How to Create a Design Board

Hi friend! Today I will be sharing with you how to create a design board!

I use design boards all the time to put together my inspiration for decorating a space. Having a design board created ahead of time helps speed up the process of designing a space because you already know what direction you are headed. Plus, they are just really fun to create when you are bored and looking for something to do that is productive (strengthening your design skills that is!)

Creating a design board may seem a little difficult at first but I promise you, anyone can do it!

How to create a design board

What even is a design board?

A design board is what interior designers use to pre-plan a space. This plan includes furnishings, paint colors, wall treatments, and inspiration photos that gives you an idea of what the final outcome will be.

There is no right or wrong way to create a design board, either – so don’t worry about perfectionism. Each design board you complete you will feel more confident in your skills.

You can arrange the photos of your inspiration rooms and products you would like to use however you want. Some people will place them randomly on the board but do so in an aesthetically pleasing way. Others will lay out the items on the board like they would appear in the final space.

There are so many different places to create design boards. You could create then on Microsoft Powerpoint or even expensive programs. My favorite tool is Canva. I use Canva for a multitude of things and their Pro membership is worth every penny in my opinion!

More design board applications:

Getting started with your design board

First things first! Getting started is super easy.

Inspiration photos

What space are you looking to create the design board for? Write that down. Then start looking at Pinterest for photos that inspire you. What about those photos are you drawn to? The overall style and feel? Or is it a certain item like a light fixture or a piece of furniture? Keep these in mind when you start “shopping” for furnishings.

I will usually take 1-3 photos that I found online and screenshot them so I can easily access them to draw more inspiration. I will sometimes even add 1 or 2 of those photos to my actual design board, that way I can see how the furnishings I picked would help bring my vision to life.

In the example of my design board I provided on this post, I did however block out my inspiration photos as to not infringe on copyright. However, I think if you are using this design board solely for yourself I think you should be okay using inspiration photos.

Start sourcing products

Pottery Barn

Once you know what direction you are headed start sourcing out your products. “Shopping” as I like to call it. There are SO many different places to find beautiful decor all over the internet. From Amazon to Restoration Hardware. There is something for every budget.


This is the time to decide what you want your focal point to be. If you are designing a bedroom, maybe its the bed frame or a piece of art to go above your bed. For a dining room it could be the light fixture. Deciding your focal point and using that to pull everything together is key!

Once you find an item you like be sure to screenshot the item. I like to take my screenshots of a plain image of the product on a white background. Most retailers have a photo like this, it just makes it easier to ensure your design board isn’t too crazy with lots of excess backgrounds. Here’s an example below!

Some things to consider adding to your design board are:

  • paint colors
  • wall finishes (shiplap, beadboard, wallpaper)
  • furnishings
  • decor pieces
  • window treatments
  • lighting

Fun tip: if you are adding a paint color to your board you can almost always Google the color and search for the hex #. This was you can accurately portray that in your board. On Canva I will either use a circle or square element and change the color to my hex # for the paint color I plan to use!

Start your design board application

Once you have your inspiration photos and product photos it’s time to put it all together!

I like to have a large white blank page that you can create on Canva or on another application. I usually use the Pinterest Pin option which gives you about 1,000 x 1,5000 pixels of space.

I will upload all of the photos I plan to use onto the page. Canva is incredibly user friendly and is pretty self explanatory!

Because I have a Canva Pro membership I have this amazing tool where I can erase the background on photos. It has been a game changer, but if you opt to use the free version or are another application that does not have that feature just crop the photos as tightly as you can.

Add in any notes if you have them such as paint colors or certain words that help you create the look you are going for.

Play around with the layout until you love it! If you originally picked out an item that you find doesn’t really fit the space you were designing you can easily swap it out for something else. This makes planning your room makeover so much easier because you’re not having to go back and forth to a store!

Once you are happy with your layout save the design board to your phone or computer so you can access it whenever!

Creating a design board is really that easy!

I hope you found this post helpful and are able to create the design board of your dreams!

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