Design Decoded

How to Effortlessly Co-ordinate Your Home

December 2019
5 minute read
Interior design concept board
Have you ever wondered how designers create beautifully co-ordinated homes?
Effortlessly, and without it looking contrived?!

Well you’re about to learn the secret.

Creating your perfect home is not just about choosing things you love, then putting them together. This often ends up a car crash.

Instead, it’s about selecting things that 'work together'.
Some of these things you may not initially consider, but what you’ll love, is the overall effect they create.

But how do you know what 'works together’?

Use a Concept Board.

To give you an insight into the magical world of interior design, I’m going to reveal the secret of how we create concept boards.
Then how we use them to design your dream home.

What is a Concept Board?

The easiest way to explain a concept board is to show you one.

Here’s one we created for a modern Japanese style apartment in Paris.

Interior design mood board for a modern Japanese apartment
view the finished apartment

You can see, it’s a collage of images.

But how does this help design your home?

The concept board is not used to design the layout, or any other functional requirement. This is a separate process.

It’s used to pick the colours, textures and create the mood of your home.

The feeling you get when you look at the concept board should be the feeling you get when you walk into your home. For this reason, concept boards are also called mood boards.

Everything that’s chosen for your home, must relate to the concept board - furniture, finishes and accessories. If the images on the concept board co-ordinate then everything in your home will also co-ordinate.

Here’s a simple example

When choosing a fabric for your sofa and a rug to lie underneath. If the colours of the rug and fabric both appear on the concept board, then they’ll automatically look great together.

You might be thinking

'you’re designing my home, so why aren’t there any pictures of interiors on the concept board'?

This is deliberate.

If you include images of interiors, it subconsciously limits your choice.
It stops you thinking creatively. You end up with a home that looks like the image on the board, rather than something unique to you.

And who wants their home to be a copy of someone elses?!

A true concept board should be abstract.

So what goes on your concept board?
This is where an eye for good design is essential.

I’m going to take you inside the world of Studio Hazeldean and show you how we create our concept boards.

Interior design mood board for a modern Scandinavian apartment
view the finished apartment

1. Discover What You Love

I know we said a concept board is abstract, but stage one is about looking at lots of pictures of interiors.

We spend time with our clients, looking at images of interiors, furniture, art, exhibitions and many other things, to understand what inspires them.

Are you drawn to neutral or colourful rooms?
Do you prefer angular chairs or soft squishy sofas?

To get our clients inspired and discover what they love, we use Pinterest.

There are 1000’s of stunning images of interiors.
But don’t be overwhelmed. The trick is to filter them.

Not sure how to do this?
Learn the insider tricks in our easy Pinterest guide.

A great place to start is to follow our boards.

We’ve done all the hard work for you and curated the best minimal interiors from all over Pinterest.

Discover our curated boards on Pinterest

Magazines are another great place for inspiration.
There are loads out there. So check our edit of the very best in ’10 Secrets to Effortless Interior Design’.
Get your guide here.

Next, the magic starts.

2. Select Your Abstract Images

Now we know what you love, we’re ready to create!

We take the photos you’ve shown us.
Then select abstract images to represent them.
Roughly 20 to 30.

These images will create the mood, feeling, shapes, colours and textures in your home.

Where do we find them?

Traditionally these would be cut from magazines, but there’s so much more online. Again Pinterest’s invaluable for finding them.

We’ve curated a huge collection of abstract images that we work from.
You can view some on this Pinterest board and follow the board for new ideas as we add them.

See beautiful abstract images on our Pinterest board

With your unique collection of images, we’re ready to create your board.

3. Create Your Board

Here’s how we do it.

Step 1

We create a digital A3 sheet.
Then, after checking the images have permission to use, we place them.

Step 1 - your board is born

Step 2

This bit’s part science, part magic. Knowing how to arrange them!

We don’t want to give away all our secrets, but as a rule of thumb images are sized by importance - eg something representing your key colour will be large, and an accent colour small.
Larger images are placed behind smaller ones and simpler pictures behind more detailed ones.

Step 2 - part science, part magic

Step 3

Lots of experimentation!

Overlapping the images to see how they co-ordinate.
Resizing, cropping and discarding the ones that don’t work.
It takes hours of adjusting and refining to design the finished board.

Step 3 - lots of experimentation!

Step 4

Your unique design concept is complete and you love it!

Studio Hazeldean interior design concept board
The finished concept board

How We Use Your Concept Board

Your concept board is finished!
But how does it transform into your perfectly co-ordinated home?

We test all our design ideas against your concept board, and ask the question - does it match? does it reflect the colours, textures, shapes and mood?

Yes - include it
No - adjust or discard it

Not every part of the concept board is represented in every room. Some have more of one element and less of another.
This means each room has it’s own personality AND your whole home works together seamlessly.

An example of this are your colour palettes.

We create a separate palette for each room by sampling colours from the board. So each room’s different.
But because all the colours come from the same concept board, the rooms work in harmony.

Creating your colour palette

We’ve shared the secret to creating your perfectly co-ordinated home.
The concept board.

I hope this peek inside Studio Hazeldean,
has given you an insight into the magic we create.

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