Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Design Lesson:
Inspiration Boards

Aaron and I took a trip further northwise yesterday evening to deliver a décor package I prepared for Shaun Scade and Stephanie Emmerzael of Scade Photography, the winners of our Bridal Fantasy draw

TWO + 2 + 2 = WIN!

When asked,

If "fortune favours the bold",

Stephanie answered, "I do things that scare me". For that, Stephanie and Shaun won a set of 2 apothecary jars and a 2-hour consultation with yours trulies (truly, times two), including a décor package prepared exclusively for them. What I want to share with you today are excerpts from that package, known as inspiration boards.

Sources from right to left, top to bottom: willow installation, David Stark Design; willow chandeliers, John N. Parra Photography, via The Knot; willow orb, David Stark Design; branch chandelier, Metropolitan Home; twig centerpiece with nest, Brides.com; spring branches on table, S.R. Gambrel, via Habitually Chic; curly willow centrepiece with orchids, Yifat Oren and Associates; bunched wheat centrepiece, Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine; 'LOVE' twig art, Laurent Bayard, Unknown book published by Ryland, Peters & Small; willow arrangements and picture frames, Sabine Scherrer Photography, via The Knot.
Inspiration or mood boards, as they are termed in the design industry (i.e. event, fashion, interior, garden, etc...also known as "vision boards" in personal development circles) are collections of images, words/quotes, and swatches (e.g. fabric, trim, paper), arranged on a board or page, that act as a go-to for the design of a project.
A mood board is a type of poster design that may consist of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition of the choice of the mood board creator. Designers and others use mood boards to develop their design concepts and to communicate to other members of the design team. The mood board may be used as a frame of reference during the design process in a variety of abstract disciplines...

Mood boards...are not limited to visual subjects, but serve as a visual tool to quickly inform others of the overall 'feel' (or 'flow') that a designer is trying to achieve.
Mood Board, Wikipedia
Inspiration boards are an excellent tool to help focus a design, as they allow designers to compare and contrast different colours, textures, projects and ideas and understand the relationships between them. Putting together an inspiration board can show a designer where they need to strengthen or play down an idea, introduce a new texture, or take a colour away. Think of inspiration boards as snapshots of an overall design.

The inspiration board above focuses on branches and grasses, as incorporating natural elements into their wedding's aesthetic is very important for both Shaun and Stephanie. In our interview, Stephanie brought some willow twigs taken from two arrangements in the entry of Shaun's dad Gordon's home, which is also where they all operate Scade Photography together. I'm glad I got to see inside, because it is set up very invitingly. They have a print set up on a dark-stained easel in the entry, flanked by willow branches in massive black pots—simple, dramatic, and beautifully effective. (If you ever see a similar composition in one of my events, you'll know where I got it from.)

The following boards center on the colour blue, particularly sapphire blue, the featured colour chosen by Stephanie and Shaun for their wedding. Stephanie's engagement ring originally belonged to Shaun's mom, and was part of a 4-piece set, once worn together, and now split between Shaun's sisters and Stephanie. Incorporating sapphire blue was a lovely way to honour his mom's memory, too, as she passed away last November. For their wedding, they plan to refit the ring into Stephanie's wedding band. (These boards also include touches of rusticity. Though Shaun and Stephanie plan to host their reception beneath the stars at a golf resort outside of Edmonton, there is an event space on site as a backup, and it is entirely wood panelled inside.)

Sources, clockwise from top left: blue-lit winter ceremony, The Knot, via tying the knot; blue aisle runner, Looking for the right wedding colour scheme?, My Wedding Planning Guide; blueberries, Blueberries For The Win, Gapers Block; blue bouquet, Tapestry Flowers; blue boutonniere, Jill & Pete in Muir Beach, The Knot; Smycka dried plants, IKEA; blue corsage, Real Oasis; calligraphed place cards with blue ribbon, WEDDING-CALLIGRAPHER.COM.

Sources, clockwise from top left: blue balloons, David Murray Weddings, from Style Me Pretty; Handfasting Ceremony, Style Me Pretty; turquoise and brown stationery, Style Me Pretty; paper wrapped hurricane candles, David Stark Design; turquoise chairs in barn, Style Me Pretty; engagement photo with blue piano, Hans and Catherine's Engagement Photos, Style Me Pretty; blue table runner, Crafts'n'Favors; cookie buffet, Martha Stewart, via no fuss Fabulous; "Two" letterpress letters, Style Me Pretty.

Sources, clockwise from top left: film negative seating board, FÊTE; photo frame wall, unknown source; house numbers, The Home Depot; floral design with blue water in vase, The Knot; lit haybales and trees, FÊTE; uplit trees, Flickr; floating candles in blue room, Preston Bailey; blue martini, Science of Drink.
After looking through the package, Stephanie messaged me to say, "Shaun and I were blown away with all of the work you and Aaron did. Thank you SO MUCH!! you are amazing." It's always nice to hear that our work is appreciated, and I'm sure our décor package for them will be very useful in the months before their wedding. I'm eager to see what they create from it.

Update: Here's a link to Stephanie's blog post on planning for her and Shaun's wedding, including photos of the design package we prepared for them - The Emmerzael-Scade Wedding update.

inspo (via Urban Dictionary)

Slang for Inspirational. The type of Music used at the end of a Romantic-Comedy film. Generally used to inspire good feelings.


  1. well this was fun to stumple upon, I'm glad you found the house inviting :)

    I've been having lots of fun lately, creating mood boards. The mtg with had with you both was wonderful. We both enjoyed dreaming big about our day and left with some really really great ideas.

    thanks again,

  2. thank you so much for helping to REALLY inspire us to make this a wedding which portrayed our whole personalities :)

    here are a couple of links to our 2 photographers blog posts of the wedding :)




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