#1 Step to Your Design Process: Create a Concept Board


I wanted to jump on here and explain really quickly how to make concept/mood/inspiration board for your next home decorating or renovating project! I LOVE doing this, because I can grab random materials and compile them together to create a physical, vision of what ideas are in my head. It’s pretty much a way of getting that abstract vision out of my brain so that I can look at it, and tweak it as necessary, lol. It is so much fun to do, but it is also a very crucial part to the design process. A big mistake I could make is to just start buying all of this stuff, and tearing stuff apart, just to find out that things don’t really go together as what I thought they did in my head. I will explain below, the step by step process I used for creating this concept board!

  1. Make a List of Everything you Want to Succeed for Your Space.


So during this step, I like to go into the room that I want to focus on, and write down exactly the items and tasks that I want to execute my vision. So for example, currently in my master bathroom, I have a standard bathroom mirror that is just a standard sliced piece like you see everywhere. It’s a great mirror, and I love how large it is, but from a design stand point, I could take this room a step further by finding a mirror that has a frame, or an interesting shape, like rounded corners for example.

2. Gather Images to Create a Theme for what you want to go with.

The next thing I like to do is to get on Pinterest and look up different rooms that I like, and I’ve found the more I scroll through, the more a specific theme starts to formulate in my mind. So for example, I have a Pinterest board of all the pretty bathrooms that I have pinned from my feed for a very long time, so obviously they’re all my favorite. There were images of bathrooms with navy vanities, copper hardware, dark and bold bathrooms, light and airy bathrooms, all-white bathrooms, and so on. I obviously can’t combine ALL of these design styles into one room because you want your space to be cohesive. When thinking about my master bathroom, the images that stuck out to me fit perfectly for how that space is used. It is used by two people, and so I knew I wanted a classic, and transitional look. The images that pictured an all-white bathroom came to mind the most, but I also wanted to add ‘boldness’ to a light and airy bathroom for my husband. I won’t share the images on here that I looked at, but you can look at my entire Pinterest Concept Board for my Master Bathroom here. So I had three major points in my mind: 1. all white w/touches of gray bathroom with 2. Bold, black main accents like hardware & light fixture, and 3. Natural décor accents such as a piece of greenery, a jute rug, some woven baskets, and maybe a wooden tray. Now I was ready to create a physical & tangible board.

3. Creating the Concept Board

This is my most favorite part!! Go around the house and gather small random items that fit in your vision! You don’t have to be professional interior designer for this part. You don’t have to have all these actual samples of hardware pieces, cabinetry, accessories, etc. (p.s. if you type in “free interior design samples” there’s literally all kinds of free samples out there you can get! I have a lot of fabric samples because of this. You didn’t hear this from me). So first thing’s first: I grabbed a piece of scrapbook paper that was similar to my wall color. (I just painted it this beautiful gray color that’s super light so I don’t want to paint it again. I think the gray will actually be a good thing because I have a white bath tub, toilet, framing, doors, and soon to be a white vanity. I think that’s enough white, haha.) I placed the scrapbook paper on a white foam board for my background. Then I wanted to start with the biggest pieces/focal point: The vanity. I took a stark white piece of velvet fabric to represent the white cabinetry of the vanity. I placed a grayish velvet piece behind it to represent the counter top. And this one is really funny: I saw a mini black easel that you use to display mini art on, and placed that down next to the “vanity” to represent all of the bold, black hardware pieces. I also had a woven sample piece that I wanted to use to represent a jute rug, baskets, and other natural décor elements. And finally, I snagged a little group of stems from my house plant I just so happened to have in the room, and I placed that down to add some greenery to all of the simple, classic, neutral styles.

And there you have it! That is how you create a concept board. You don’t have to be a fancy designer with professional samples. Find any tiny items, magazine clippings, etc in your house to represent each piece of your vision. The whole point of this exercise is to make your visions come to life with color and textures. I hope you have so much fun creating your mood/concept board and I'd love to see what you come up with! -xoxo Alana Doss