Interior Design, Living Room, Mood Board, Project
comments 21

The Mood Board. One Room, Two Ways

Mood board One room two ways

I’ve been working remotely with a client for a while now. She’s completely overhauling several rooms of her home but needed to sort some pretty boring stuff first, like running a new damp proof course and plasterwork. Which is now all done. Phew!

Back room now damp proofed and re-plastered

The front room, which is the secondary living space in this 1930’s three bed semi has finally been stripped of its years of textured wallpaper.

The unwanted pieces of furniture have been eBayed and the room is sitting empty, barring the white painted floorboards, a 1950’s school desk and a black upright piano (which may or may not stay.) It’s literally a blank canvas waiting for its new look.

Here’s what the room needs in terms of function:

  • Open and closed storage
  • A focal point. The room has a chimney breast but no fire or fireplace
  • Two seater sofa and an armchair
  • Room for the desk
  • Possibly a space for the piano
  • Room for record player and perhaps TV

But how the room looks has been a real tug of war, causing the progress of this room to come to a complete standstill.

The man of the house requested a Dark, Moody Gentleman’s Study. Dark walls with rich colours with space for his trinkets, vinyl, all working around the 50’s vintage desk. Whilst the lady of the manor has other ideas, preferring the idea of keeping it light, with a retro, 70’s vibe. Think Anchorman does Danish design.

I’ve been busy working away on two mood boards for this room, with two completely different looks, in the hope one will inspire them to bite the bullet and start the ball rolling. Visualisation on how a room can look can be difficult, especially when you’ve been so used to seeing a space the same way for ages. Mood boards are a great way of seeing what’s inside someone’s head and how the individual parts fit together to give you the overall design.

So, here is the same 1930’s front room, two ways. Do any of these float your boat and if so, which one?

Dark & Moody Gentleman’s Study

  • Dark blue walls
  • Off white floorboards, coving and ceiling
  • Large vintage style rug
  • Tufted two seater sofa in navy and red tufted armchair
  • Oversized, three arm ceiling light
  • Dark blue built in shelving and cabinets. Cabinet sitting proud of the chimney breast, providing a surface for the record player
  • Vintage display cabinet on chimney breast wall provides focal point
  • Quirky, vintage artwork
  • Plants. Because every room should have them

Anchorman Meets Danish Design

  • Neutral/taupe walls
  • Off white floorboards, ceiling and woodwork
  • Large blue geometric rug
  • Brown two seater leather button back sofa with layered cushions
  • Ikea Sinnerlig pendant light (which has already been bought but the man of the house hates it)
  • Asymmetrical shelving in left hand alcove, painted in with wall colour. Long low line, built in cabinet with teak doors running from the left hand alcove across the chimney breast. Cabinet again sitting proud to provide a surface for a TV and record player. The focal point
  • Large arco style floor lamp and vintage swivel, egg style,  armchair to sit in other alcove
  • Large, vintage framed artwork
  • Plants. As before. But more

So whadya think? Would these help you choose which way to go with the design? I know which one I prefer, but it’s not about me here. It’s about them. But i’m really interested to see what you guys would run with. Talk to me.


  1. Lesley_b57 says

    Yes I’m guessing which one you would prefer Karen. I think they are both great, it’s so hard when couples have different tastes. I would prefer Anchorman does Danish Design because that is so my style. Btw if you don’t mind me asking, what software have you used for your moodboards?

    • Karen Knox says

      I think you’d be surprised actually. I really want to do the 70’s room with this client!
      And I will be writing a blog post about how I do my mood boards v. soon as I think so many people out there would find it useful. It’s not a fancy programme or anything. It’s just Pages on Mac. The PC equivalent of Word.

    • Lesley_b57 says

      Yes I am! hope they go for it. Oh that would be good I will look out for it, that would be useful, I don’t have a Mac though ☹️

  2. Ahh I love your little mockups! God this is a hard one. I think I prefer the dark & moody board as I love the vintage rugs and how luxurious it looks with the tufted furniture. The other one is lovely as well, don’t get me wrong, but the darker one is more my vibe 😉 Hope this works to get your clients deciding because now I want to see it come to life!! xxx

    • Karen Knox says

      Yeah me too! I’d love to do either of these rooms with them.
      I shall update in due course!! Oh and thank you Ms D xx

  3. Gilly says

    Sorry Karen it’s a no brainier for me. I like the Danish Design LOVE Dark and Moody. It just looks like it would be a great space to kick back in. The lux chair looks sooooh comfy. Hope your clients go with this one. Xxx

    • Karen Knox says

      Ha. You sure do like those dark walls!
      Have a lovely Easter weekend xx

  4. Lee says

    My living room is halfway between these! I have a Victorian flat with sanded floorboards and a big bay window. I’ve done three walls in a light blue and one in very dark blue. I know people hate feature walls and so do I usually, but I wanted the dark to be a backdrop to my full height homemade copper pipe shelves containing books, vinyl, record player, bar tray, big tv etc – this breaks up the dark wall. Then I have a big shag rug in cream and mostly mid-century furniture, but if I had the cash I’d swap my mid-centuryish sofa for the Swoonworthy olive green chesterfield. It would look cool with the mid-century stuff. My pictures are a mix of oil paintings and modern graphic stuff. You need to go eclectic with some gentleman’s den stuff and some mid century! Of course then they’ll both hate it, but it could help them compromise.

  5. Jane Holland says

    They are both fabulous Karen, but for me personally I prefer Anchorman does Danish Design. Looking forward to reading your blog post regarding your mood boards, as my other half has just bought me an IMac! I currently use Canva or Olioboard but the above look so much more crisp and defined. I’m collating ideas for a porch makeover so once I have decided on a final scheme I’ll look forward to producing a mood board on my iMac!

  6. Trish Mahon says

    Anchorman! it makes better use of the wood color of the desk and made for a vinyl collection. Lovely vibe for daily living. But then my dark walls last a minimum of 18 months.

    • Karen Knox says

      Cheers Trish. I do like the retro room and yeah, it’d work really well with the ole vinyl!

  7. Shruti says

    Karen, really love your posts. Very down to earth and practical. Re the above, much prefer the Dark and Moody board. The taupe does not do it for me I’m afraid. Too bland for me. A nowhere colour! Am also looking forward to seeing how you do your moodboards. Cheers! Enjoy your Easter weekend.

    • Karen Knox says

      Thanks Shruti. It’s definitely a step away from the bold colours i’m used to working with, but I think I could make it work with some vintage leather seating and cool artwork. Happy Easter weekend to you too!

  8. Vanesssa & Andy says

    Andy and I both prefer Danish Anchorman – it suits the space really well and whilst we both obviously love dark & moody I’m not sure you’ve got the height in the room to pull it off… Love the colours and mix of textures in the Anchorman scheme and you can have loads of fun choosing some awesome artwork! Xx

    • Karen Knox says

      It’s actually a good height room. Higher than mine anyway!
      But yeah, i’m really hoping they go for the Anchorman scheme. Mainly so I can write a blog post about Anchorman 🙂 Happy Easter weekend to you both. See you soon xx

  9. L. E. Bruce says

    Dark and moody all the way! And I would love to learn how you do your mood boards. We are moving next week and I need to put together some ideas for the new house.

  10. I would say blue .. but then if I was actually doing it myself in real life, I might end up with the lighter colours. Love colourful walls online, but hedging my bets so far with bright single walls in our flat. If you’re ever looking for an eclectic wall hanging, then I do a nice line (even if I say so myself) in printer’s trays/cabinet of curiosities. Which is what I should be doing now, but enjoying your blog instead!

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