The vision comes to you… a breathtaking living room with relaxed tones and textures working in perfect harmony. Lush indoor plants, a plush rug, a striking feature wall, exotic accent pieces and that sumptuous new sofa you’ve been eyeing off. Your interior-design mind is ticking over with glee. But how do you create this beautiful space in your mind’s eye knowing it will work before investing time, money and energy buying and hauling pieces into place? How do you justify that forest-green wall to your husband when his face is full of scepticism? Cue: Style Sourcebook, an online application to create a digital mood board with an easy drag-and-drop function using real furniture and homewares products uploaded by Australian retailers.
The brainchild of Lisa Cousens, she created this Aussie app in 2017 as she wanted a simple tool to easily set out her interior spaces. “I had bought an old Edwardian house, which I stripped back to the frame and needed to select all the finishes and fittings from scratch,” explains Lisa. “When planning each of the rooms, I experienced the difficulty in making product selections across different retailers. After spending hours driving around picking up physical samples and swatches, I realised that this time-consuming process should be streamlined online.”
“The objective for Style Sourcebook is to provide an easy-to-use, online interface that enables you to mix and match interior products across categories to help visualise your room.”
Unlike mood boards from days of old that required cutting up your precious interior design magazines, this online app takes the snip out of styling. With an easy-to-use toolbar, search window and drop-down category box, you can find the pieces you’re looking for to style your spaces and even add finishes such as paint and flooring. You can also type your favourite furniture store into the search window to filter the merchandise. In addition to the mood-board function, you can access specific products, connect with designers and get loads of inspiration from other people’s uploaded mood boards.
“Style Sourcebook is used by professional stylists and designers to plan their client projects, as well as renovators and decorators who are using the site to streamline their interior product purchases.”
If you don’t have a picture in mind of how you want to create your space, take some time to browse Pinterest, Instagram and, of course, those precious magazines to get an idea of the styles, themes and colours you like. When you’re ready, click the ‘Create a Mood Board’ link and start by considering your background with paint, wallpaper and flooring selections. Your background will set the overall ambience for your room — from moody blues to pretty in pinks. Or keep a blank canvas to style your space with your products. You can easily add paint or floorboards later (unlike in real life!).
“Since starting Style Sourcebook, the most enjoyable aspect has been seeing photos of the finished projects being posted on Instagram. There have been some beautiful rooms created, and it’s great to see that our mood board tool has been useful in helping people to plan their spaces.”
Now the fun really begins! Start dragging in your furniture, lamps, rugs, prints, cushions and throws. Move them again, flip them, shrink them, expand them, or flick them off the board if they’re just not working and start again. You’ll start to see a theme evolve and what is ‘working’ and what isn’t. Perhaps the forest-green wall and Persian rug you’d imagined don’t ‘spark joy’ and you’d rather explore a beachy theme instead. Go crazy! Now’s the time to experiment, chop and change your mind and let your imagination run wild. But beware… it’s very addictive!
Once you’ve designed the look you love, you can download your mood board, print it out and shop. An incredible amount of confidence comes with knowing your palette and theme work, particularly when creating fixed spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.