October 2019 • Home/Style Section

Decorating for the Holidays Start With a Mood Board

Written by T.E. Cunningham

Halloween is quickly headed our way, which means one thing—the holiday decorating season is just around the corner! While the holidays are ultimately a time of giving and thinking of others, there is no denying they have also become one of the most anticipated times of the year for showcasing and sharing our decorating styles.

But many of us struggle with the pressure to decorate. To get the most cohesive, well-thought-out plan without spending a fortune on items we’ll never use again, a good suggestion is to start by creating a holiday mood board. This will help you stay focused when shopping.

A mood board helps reflect the look, feel, design, and intent of your project. In its simplest definition, it’s a collage of items. It can be either 2D or 3D, whichever captures the essence of your project. 

If you want to go old school when creating your mood board, grab a piece of posterboard and cut and paste from printouts or magazines. You can also include 3D items like fabric samples and ornaments. Or you can create one using a simple computer program like PowerPoint and copy/paste your selections. If you have a 3D item, take a picture from your phone’s camera and email it to yourself. This is handy for shopping, as you can email the document to your phone and pull it up when in the store. 

“One way to get started on your mood board is to decide on your aesthetic style and combine that with a holiday trend statement,” suggests Will Brown of Will Brown Interiors. “Your holidays could be inspired by the timeless reds and greens we’ve grown up with, or maybe you bring in a popular trend such as a celestial theme, which is popular for home décor as well as weddings. Starting with the style and theme will help guide you in the selection of ideas for your board.” 

To help readers in this year’s selection of a theme, Brown shares some of his favorite holiday themes that are inspiring him this season.

Classic Tidings: This is a rich, traditional aesthetic that hearkens to the most popular red and green theme. But by integrating modern black and white into the mix, you add a freshness and a crisp edge. For example, think of the classic shapes and familiar silhouettes often carried by heritage brands like Pendleton and Ralph Lauren, two classic examples that fit this look.

Bright Festival: This is a more casual, family-friendly aesthetic. It also invites crafting, which is perfect for making memories with family and friends. This look can go boho chic if you’re an eclectic collector with various styles in your home. The colors can easily be underplayed as needed. Think Anthropologie and the creative windows they create every year that excite viewers’ senses.

Hygge Holidays: “For this rustic casual theme, I channeled a more European interpretation that taps into the popular hygge (pronounced HUE-guh) movement that’s captured the hearts of Americans,” says Brown. Hygge is a Danish word meaning acknowledging a special feeling or moment of togetherness. There’s a simple and unadorned appeal to what is essentially a lifestyle rather than a trend. Getting cozy and comfortable with friends and family is the hygge way of getting through the long nights of winter.

A Christmas Coral: A play on Charles Dickens’ tale of the holiday season, this soft modern aesthetic leans into the popularity of Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year: living coral. “I’ve paired it with a mint green to lend softness to the saturated red and green hues,” says Brown. “But coral can easily pair up with many hues.” Relish the warmth of living coral this holiday season before Pantone declares the next “it” color.

Celestial Awakening: This tailored classic aesthetic works elegantly against a starry theme. It’s a versatile look that works well for non-traditional holiday celebrations and can parlay perfectly into a New Year’s Eve celebration. Take advantage of this regal style that pairs royally with the glitz and glam of metallic gold, silver, and rose gold. 

Will Brown, an experienced designer, has worked for two Fortune 500 companies—Hallmark and Target Corp—and knows how to inspire holiday magic. When researching a new holiday collection, Brown learns from consumer trends, cultural influences, and design trade shows. Brown uses Pinterest as a tool to collect imagery, but also as a way of connecting the dots to see what will be trending next. Take heed of his expert advice, break out that blank canvas, and start compiling your holiday mood board!

Let Will Brown help you design and decorate an amazing space in your home or imagine and create something spectacular for a special occasion. His hope is to help you live your most beautiful life. Visit Will at:  willbrowninteriors.com  •  facebook.com/WillBrownInteriors  •  instagram.com/willbrowninteriors