner and check out the idea boards there.

Who Is This Perfect For?

The Pinterest mood board is perfect for somebody who wants a lot of input all at once. A person who gets distracted when too many ideas are present will struggle with this type of mood board.

Most users will find Pinterest fairly simple to use with just a few minutes of practice but the icon navigation is slightly less user friendly than older social media sites such as Facebook.


  • Great for people who don’t have a lot of time
  • Perfect for anybody looking for quick inspiration
  • Works on the same process as Google so most people understand it
  • Great for visual people that need to see a project or product
  • Allows for access across phone and computer platforms so you can take your mood board on the go


  • Difficult for people who get distracted easily
  • Overwhelming for somebody not used to the platform
  • Does not allow for physical samples


If you haven’t heard of Canva, stop wasting time and check it out. Canva is an online graphic design tool that lets you design professional looking living room mood boards easily.

Even though Canva is free, there are tons of templates, images, and special effects to make your mood board pop. Sign up for a free Canva account, and choose a template to start designing.

Who Is This Perfect For?

Canva is excellent for people who want to be more creative when they create a living room mood board. It lets you pull anything off the internet onto your mood board so there are no limits.

People looking for a more professional looking mood board will appreciate Canva more as well. It’s a great option for new interior designers who want to have a good presentation to a client.


  • Completely free and professional looking graphics
  • Great option for people who want to be creative
  • Tons of free templates, photos, and graphics
  • You have absolutely no boundaries, the entire internet can be used


  • Overwhelming for first time users
  • Does not allow for physical samples

Bulletin Board

bulletin board mood board

You cannot find a more classic option for a mood board than a corkboard and push pins. This method is amazing for people who want to “take a step back” and look at the whole design at once.

A bulletin board allows for quick alterations so it’s a perfect way to make an ultra-flexible living room mood board. There is no logging in and there is no question what is on which mood board.

This lets the user juggle many different projects at once. Even the homeowner can benefit from a bulletin board’s flexibility and ease since you could be designing multiple rooms at a single time.

Who Is This Perfect For?

Anybody who is designing multiple designs will appreciate the bulletin board method. A corkboard allows for incredibly fast changes to your design.

You should also consider a bulletin board method if you are nervous around technology. Anybody can make a great mood board with a bulletin board!


  • Low technology option for a professional mood board
  • Allows for lightweight physical samples
  • Gives the user a quick option for altering design options


  • Not a portable option
  • Takes up space on the wall

Final Thoughts

If you are wondering how to make a living room mood board, just start with something. You will find that some mood boards work better for you than others. You will also find that the perfect mood board for one project may not work great for others.

Don’t overthink it when you are trying to figure out how to make a mood board. Let yourself gather a bunch of different items that you love and let that drive your design.

Most importantly, if you are wondering whether or not you should put something on your mood board, remember the interior design style that you selected in the beginning before you started to collect your inspiration pieces.