four different kitchen mood boards, with blues
Midjourney can build detailed mood boards when given accurate prompts.

When dreaming of your new build, or for DIY projects, organizing inspiration with a mood board is helpful to articulate wishes and determine style. Text-to-image AI, such as Midjourney offers a quick, easy and detailed way to re-create the images in your mind on a screen and populate your mood board with actionable, stylish options. 

What is a mood board? 

A mood board is essentially a collage of curated inspiration, and is used across several different creative industries, able to be built in digital or physical formats. 

 In terms of application for interior design, a mood board is a great tool for a homeowner to use at the beginning of a project, when contemplating what finishes and architectural details to select in a new build. 

Many interior designers routinely use mood boards in initial meetings with clients as an essential brainstorming tool, or to present different themes or ideas to help clients decide on a direction. 

 Benefits of digital mood boards and AI 

Many homeowners are populating mood boards digitally for the sake of convenience, as well as having many more options for inspiration at their disposal, virtually. 

Virtual mood boards are also easier to share, especially important if a homeowner is working with an interior designer. Or if doing a new build home, organizing a wish list virtually before visiting the design center can help a homeowner quickly communicate to the design consultant what they hope to achieve with their décor choices. 

There are several apps and websites through which a mood board can be curated, such as Houzz or Pinterest, where you sift through design and décor examples to find what matches your aesthetic.  

 But using AI, such as Midjourney is a huge time saver in this regard.  

 “You might waste time trying to find images to match what is in your head, but with Midjourney, your ideas come to life in minutes,” says interior designer Heather Jennings of Blackwell & Jennings. 

Midjourney is a quick and easy text-to-image AI chatbot, accessible through a Discord account. Users input textual prompts starting with /imagine, and from there Midjourney generates a series of images, with significant level of detail around finishes and textures. 

 A google search or looking through home-related websites will yield ideas and inspiration, but where a simple search stops short with generalities, Midjourney gives the power to the user, to tweak images with specific prompts. 

And the creative opportunities here are next-level for a design-curious homeowner, which is especially helpful in populating a mood board. 

 “Midjourney offers homeowners an element of surprise. And a realistic way to create renderings with endless ideas,” says Jennings. 

It is important for homeowners to keep in mind products and designs displayed when experimenting with Midjourney don’t exist in the physical world, so it’s not as simple clicking on a creation to buy what you see.  

These images can help homeowners define a style though, and with the assistance of a trained designer or decorator, can either have their creations custom made to replicate their ideas, or to find similar existing pieces through retailers and manufacturers. 

 What should I include on my mood board? 

To make a mood board, homeowners gather pictures of whole homes, rooms, commercial spaces, décor items and household goods, along with color, material, fabric and textile samples. 

When creating a mood board, homeowners should consider, “the desired vibe. How do you want to feel in the room?” says interior designer Gloribell Lebron of Lebron Interiors. 

 Also important when populating a mood board, according to Lebron is the “Color palette: What color or colors resonate with you?” she says. 

 Homeowners should also think about textures and materials and what their preferences are: patterns, textures or a combination. 

 “By addressing these questions and gathering visual references on a mood board, homeowners can better communicate their preferences and aspirations to designers or decorators,” says Lebron.  

 What Midjourney prompts should I use to create my mood board? 

 While a mood board can contain anything that you’d like, it’s most helpful if it is detailed. This will most accurately reflect your wish list and communicate your choices to a designer or design center consultant. 

 It’s best to start with some brainstorming, keeping in mind what the desired outcome might be, and then work backwards to assign the language to generate images appropriately. 

 Take advantage of Midjourney’s speed and wide creative opportunities to get your images for your mood board exactly right.  

 “You can play around with it. And if you don’t get it right the first time, you can try again,” by modifying prompts, or adding more detail,” says Jennings.  

For this mood board, Lebron used the following prompt: /imagine design mood board, kitchen, neutral colors, marble light sand color tile, light oak wood porcelain, modern brass hardware, modern pendant lighting. 

four different mood boards in neutral colors
Keep prompts short, but detailed for best results: Photo Credit: Gloribell Lebron

“This approach allows Midjourney to understand your vision better and provides the platform with enough information to generate an image that aligns with your requirements,” says Lebron. 

 Be sure to indicate to Midjourney what room you are designing with approximate dimensions. 

For living room inspiration, I created this mood board with the prompts /imagine mood board, 20×20 living room, stone fireplace, neutral paint colors, sectional sofa, chandelier, wood flooring, natural light, no window coverings. 

four different living room mood board ideas
For best results, be sure to include room dimensions in the Midjourney prompts.

When compiling a mood board, don’t forget the home’s exterior. Effective prompts for this might include writing “whole house or exterior of house,” says Jennings.  

  It’s wise for homeowners to make a detailed list of items before they start, including paint colors, cabinetry, flooring, fixtures (plumbing, hardware and light fixtures) and architectural details. 

 Very popular with new builds currently are curved archways and shiplap according to Jennings, so if these are a priority for homeowners, “be sure to include details around these, and indicate placement in the home in the textural prompts,” she says. 

Midjourney is only as effective as the textual prompts that are provided. While homeowners may like a certain look, they may not have the correct language around the aesthetic for accurate prompts, which is where support from an interior decorator or design center consultant is helpful. This underscores how AI, such as Midjourney, is a complement to the design process, making it better and quicker, but does supplant the value of advice from a professional. 

 “It’s essential to start with a clear and concise description of the image you wish to create. For instance, you can start with /imagine mood board, and then add specific characteristics you’d like to see in the mood board, each separated by commas,” says Lebron.  

“Keep the prompts short and avoid unnecessary fill words like “a, the, and,” etc. 

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