It feels like years since I made my last mood board (you can see over 125 of them here). What the heck is up with that? So I’m breaking the dry spell with this just-for-fun creation that I tossed together with some cheerful and sunny summer color. I wanted to pick some fun accessories that anyone with a neutral toned sofa and neutral colored walls could use as a springboard for pulling together a room with a warm, happy, and inviting vibe:
1. The color palette for the room is full of warm tones like sunny orange and yellow along with some rich dark wood tones, some basic neutrals like mocha and tan, and glossy white trim. As for the exact wall color, since I cobbled this board together with the intention that these items would seamlessly slip into an already neutral room, I added that strip of warm cream paint along the top of the board to represent the wall color (like Water Chestnut by Glidden), but really any warm-ish neutral on the wall should work.
2. I actually thought a bunch of these fun plates with a pop of citrus-y orange from Crate & Barrel could look awesome hanging on the wall in a little cluster above a mantel or over the sofa to add interest and dimension. They’re only $3.95 a pop (on clearance) so you could grab ten of them for around $30 and just mount them on the wall in a big cloud-like cluster using plate hangers from the craft store.
3. This is the pillow that started it all. I love it so much, and thought it would be fun to build an imaginary room around it. So it got dragged into my little photoshop doc first (yup, I use photoshop to make these, but I’ve heard great things about mydeco.com and polyvore.com – which are both free). Anyway, ain’t she a beaut? Two of these on the mocha sofa along with one solid pillow in one of the colors of the patterned pillow (like orange or yellow or even pink) should do the trick.
4. Since I was making this imaginary board for someone with creamy neutral walls and a tan/mocha sofa, I figured they’d already have some standard wood end tables. So instead of a matchy-matchy wood coffee table I thought it might refresh the room if they switched out the coffee table for these nested little texture-filled woven tables. They could be casually placed in front of the sofa and work along with the basic wood end tables they already own. Just to bring in another tone/texture/finish instead of more wood. Oh and I bet they’re DIYable for anyone with the patience to make them out of hardware store wood and wrap them with rope for the same effect.
5. These Ikea curtains are elegant yet playful – kind of like fancy little coffee bean sketches dancing up the wall. The cool thing about them is that they’re super neutral so they’ll layer into the room so easily (while adding a bit more texture thanks to the geometric detail). And they’re just $15 a panel even though they’re extra long. Ikea for the win.
6. These great sculptural lamps will add even more interest to the room while allowing the pillows, wall plates, and rug to be the happy little punches of color among other classic and neutral touches. Oh yeah and they’re just $49 each (down from $100 a pop!).
7. This handmade Thom Filicia rug from Overstock.com had me at hello. First of all, it’s really well priced (just $143 for a 5 x 8). And second of all, while some folks would be scared to bring in color with a rug, sometimes it’s just what a room with neutral walls and a neutral sofa needs! Take our old living room which sported a cheerful yellow rug with a cream sofa and tan walls for example.
8. This is just a mocha sofa that I threw in to “complete” the picture (even though I was assuming that folks might already have one). If you don’t have a sofa this color (say it’s cream or soft sage or white or something else) just bring in the accessories that you like and see how it goes. It could totally work. You can always go for a slipcover if you think the sofa color is the only thing throwing the room off (they sell them pretty affordably at places like Bed Bath & Beyond and Target- although I’m not sure how well they’ll fit your individual sofa, but you can always try them and return them if it doesn’t look right). And if slipcovers don’t do it for you (or your current sofa is shot), this guy is only $699 thanks to a big JC Penney sale (he was originally $1200!).
So there you have it. My little imaginary neutral room mood board. If you end up getting some of the items and pulling them into your house I’d love to see pics over on our Facebook page! Do you have any favorite things? I’m kind of in love with the rug and of course that pillow had me at hello. Ah pillows, you make me happy. Have you guys been making any mood boards these days? Do tell.
Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.
This is a fun colour scheme which you don’t see very often – love those lamps and those cushions especially!
just saw this on etsy, and thought of you all…
YAY mood board! They are my very favorite posts of yours!
ronda w says
I have that couch and the loveseat! I like it ok.
Thanks for the firsthand review Ronda!
Off topic, but I saw this over at ikeahackers today and it could have been possiblity for your chairs: http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/06/customize-your-henriksdal-slipcovers.html
Maybe the next time you get around to buying 8 slip covers?
Oh yeah I love that project so much!
Who has two thumbs and loves mood boards?
Haha, this girl!
Ashley @ sunnysideshlee.com says
I’m in love with that pillow!
Show me more, show me more!
Tanya Maia says
We have these pillows!!! They bring a real warmth to our living room!!!
Annie P. says
Love that rug! And the price is totally right! Now….can I convice my hubby that we Need a rug for the basement :)
bridget b. says
this post made me smile. i LOVE your mood boards! i’ve gotten so much inspiration from them for most of the rooms in our house and i’ve officially adopted the mood board technique whenever i plan a room design, including my guest room that i redid a few months ago
i’m working on the laundry room next, again with another mood board. if y’all are ever in the houston area, you are welcome to crash us!
Fun room! We LOVE yellow and gray together!
These mood boards are the number one thing I miss about your blog, even though I TOTALLY get why you gave them up. Thanks for this one, and I am sure I am not alone when I say we would love some more from time to time!!
Your not alone. I don’t visit near as often since they quit making them.
Jessica G. says
Guess who’s running over to CB2 this afternoon to pick up two of those pillows? THIS GUY! I’ve got a big gray couch and an orange tweed ottoman and have been looking for something to tie them together. Thank you!
Wahoo! Have fun and send pics!
Stealing it all! Thanks for the inspiration to finish my family room. I love the curtains but have a challenge…first, I had planned to make the curtains but struggled with color and fabric. Your mood board locked it in for me – check! But, I have four windows requiring a curtain length of 108″ (2 other windows @ 136″!) – thought I might add a complementary fabric separated by grosgrain ribbon to the bottom to make up the difference in length. Considering the pallette, any suggestions for the best solid? Black just won’t work and grey doesn’t jibe with my less than perfect sofa. Thanks so much (for the excellent short cuts!)
Hmm, maybe some sort of rich chocolate or brown tone to work with the dark wood in the room, etc? Good luck!
I just moved and my previous apartment was bright white with huge, gray trimmed windows so all of my grays and tans and browns looked so nice. But my new my new place has dark khaki and dark gray walls with DARK stained wood trim, none of which I can paint. Once I moved all my neutral stuff in I felt like I was living in a really boring cave and haven’t been able to figure out how to lighten things up yet.
This is so perfect.
Melissa E. says
I thought this was part of what you did for a living. When did that stop?
Right around the time that we had Clara we learned that we could no longer squeeze in custom mood board making anymore if we wanted the blog to continue at the same rate (as opposed to cutting back to 4 posts a week or something while doing mood boards on the side). Of course since the blog is our first love we chose that route – but if we ever have time to work them back in we’ll definitely make a big announcement!
Love the Mood boards, keep’m coming
Love the mood board! Just painted our living room and stairwell Glidden’s Water Chestnut. Such a nice, moody neutral.
I totally agree about a vibrant rug to add *wow* to neutral couches! This baby (http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Damask-Ivory-Rust-Rug-710-x-11/5300638/product.html ) just got here today and it looks pretty fantastic (if I do say so myself) with our grey-brown kivik (which we were inspired to check out after I perused some of your old mood boards).
Thanks again for the fabulous blog!
Ooooh I love that rug! I can just picture it with the grey-brown kivik. Mmmm. Feel free to post pics on our Facebook page. I’d love to check it out!
Will do! I just have to dig out my camera (we just moved)
Jenn T. says
Best part of this post: “You get a hydrangea!” Had me crackin’ up!
I didn’t comment on the fireplace post, but I’m loving it. So sophisticated and versatile for cheap. Good job, guys!
We have that exact sofa! Well, in a different color…
I have to say, it is the most comfortable sofa!!
Wanna hear my story/opinion?
We sofa-shopped for 4 months all the while sitting on camp chairs because we had already sold our other furniture. (Yes, 4 months of camp chairs was beginning to leave a permanent crease in the back of my thighs! And I was getting a little cranky about the whole thing.)We tried out all the furniture stores, the department stores, etc. We had a particular style in mind AND wanted it to be comfortable AND affordable.
When we found this one, it wasn’t the exact style I was going for but similar enough that we thought it was worth a look. Problem is, the only JCP store with one to actually sit on was a couple hours away, so we took a day trip. It sat great – not too short for my tall frame and not too deep for my husband’s shorter frame. It came in a TON of color options, and was very comfortable. Of course, after all that time of sofa shopping and camp-chair sitting, we thought ANYTHING felt amazing! ha :)
We ordered online so we could have the option of return if it didn’t work out in the actual room. [FYI: If you order in the store, they figure you have had the chance to actually see it in person and there is no return. But if ordering online or over the phone, you can return for “any reason.” ]We actually ordered it in 2 colors because we wanted to see how they would “read” in our room. Then we just returned the other one. (No trouble for us, the delivery company comes back and picks it up from you.)
They (finally) arrived, and we still really liked the sofa – yay! The delivery was a little long (as in 2 months!), but that might depend on the area of the country where you are located.
OK. This is going to sound like a commercial, but I thought your readers might like an honest opinion about it:
We’ve had it for several months now and it is still wonderful! Sooo comfortable. All the cushions are fully covered and detached so they can all be rotated and flipped which will extend the life of your sofa. The seat and back cushions all unzip so you can refill if needed after time if they would get too “smooshy” and you want them firmer. (Not an issue yet for us.) It has a great feel to the fabric – not sheddy chenille, nor that “cheapy” microfiber that leaves “butt-prints.” (sorry for that reference.) Lastly, it is long enough for a 6 foot person to lay down on without their feet being propped up on the opposite armrest.
OK That’s all – just wanted to give our opinion about the sofa. :) It’s a great one!
Off to go look at more of your mood boards…
What a sofa hunt! So glad to hear that you love it!
Love that pillow, but if someone wanted a less store-bought-so-ten-thousand-people-have-it pillow with the same painted look and punchy palette, they should totally check out spoonflower for similar fabrics like this http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/146451
Ooh I love Spoonflower! Off to check out those links.
Thanks for posting a mood board…this has always been my favorite part of your blog.
Oh, how I’ve missed your mood boards! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Sherry: I am somewhat new to your blog, but LOVING it! I have just bought my first house in North Carolina but am still wrapping things up in Colorado, so all I can do right now is decorate and plan over and over and over in my head until I get to move in. Your blog has been SO inspirational and really given me the confidence to tackle some things in our first house myself that I would have been too scared to do before (ie, widening doorways, using curtains to open up rooms, reupholstering some chairs and the like, etc.) Your mood board here reflects the colors I was hoping to use in our guestroom–its T-I-N-Y so I wanted to take a chance and do something bright and colorful with it to make it inviting despite the small size factor. Thanks for the inspiration and for letting people like me steal your ideas…..I mean borrow…I mean….. :)
Aw you just made my day. Thanks for the kind words and good luck with your first place!
Hey Sherry! Wondering what program you use to do these mood boards. I usually use Polyvore but can’t figure out for the life of me, how to save an image of the whole thing (not as simple as right click & save) and upload it to my blog! If you could let me know that would be GREAT!
I use photoshop, so that’s how things are cut out (it takes a bit of time but I like futsing with things like that – haha).
FYI to anyone who loves those decorative plates–it will probably work better on a clear plate stand because the wire plate hangers show through the plate and kind of ruin the effect. Unless anyone else has an idea for hanging clear plates!
Very good point!