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Quick + Cheap Mood Board Idea

I’ve been a busy bee this week! In addition to planning for the Liberty event in London on Wednesday night (we’re making lots of pretty things for the tabletop and a special installation to go above the table), I was asked if Where Women Create magazine could shoot my work studio this week and of course, since I’m a keynote speaker at their special upcoming Creative Connection event (alongside Oprah’s own Cristina Ferrare) in September, I said yes! It worked out really well because I was able to work with my husband, who shot the story, and I styled the shots which was fun — it definitely made me miss working on the road last year styling my book Decorate! Here is an outtake from the shoot of my desk area. You can see the entire room in their next issue!

My desk

Above my desk I have this very quick and easy DIY mood board/art display. I made it up myself – hey, decorating isn’t rocket science! What I did was cut a piece of linen and secured it to the wall with 5 nails. I then disguised the nails by looping some simple ribbon around each one. I let the linen drape because it looks more natural than if I had pulled it extra tight across the wall. It looks more casual and soft this way. I have tons of prints that I’ve purchased over the years from Etsy and I can’t properly frame all of them so, using Japanese craft tape which sticks so well yet can be easily removed without tearing paper, I “tacked” everything to my mood board/art wall. I can swap imagery whenever the spirit moves me. I like that because the spirit moves me quite often! In fact, changing a mood board regularly is a trick that helps me to stay out of creative ruts. The moment I feel one coming on, I edit my mood board and the fresh perspective helps energize me. With the “Holly” mood board, you only need a little less than a meter of linen, 5 nails, and some ribbon and of course Japanese crafting tape and some art, tears from magazines, etc. and boom! you are in your creative zone in minutes.

I had some major déjà vu moments working on this story for Where Women Create and definitely feel like I need to do more of this in the future along with books and anything else that I can continue to do to combine imagery and words to communicate what’s inside of me to all of you. I love decor8, so the blog will always be front and center, but side projects are so meaningful and rewarding and it’s good fuel for me to have them as they also feed my creativity so that I can blog with more passion. I have come to realize over the past five years that blogging with intention, with heart, with passion is always my goal — it is so much more rewarding over simply tossing up posts for the sake of writing something. For me, a blog is a place to communicate feelings, a vision, talk about inspirations, ideas, goals, dreams… I think that is what makes a great blog, well, great. What do you think?

(photo: thorsten becker)

Posted by decor8 in DIY on April 09, 2011

Your comments...

  1. KitzieG commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 11:33am

    What a fantastic idea and source of inspiration!
    I recognise a few of my fellow Etsy sellers on there too :)

  2. Jess commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 11:35am

    Absolutely! I wrote a post recently about this – I think a blog is never ‘finished’ but is always best when the blogger is putting their heart and mind into it.

    I gave 2 talks today, and when I asked the audience why they read blogs, the biggest response by far was ‘inspiration’! You always do a wonderful job of blending inspiration with thoughtful insight, and that’s the mark of a truly wonderful and unique blog.
    Jess´s last blog post ..Photosynthesis – Antisocial

  3. Meghan @ My Wishful Thinking commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 11:46am

    What a fantastic idea! I love the ribbons over the nails! I’m off to start my board now! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Meghan @ My Wishful Thinking´s last blog post ..My Fair London – Streetlamps

  4. Ludmila @ creamylife commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 11:48am

    Thank you for sharing this brilliant idea, Holly! Never thought it might be that easy to create an inspiring mood board. Happy weekend! P.S. Love your book, the review is coming on Monday on the blog :). xo
    Ludmila @ creamylife´s last blog post ..Happy weekend…

  5. belinda commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 12:33pm

    your office is perfection, which i knew it would be. i agree – you need to be thoughtful about what you post and i don’t read many blogs that are just slapped together to get three to five posts up a day for the sake of attracting traffic (sorry, but in many cases, it’s true). I prefer the lenghty, heart-felt posts with messages, thoughts, inspirations and ideas rather than just a picture. It KILLS me that I’m not able to dedicate more time to my blog at the moment. But mine is pretty much all original content and with a newborn, and massive life changes coming the next few weeks, it’s put on the back-burner and I really miss it! I miss the whole blogging community and feel a little out of it at the moment. hmph x
    belinda´s last blog post fave book- Decorate by Holly Becker and not JUST because I’m quoted in it

  6. April {iam_artisan} commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 1:02pm

    Wow! That was simple and yet it turned out great. I love the wood lampshade. Is it really wood?
    April {iam_artisan}´s last blog post ..Packing for school

  7. Basil commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 1:19pm

    What a fab idea ….I love that it blends with the texture of the room, rather than being harsh and too office-like!! Thanks for the inspiration…. Can you get your book in the UK?
    Basil´s last blog post ..My weekend is

  8. michelle samoraj commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 1:37pm

    Great idea, I’ve never heard of Japanese craft tape. I also have never thought of just taping to fabric, how simple! Good inspiration
    michelle samoraj´s last blog post ..Fun Friday Find- Floor Plan Pattern

  9. Jane commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 1:47pm

    Ah, Holly! So fabulous to see your current mood board after creating my own for BYW. Your enthusiasm is so catching – I had my mood board blown up into an A2 size photo which I plan to frame and hang above my desk as inspiration. A thousand thankyous for helping me unleash the creativity inside me! J x
    Jane´s last blog post ..Celebrating 300 Planetarians while waiting- waiting

  10. Theresa commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 2:05pm

    What an inspiring and true post today. I really love your attitude about blogging and I do think that side projects just make your blog better and better. Always good to get many influences!

    I also try to blog original content only. I’ve now just started a new category called ‘BreakfastPicks’ where I actually share my favourite links but other than that almost all my pictures etc. are created by myself and it does take a lot of time. I love that you put so much time and effort in your blog posts as well! Thank you!
    Yours, Theresa
    Theresa´s last blog post ..Berlin- Music Typography Fashion

  11. Nic @ Yardage Design commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 2:32pm

    Excellent idea, and perfect timing. I’m off to make one of these – thanks!
    Nic @ Yardage Design´s last blog post stockist the eco nook- hobart

  12. Ivy commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 2:33pm

    Since BYW class, I’ve been working on creating my own studio/craft room/ art room/ photography room. The room has so many titles for such a small space!
    I like the placement of your board, behind your computer. Nice quick reference.
    Do you change your mood board often… or do you keep it mostly the same?

    Ivy´s last blog post ..Creating Me- Learning through Journaling

  13. Mervi commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 2:52pm

    Looks lovely. Unfortunately I don’t have wall space for that, but if I did… So lovely.
    Mervi´s last blog post ..The difference between paintbrushes

  14. decor8 commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 2:54pm

    @Ivy – I usually change it once a month.

  15. decor8 commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 2:55pm

    @Basil – Yes, Decorate is sold at bookstores in the UK as well as Selfridges, Liberty and Anthropologie.

  16. decor8 commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 2:55pm

    @April – Yes, is the wood lamp by Muuto

  17. Beach Coast Style commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 3:30pm

    Holly, love the idea. I have a framed cork board I got from Ballard Designs sitting right in front of me that needs some of your mood board love. Hmm maybe I will get the spirit and get moving on it. :)

  18. Lori commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 3:34pm

    Inspirational! I learn so much by reading your blog and get inspired each and every time. I never knew what Japanese craft tape was but I am now a huge fan! It will allow me to create my own mood wall and now things will actually stick and will be easily changed. Thank you for sharing your view of the world – I am continually inspired.
    Lori´s last blog post ..Spring!

  19. Karena commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 4:22pm

    Love the linen mood board and the way you hung it! I should do that as I have a dozen works of art that need framing!

    Art by Karena
    Karena´s last blog post ..A Winner &amp Blogging for Charlie- Help a Bloggers son in Need

  20. juliette commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 4:41pm

    Oh I love this idea for a mood board! I like how it’s soft, yet structured. I have been struggling with the mood board concept for a while now; all the boards I’ve been finding require too much prep-work -like painting- that have been a huge deterrent for me in regards to my current schedule. This is a much better solution! Thanks for the great idea!
    juliette´s last blog post ..So Pretty- Fleamarket Find at Wunderschoen Gemacht

  21. kalanicut commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 4:50pm

    I love your workspace. Even more I love how you remind us what makes a blog lovely and what part of ourselves we should be bringing to it –heart, heart, heart…I hope you have a blessed week. It’s going to be lovely.
    kalanicut´s last blog post ..Twin Headboard Reveal Monday!

  22. anne hubben commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 4:59pm

    I love this idea, Holly! I’ve been rearranging my office + have been planning to get a corkboard, but I change things around so much, i like this idea better. Also, I happen to have some fabric that I didn’t use as planned for something else so this idea is great timing. AND, I have japanese tape on the way from one of Leslie’s suggested shops! I love your office too. I’ve realized I kind of have “thing” for work spaces.

  23. Monica Lee commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 6:08pm

    Holly, you’re killing me here! I had to buy the book, now the craft tape….all this good I-have-to-have-now stuff! I was at the event last Sept. It is super fun. Hoping to make it again to see you speak, yippee!
    Monica Lee´s last blog post skirts and a little prayer

  24. Trina : la la Lovely commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 6:17pm

    Love you’re inspiration board and how you made it. I just made one but used bulletin boards and pulled the linen tight. Thinking of putting it in my little girls room and then trying one this way. As always …thank you for you for the inspiration. xo Trina
    Trina : la la Lovely´s last blog post ..Fav Friday

  25. Barbara commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 7:54pm

    What an incredible inspiring board! I recently became kind of obsessed with Japanese tape. I found some at the local shop and decorate some envelopes for friends and…what a fun job! :) – Barbara

  26. meenal @ maison marigold commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 8:36pm

    love your idea for a moodboard simple yet so versatile!! thanks for sharing, haolly..have a lovely weekend! xx meenal
    meenal @ maison marigold´s last blog post ..Why dont you

  27. meenal @ maison marigold commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 8:38pm

    do excuse the typo, Holly! xx meenal
    meenal @ maison marigold´s last blog post ..Dutch explorers in medieval Italy

  28. solovelydecoration commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 9:13pm

    love this ,simple things are often the best,it’s beautiful,
    and i love the idea to use the things that you already have at home and try to use them ,see them with “a different eye”.
    that’s art!
    have a good week end sophie
    solovelydecoration´s last blog post ..COMME AU CINEMA

  29. Katie Truelove commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 9:44pm

    I completely agree and I think you do that so well with your blog:) I never thought to use Japanese craft tape this way and I love the idea! I usually just end up just hoarding it because it is so pretty;) In order to hang my many postcards and prints that I haven’t framed I’ve hung a thick ribbon and clipped them up with mini clothespins that are very light and allow me to add and remove as needed:)
    Katie Truelove´s last blog post ..Etsy- Pastels and Polka Dots

  30. Tina commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 9:52pm

    Great Idea! I’ve been looking at tackboard ideas so this is now added to my list of options!
    Tina´s last blog post ..A New Way to Decorate- Anthropologie’s Decorator Concept

  31. Melissa Allam commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 11:19pm

    So glad you are back to the blog. I have only been reading for awhile instead of blogging myself and your blog still brings beautiful and soothing colors to my computer screen and a cheerful spot my day. The relaxed feel of your moodboard brings a sense of creativity constantly on the verge of something new and exciting.

  32. Queen of Dreamsz commented
    April 9th, 2011 at 11:32pm

    This is exactly what I’ve done for years for displaying everything under the sun. In my new studio I have put up new design walls using the 2 inch thick insulation board from Lowe’s…I then covered it with white so everything that goes on it really pops.

    Thanks for the inspiration and I’ll watch for your feature in the magazine.

    Pink Sparkles to fill your day,

  33. Diane @ home sweet homemade commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 12:22am

    very nice idea, so feminine and simple.
    Diane @ home sweet homemade´s last blog post ..clock re-do

  34. Jadyn commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 2:52am

    Thanks for the idea, I love it! I wholeheartedly agree, too, that the best blogs are the ones written with feeling and include dreams and ideas. So glad you share yours, and so beautifully.

  35. Andreia commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 4:31am

    Love your working space Holly and thanks for blogging the way you do!

  36. Marlene commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 12:19pm

    Love your mood board! I want to do something similar for quite some time now…
    What you say about blogging is so true! You have to have a purpose why you are writing this exact posting at exactly this time… One has to be “into it”… truely…

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this :)
    Marlene´s last blog post ..Spontanes kleines Vintage Give-away zum Wochenende

  37. Rose commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 6:53pm

    Hi Holly it is Sunday evening and in preparation for the week ahead, I popped into my studio to read some mails. As I read your post above, I could not help but recall what I had heard Wayne Dyer say:- “to be motivated means to be moved from the outside. To be inspired on the other hand, is to be moved from within yourself.” Holly you inspire me. I think it is because you work from the heart. Thank you.

  38. Franca commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 8:03pm

    Lovely idea for a easy moodboard, Holly. When you work on paper…well you will need a huge piece of paper( noisy, wrinkly expensive etc.)! Like painters do; it also nice to take a step back and see the whole picture.

    I sometimes feel the same “pressure”to post three times a week, not because my readers will get nasty ;) but because I made a commitment to do so. Hell yeah I think our mind is sometimes our worst enemy

    Have a nice Sunday evening!
    Franca´s last blog post ..Creëer in je huis een speelhoekje

  39. Martina Fuchs commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 8:46pm

    Thanks for this great idea – I was thinking of changing the wall opposite to my desk so now I know what I’ll do. I always like your “easy going”tipps so much. And yes if you blog from your heart and walk the talk that’s the only way how success can come to you.
    Martina Fuchs´s last blog post ..Vortrag “Erfolgsfaktor Raum”

  40. Aileent commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 10:45pm

    What a simple but fabulous idea. I will bear this in mind for a future project. Aileen

  41. Daniel commented
    April 10th, 2011 at 10:46pm

    For a long time ago I’ve been searching for something that could effectively influence my mood, something that I could easily change when I need or get rid of it when I don’t need. This is good :). Bravo!

  42. Rachel commented
    April 11th, 2011 at 2:08am

    Thank you so much for the inspiration! I just finished making mine. I have a really thin wall where my desk is so thumb tacks and tape did the trick.

    Here is my post I did about it.
    Rachel´s last blog post ..Weekend Inspiration

  43. Glenda Childers commented
    April 11th, 2011 at 3:18am

    I love the mood board I made for the Blogging Your Way class last year. This is a great idea, too, Holly, as it can cover so many more area, than just my blog. Beautiful creative work.

    Congrats on all your recent success. So fun.

    Glenda Childers´s last blog post ..Susan Branch- Gladys Taber and some tax week fun

  44. Jen commented
    April 11th, 2011 at 4:04am

    Wow – this is really great – I need to do something EXACTLY like that!
    Thanks :)
    Jen´s last blog post ..Spring Things

  45. Debbie commented
    April 11th, 2011 at 9:01am

    You are an inspiring creation! x
    Debbie´s last blog post ..Friday quote

  46. Hazel commented
    April 11th, 2011 at 3:23pm

    I love your blog; the sharing of creativity and vision is just flawless. I think the open publication and communication of a blog is what makes it great. Anyone can have one, anyone can comment… everyone gets involved to create fantastic conversations.
    Hazel´s last blog post ..Japanese Garden Style

  47. annie commented
    April 12th, 2011 at 3:51am

    holly, i love your mood board, it looks so easy to create too. do you know when your story is coming out in Where Women Create magazine? i love that magazine though it’s quite pricey, so i only buy it occasionally.
    annie´s last blog post ..pulp fashion

  48. Bre commented
    April 18th, 2011 at 8:13pm

    Ugh , that is the cutest thing! I can’t wait til I move so I can do something like this. As is, I don’t have much space to do anything!!

    Bre´s last blog post ..because it’s funny

  49. bonnie commented
    April 21st, 2011 at 12:26am

    hi holly! love this set up. :) where did you get your desk from? xox

  50. brianna commented
    March 10th, 2012 at 5:11am

    Yes, where is this amazing desk from?

  51. Nina commented
    April 22nd, 2014 at 5:44pm

    May I ask where you got that amazing desk?
    Nina´s last blog post ..Make-Up Confidential TAG

  52. pelicanlake71 commented
    February 19th, 2015 at 4:20pm

    I love this!

    Can you tell me where you got that chair, or even what that style is called so I might find one for my own office?

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