A Big Ol’ Moodboard for a Big, but Not Old House

If you don’t know us personally, Andy and I are both very visual people. Very visual people. I struggled to learn history in school until I was introduced to the existence of Art History class. You can imagine how it goes when we plan something as physically big and time-consuming as a house.

But fear not, for we are designers! We used many techniques in our respective design fields to make decisions for our new home. One of these techniques is mood board creation.

It should be noted that a mood board sounds like what it is: a place to step back from inspirational photos and feel a mood. A lot of what we’re showing is either on the cusp of, if not excessive, or frankly out of our budget. Some of them are pieces that we’re definitely planning on buying, but for the most part these images are meant for pure ideation.

I’m a very big-picture person: I think more about the overarching purpose and feel of the room, and not so much what goes in it. Andy’s definitely the more detail-oriented one: he prefers to mold the room around one or two different pieces or features. Despite these differences, we worked out a plan for each room with few hitches.


The bedroom is a great place to start because it naturally sets the tone for the rest of the house. Other than the toilet, you are guaranteed to use this room every day, and the precarious balance between function and style can’t be avoided. We want it to feel airy but not cold: we want to wake up feeling cozy but not overwhelmed by the day. There’s interplay of wood and metal, and the walls may be neutral or white to frame the furniture and the windows.

We’re also weird: we probably won’t have a TV in the bedroom. Not because we can’t, but because we most likely won’t use it here. No, we’re not anti-technology, we’re just books-and-phone people before going to bed.


The master bath will probably have starker contrasts compared to the rest of the house: we’re leaning more towards “clean” rather than “textured.” Though that doesn’t mean we can’t incorporate those textures in the other bathrooms and powder rooms.

Powder rooms are especially forgotten about, which is a shame. Small spaces like that have the unique opportunity to be bold and striking, even on small budgets. Pro tip: it’s all about the mirror and lighting.

Living Room

The living room was actually the most difficult room to pin down, because it’s space for our comfort, but will be the first room guests see, if not the only room. My inclination towards coziness and Andy’s preference for minimalism were at odds, but we were able to compromise. One or two pops of color against mid-century modern furniture, and simple art against neutral walls struck a balance between function and style.


I pretty much let Andy run the design of the kitchen, since it’s his (I don’t like cooking but I do love good food so it works out). And much to my surprise, my lovely-but-sometimes-robot of a boyfriend made choices that were warm and comfortable. He definitely wants a kitchen with white and clean lines, but a wooden backsplash and pops of copper really makes it feel inviting. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still recognize that it’s a kitchen for Andy more than myself, but perhaps I’ve influenced him more than previously thought.


The kitchen and the loft are the rooms that most conspicuously showcase our differences! It makes sense, because the kitchen is essentially his, and the loft is essentially mine.

Elements from the rest of the house will still be seen here, but this will likely prioritize cozy over modern. I‘d like the loft to be another communal space for friends, but instead of something open like our living room, this can be quieter. Bookshelves are definitely a must, my single IKEA unit isn’t going to cut it anymore.

There will also be a wet bar and a TV here for video games. Screw “man cave,” this is a quiet space for both of us and any guests we have over. So, suck it patriarchy. And yes, if you’re as into RPGs as I am, video games do indeed count as “quiet time.”


Our yard is small, but I am not compromising on the existence of a fire pit. I am roasting them marshmallows, dangit! We’ll also have enough space for a small garden, and even potential for a vertical garden on our roof deck. Either way it’s an improvement of our current greenery situation, which consists of a couple pots and terrariums. And yes, the wood and metal interactivity even makes its way out to the backyard.

So there you have it! It took a lot of back and forth over various messaging services in the time span of a few months, but we came together and produced moods that we’re both proud of.

The house itself is about halfway there! Andy will be updating you on the LEGO build next time around.

Until then, thanks for reading!


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