The Magic of Mood Boarding

Growing up, I have fond memories of spending rainy afternoons creating mood boards with my sister. We’d cut up stacks of my mum’s old magazines and use the images to design our dream lives: beautiful houses, smiling families, luxurious holidays. It would always leave me with an infectious feeling of excitement about the future and all the good that was awaiting me when I grew up.

Then I actually grew up and suddenly those dreams were replaced with reality. Instead of imagining the beautiful house I’ll live in, I spend my days trying to work out how my boyfriend and I could afford to rent a flat in London. Instead of dreaming about the successful job I’ll have, I obsess over which career would tick the most boxes. I’ve somehow forgotten all those dreams in favour of reality.

Then, one afternoon a few days ago, I sat down and created a mood board like I did with my sister all those years ago. But instead of cutting up magazines, I scrolled through my Pinterest account and selected all the images that made me happiest. Images of adventure and travel, romance and family, houses and camper vans. I pasted them all into a powerpoint presentation and slide by slide, created my dream life.

The effects have been pretty amazing. Suddenly the future feels exciting rather than terrifying, my life feels full of possibilities rather than constrained by obstacles. When I imagine my life, I now have lovely images to refer to and it’s made a drastic different in how I think about what’s to come.

So in this post I thought I’d take you through how I created my mood board, category by category, and maybe you’ll be inspired to try the same…

1. Social connection

Family – friends – romance – alone time

Social connection

The first thing I considered when designing my dream life was the social connection I’d have in it. The friends, family, romance and not forgetting the all important alone-time we all need every now and again For me, social connection is the top thing that will make me happy in my life. Big houses and expensive holidays are all well and good but as they say, happiness is so much better when it’s shared.

2. Daily life

Food shopping – cooking – health – fitness – breakfast in bed – reading – author – work – hobbies – cafes – restaurants – bars – relaxing

Daily life

When dreaming about my day to day life, I tried to imagine some of the main things that would fill my days: food shopping and cooking; reading and hobbies; working; going to cafes, bars and restaurants. I then chose images that made those ordinary things feel more extraordinary: a beautiful work environment; food shopping in local markets; exercising in nature.

3. Life events

Wedding – honeymoon (Italy) – honeymoon (exotic) – pregnancy – old age – adventure – alive moments

Life events

In life there are so many moments many of us are likely to experience that add a lot of richness and happiness to our lives. Events like getting married, having children, growing old with your loved ones, going on adventures. Designing this part of my mood board was a lot of fun because it got me especially excited about the future.

4. Travel

Holidays – road trip – camper – luxury holiday – budget holiday

Travel

Having just returned from Hong Kong after living and working there for six months, I’ve definitely got the travel bug! There are so many places I want to visit and this board helped me get an idea of the sorts of travelling I want to do in my life: road trips; camper van holidays; luxury holidays…the lot!

5. Lifestyles

City living – coastal living – lake living – country living – home living

lifestyles

The chances are, I won’t be living in one place or following the same type of lifestyle my entire life. That’s why I designed by dream life for each location I could be in: city, coast, lake, country, my family home…that way I’ll have covered my bases no matter where I end up!

6. Seasonal

Summer – winter – Christmas

Seasonal
Whether it is summer or winter, I think there are always things to be thankful for. For summer, I collected pictures of reading in the sun and having bonfires at the beach and going swimming in a lake. And for winter, snuggling up by a roaring fire with a mug of hot chocolate, a good book, and a sweet treat.

7. Appearance

Style – hair

Style

I had a lot of fun imagining my ideal style and hair while doing this part of my mood board (so much fun in fact that I designed an entirely separate mood board for style…work wear, holiday wear, loungewear…you get the idea).

8. Home 

Contemporary house – rustic house – holiday house – garden – living room – kitchen – dining room – bedroom – bathroom – study – snug – balcony – views – apartment living – luxury home touches – plants – renovated house – minimalist house – sleek house

Home

I also had a lot of fun designing the sorts of houses I’d want to live in and how I’d decorate each of the rooms inside. I’ve always had a love of interior design and so imagining exactly how I’d design my house got me especially excited about the future.

 

If you’re at all inspired to make your own mood board, my top suggestions would be to hold nothing back (why limit your dreams?) and also to continuously revisit your mood boards and update them when you find even better pictures to include. I tried to limit myself to one slide per sub-theme (eg. work, friends, holidays) and that way you’ve got the challenge of only choosing the best pictures for each.

– Tiger Lily –

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