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Are You Going to Invest in Facebook? {My MVT of Design and a Safe $10 Investment, the Moodboard}

A $10 investment that your design-loving, iPad-using self will certainly not regret. Your newly decorated house will thank you.

Facebook, Inc. has priced its initial public offering at $38/share. Is this a good deal? Honestly, I have no clue. Skeptics are saying this isn't a good long term investment; they are saying FB hasn't come up with a good money-making strategy, calling it a fad and likening it to MySpace. It seems pretty cool to me, to get in on the ground floor of something that my 983 friends and I seem to use incessantly, but what do I know? Unfortunately for you (and me...) I have no actual advice regarding this topic. I do have some other tech-related advice, though.  

It's for those interested in design and decorating. For those who have a room that needs some sprucing up. For those who have found an upholstered chair (or pillow, or rug) that they just can't stop thinking about. For those who want to purchase something for their home, but feel like they can't take the leap of faith to buy said thing because they just don't know if it will mesh well with what the room's got going on now. It's for the person that doesn't have the time for the "buy, bring home, return, repeat" cycle. Is that you? Thought so. Read on.

Here is my advice: purchase the Moodboard app for your iPad. Scratch that, download the free version (for, ahem, FREE!), and then 20 minutes later (when you realize you love it and want all the bells and whistles) purchase the full-blown version for $9.99. 

I'd like to dedicate today's blog post to this app, which I am naming the busy person's MVT of design. (Don't feel bad if you have no clue what an MVT is.  I made it up. It stands for Most Valuable Tool. Learn it, love it, use it.)

I've mentioned before what a big undertaking it was to design and decorate our new home here in Westfield. It was way bigger than any project I'd taken on before. Way bigger, and way more exciting. I was also struggling with an obstacle I hadn't previously had to consider: babies. I had to juggle caring for my not-yet-1-year-old, and being pregnant. Whew, just thinking about it makes me tired again.

I didn't have a ton of time to run around to all my favorite stores looking for ideas, let alone for good deals. I did, however, have a decent amount of time on the couch (or the floor, or at the foot of my son's crib, or in the glider while nursing...) with my iPad, and a restricted budget. I did a lot of online and catalog research; I knew I loved Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, Wisteria, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, etc... so I hit their websites and I hit them hard.  

It was thanks to Moodboard, that I was able to pull it all together without having a (complete) breakdown. Moodboard allows you to clip images from around the web, mix them with your own photos, and some cute graphics (arrows, craft tape, alphanumerics), and create a digital inspiration board that will help you to envision your finished space.  

There were weeks when I would eat, sleep, and breathe Moodboards. I became so obsessed with designing my son's nursery via Moodboard, I literally dreamt about it. Moodboard was the first thing I saw in the morning, and the last thing I saw at night (probably why it made an appearance in my dreams). I was also guilty of Moodboarding on more than one occasion in the middle of the night. (What? I was 6 months pregnant. Do you have any idea how many times a 6 month pregnant woman gets up to pee in the middle of the night?) When I closed my eyes, the outlines of my designs were practically burned into my retinas.

I included everything from wall colors to trim colors to furniture to artwork in my boards. I positioned things around the "board" as I envisioned them in the room. I squinted really hard, and it was almost as if I was looking at a photo of the room... in the future... after the design and install was complete. I was in love.

I have to say, the time (and lost sleep) 100% paid off. I was able to put like items side by side to see which gelled better with the other items, which lamp looked better with the end table, which rug complemented the duvet. When the time came to place my orders with the stores, catalogs, and websites where my items came from, I simply pulled up my Moodboard and checked off the items as I ordered them, confident that I was making the right choices. 

When the boxes arrived, I carefully unpacked them (read: I tore through the packing peanuts like it was my job) and placed the contents in the rooms exactly as they had been in my Moodboard. The end result?  I'll let you be the judge - check out my "Board" and "After" links below. I think the real life rooms bear an uncanny resemblance to their boards, and it is for this reason that I am naming Moodboard as my MVT of the busy person's design world.

Cozy Casual Dining BOARD

Dining AFTER

 

Salvaged Glamour Master Bath BOARD

Master Bath AFTER

 

Preppy Madras Boys' Bath BOARD

Boys' Bath AFTER

 

Classic Coastal Colonial Kitchen BOARD

Kitchen AFTER

 

St. Barth Powder Room BOARD

Powder Room AFTER

 

Surf Sand Sun Nursery BOARD

Nursery AFTER *Note, that gorgeous chair and ottoman were not foresaken.  They just arrived after this photo was taken. They're every bit as beautiful in person!

 

Westfield Colonial Living Room BOARD

Vintage Surf Toddler Room BOARD

Hotel Chic Plush Guest Bed BOARD

Happy boarding! Hope you'll share some of your creations with me. Shoot me an email! I'd love to hear from you.

PS- are any of you on Polyvore? It's kind of like a Moodboard for your dream closet. It's perfect for when you find a shirt that you love but don't know what to wear it with.  ift through Polyvore's virtual closet and put together a slammin' outfit that you have to have. Share it with your friends and then shop straight from the site. Genius.  I just recently joined and played around with it a bit and I think I may be becoming addicted. And broke. Here's my attempt at Sunday Brunch at Turning Point (when my husband is there to run after the kids and I am free to teeter around in 5" Alexander Wang heels. AKA fantasy world.).

PPS- I have heard that MyDeco.com is a great online tool for creating Moodboards without an iPad. I haven't used it myself, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you have.

Ellie Mroz is the C.A.O. and Design Specialist for , a Westfield-based Design/Build General Contractor. http://www.MichaelRobertConstruction.com

She can be reached at Ellie@MichaelRobertConstruction.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gail Tress May 19, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I also love Moodboard! Couldn't decide on what I wanted in my living room and didn't want to buy furniture only to hate it later. Moodboard really helped!
Ellie Mroz May 20, 2012 at 05:51 AM
Right, Gail? Such a great tool. Thanks for sharing! Have you checked out Polyvore? Though I think it's meant for fashion, I've seen it used for interior design too. I'm going to look into it.

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