How to Create A Mood Board: The Free Mood Board Program I Use to Bring Design Ideas to Life

Modern Desert Elegance Home Mood Board


Mood boards are an essential part of the design process for every project and you wouldn't believe how easy they are to create with the same free program I use.

A mood board is simply a visual representation of a design concept or idea. They're great for visualizing your ideas and inspiration and ensuring you're creating a cohesive and harmonious look and feel for your space. Essentially it allows you to get a clear idea of what your final design will look on one page.

A mood board can include anything from color palettes to furniture options to materials and finishes. And once you see it all together you'll have more assurance the space will meet your expectations.

When I work with clients this is one of the first things I present to them to them to make sure I'm on the right path and get their feedback before spending time on sourcing the specifics. I typically create the first mood boards with inspiration photos, the color palette I have in mind and maybe a few more specific pieces of furniture or material ideas to zoom in on the aesthetic.

Once we work through that I create more specific mood boards for each room with the exact materials, finishes and pieces I'm thinking so they can start to see their space coming together before we begin purchasing.

You can do the same thing for yourself and you wouldn't believe how quick and easy they are to create.



Canva is the program I use. Canva offers a wide range of features, including templates, stock photos, icons, and fonts, making it easy for users to create professional-looking designs without any prior design experience (it's really that easy!). The platform is available in both free and paid versions, with the paid version offering additional features such as access to a larger library of images, templates and the ability to collaborate with teams. 



The drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create a custom mood board in just a few clicks.

1. Sign up for a Canva account or log in to your existing account. You can start with a blank canvas, but I prefer to start with one of their templates.

To start with a template, click on "Create a design" and select "Mood Board" from the list of templates. These templates are fully customizable, allowing you to add your own images, text, and color schemes. Choose the layout that's best suited for your mood board.

2. Next begin adding images to your mood board. You can upload your own images or search Canva's library of images. You can also adjust the size and position of your images.

One tip is to begin with a photo that really captures the vibe you're after, or a few specific materials or pieces you feel are essential to the design and branch out from there. I also like to save the links to what I find so I don't forget where I found something and it makes the ordering process more seamless down the line.

3. I like to add a bit of text to the mood board that encapsulates the overall theme, such as "modern desert elegance" or "Arizona urban luxe". Fill it out by adding other design elements, shapes and icons to your mood board to give it a unique look and feel.

4. Stick with it until your mood board really hits the mark for you design. I spend a lot of time uploading something, seeing how it looks with the rest of the board, deleting it if I'm not happy and hunting for another image. Move things around so that it somewhat representing where things will sit in the space. For example, if you have a sofa and a side time that will be next to each other in the room, make sure they're next to each other on your mood board.

5. Once you're happy with your mood board, you can save it and share it with others.



You'll quickly realize you can use the platform for a variety of other purposes. A few other things I use Canva for are:

  • Social Media posts on Instagram, Facebook and other platforms.
  • Invitations for both business and personal 
  • Business cards
  • Marketing Materials
  • Slides for Presentations


By now I'm sure you see how versatile Canva is and how easily you can create mood boards for your designs. With its easy-to-use interface and templates you'll have a lot more confidence in bringing your design ideas to life by using mood boards.


Have you created a mood board before? If so, what did you think? Please let me know in the comments below. Have other design questions feel free to to email me, I read and respond to every one.


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