Creating a Tropical mood board while designing vacation homes remotely, helps to visualize the final design.

You love the purples and pinks of a Caribbean sunset. Seashells would look beautiful carved into a custom piece of furniture in your living room. Colors, textures, patterns, fabrics. What style furniture will suit, and how will it look inside a room? The options for expression and creativity in interior design are endless

Making Mood Board Decisions

With so many choices and decisions to make when designing and styling a home, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, and there comes a need to channel your wishes in one direction. Starting with pictures and a theme for inspiration, and then having a visual layout of all the components of a room in one place is the best approach.

We create mood boards for all of our projects. It’s a great visual way to pull thoughts and inspiration together at the beginning of a project. To be honest, most of our mood boards aren’t actually boards but ‘baskets’.

Tropical fabric swatches to use when creating mood boards with polka dot patterns, leaves and blue rug

Digital mood boards are a tool we use for our clients all the time. It makes working together with people off island easy, efficient, and fun. A lot of mood boards intend to inspire and let the imagination run wild to get a clear visual of what you hope to achieve in the decor and design of their home. However, there comes a point in every project where we need to pull together some actual real world items, that will not only suit the clients’ space, but also their budget.

Often times there will be multiple options for each room so when you come in for our presentation, they have something to react to. This changes the conversation from what we like in broad, general strokes to specifically what we do or don’t like about this item.  A mood board helps the you get a sense of how all of the items will work together in a room. 

Filling in Details of a Tropical Mood Board

Once we have this design direction laid out in full color, it’s pretty easy for me to fill in the details in a way that will make sense with the design and I know my clients will love. After all, a few happy surprises make the reveal day even more fun.

One of the simplest online tools is Pinterest. It’s free, easy to set up, and very user-friendly. It’s become such a popular tool not only for designers, artists, and people selling, but it’s where many people get ideas for their own projects.

We often ask our clients to put together a Pinterest board with inspiration images of things they love, even if they don’t seem to go together. The visuals make it possible to see some connections and bring some of their loves to the project.

There are tons of Apps that aim to make the process easy, but I’m pretty old school and just use Power Point to create my tropical mood boards. The main focus here is to create a collage of the items you wish to mix in the room and get a sense of whether or not they will feel balanced. When they are all together on a page, you’ll know if one item feels out of place

How to create a Tropical Mood Board

  1. Start with your floor plan of your space

    It’s all pretty meaningless if it doesn’t fit in the room. Your floor plan is your guide for what you need and what size and shape it should be.Mood board bedroom floor-plan

  2. Choose an inspiration item for your tropical mood board

    Is there a rug or a piece of art you’ve fallen in love with? This is a great starting point for color scheme and the over all feel of the room. Mood board inspiration elements of sea shells, sunsets, and colorful macarons.

  3. Add tropical color chips to your mood board

    Use your inspiration piece, whether it’s a rug, a photo, or handbag, to generate a color palette.Mood Board color chips taken from a beach

  4. Collect images and specs of key pieces

    If you’re working on a bedroom mood board, then choose the bed next since this is usually the largest piece in the room. Look for an item with the right styling to compliment your inspiration and evaluate available finishes. Key Mood board pieces including large furniture pieces that will go in a room. Couches, colorful accent pillows, vintage lamp and dresser.

  5. Layer in accessories and signature items

    What will define this space feel ‘oh-so you’? What things make you and your family comfortable?Mood Board Accessories include Framed prints of tropical scenery and curtains with tropical prints

  6. Stick with what works

    Once you’ve added all these items into the collage pages, you’ll clearly be able to see which ones are harmonizing and which ones are just not working with the others.

Why we use Mood Boards

Mood boards are a visual way for us to communicate. By providing your favorite colors, styles, and designs, no matter how different they may be from each other, you can come up with a plan which works as a beautiful end result. I like challenges when someone has varied interests when it comes to design. It’s my intention to work in as much of your tastes as possible into a tasteful-looking and welcoming home!


Lagnappe Custom Interiors is a full-service interior design firm, specializing in bringing the small niceties to a home or commercial space that make it memorable, functional and yours. Based out of St. Thomas, Lagnappe [LAN-YAP] is led by Tiffany Cassidy who enjoys working with property owners to create a home that reflects their style and needs. Tiffany marries her artistic and scientific sides together to bring the residents of the Virgin Islands and continental U.S. an interior decorating service that manages the complex and turns it into beauty. Her goal is to not only make a home prettier, but in doing so, make your life better. Visit www.Lagnappe.com for more information.