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The Power of Mood Boards

One of the earliest processes we adopted in our company was the dependence on mood boards. We quickly learned how crucial they are to the efficiency, collaboration and success of a short term rental furnishing team. Whether you are a solo creator, or have a team behind you for the build and project completion, we cannot stress the mood board process enough. Here are a few reasons we feel so strongly:

· Visualizing the space and elements involved: First and foremost, the process helps to visualize the space and elements prior to actually arriving onsite to the Airbnb or VRBO. In the age of online shopping, a significant portion of our sourcing occurs online. It can be difficult to keep track of which rooms you’re purchasing for, and what the color scheme is for each of the elements of every room. By snipping photos of each furnishing or décor piece and putting them in one document, you can create a mini visual of what the space would look like and how everything coordinates together.

· Get a sense of the theme you’re building: Interior design can be a complicated process, especially when trying to furnish an entire house at once. We often start with one really unique piece – whether it’s a lamp, a rug or even a couch – and build the rest of the room around this item. This helps to identify the theme you are working towards, and the overall mood of the room. I often like to start with a rug or a wallpaper that has several colors so I can begin pulling everything together.

· Each room shouldn’t match – but should flow well: We never recommend a cookie-cutter approach to furnishing, the lack of interest from room to room will be less appealing on Airbnb. Instead, try to find ways to mesh the separate rooms together. That could be a centralized color scheme, with certain elements emphasized more highly in some rooms. That could also mean the same shape and design of the artwork you are highlighting in each room. As long as it feels like they all belong in the same property, you’ve accomplished this goal

· Gets the team on the same page: For our team, we often need to separate the duties out in order to accomplish more of our to-do list efficiently. This often will mean that Jacob or Tim will be onsite first, organizing the shipments, building the furniture and getting everything ready for the design work. If the team member responsible for organizing deliveries and placing items in the correct rooms doesn’t know where to go, it either means the project will be delayed or the designer will receive 100 calls an hour. Neither is a great way to feel connected as a team. Here is where the mood board is magic: it shows exactly which room each piece of furniture belongs in.

· Helps identify missing pieces: Towards the end of the sourcing phase, it can be cumbersome to put in place the finishing touches. Our comprehensive spreadsheet identifies what is missing, but it is not as simple as purchasing the first dresser you see to fill in the blank. Once you identify the missing item, take a look at your mood board. Are there colors that don’t quite connect? Are there a lot of dark elements that may require some lighter pieces?

Figuring out this cohesion early on can avoid the clunky mistakes – such as needing to return furnishings last minute and trying to source new furnishings within a few days.

Take a look at the below mood boards for a few examples. We always like to take a day or two for the mood boards to settle in and see how we feel about them. If we’re still enamored after a few days, its all systems go! Otherwise, we may take it back to the drawing board to edit a few items, or replace one piece that doesn’t quite work.

So what rooms need a mood board? We believe every space is important enough to take the time to build one, including bathrooms, kitchens and outdoors. They could be as simple as a the rug and bathmat color, or as detailed as you desire. We personally like somewhere in between. I don’t take the time to put together each piece of the bathroom on a mood board, but I do include the color scheme to ensure it flows with the rest of the house. An orange bathroom isn’t going to quite fit in with a serene and calm blue color scheme. One tip I live by is to act like a bathroom is its own individual space, in need of as much décor and artwork as any other room.

Another factor that can heavily influence the success of your mood boards are the wall colors. If you are planning to paint a room, it’s important to include a swatch of that color in your mood board. We don’t necessarily recommend painting every room a fun and unique color, but it can definitely make the difference in a room if you take the time to transform it from the ever-so-popular greige tone.

One thing to keep in mind is that you will never complete your room 100% with your mood board. There will still be last minute items – such as additional throw pillows, more lighting, and the knick knacks that help transform coffee tables and shelves. I am a sucker for my final HomeGoods trip. Who knows what fun items you will find that will help complete the space! More on my HomeGoods obsession in THIS POST (Coming Soon!), but trust me, it is your best friend when it comes to scoring deals.

And that’s it! A mood board can be as complicated or simple as you want it to be, so find the system that works for you! Your wallet, stress level, and time will thank you!

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