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Learning to Create Mood Boards and Colour Palettes to Style Your Home (iscd iSTYLE Course Review Part 2)

You know when you have so many ideas buzzing around in your head that you just can’t sleep? That was me last night. I’d just completed lesson 7 of the iStyle course that I’ve been doing online with the International School of Colour and Design and as tired as I was, my brain was just bubbling over with ideas and inspiration. So much so that I was up and out of bed at 6am this morning so that I could sit down with a cup of coffee while the rest of my family were still asleep and make a start on the final lesson of the course, (while the ideas where all still freshly formed in my head.)

Even though the slab for the new house won’t be laid until later this week, (happy dance) I can now see every last detail of exactly how I want the main area of the house to look. It’s really that clear. I’ve gone from feeling a little overwhelmed and nervous about filling and furnishing all of the rooms – to excited and confident.

As I explained last week the first half of the course taught me a lot not only about colours, but how they affect me personally – and what my associations were with certain colours, both good, bad and indifferent.

In the last half of the course, I have learned how to start thinking like an interior designer. Picking colours for the walls of a room is just one element of the styling process when it comes to decorating your home. I now know how to take the planning process I have learned and apply it to each room and area of my new home, taking into consideration what the function of the room is and the mood and atmosphere I want to create there, and how to achieve that using lighting, colour, texture, furniture, texture and accessories.

This is the floor plan for the new home we are building.

Metricon Denver 43
Metricon Denver 43

You’ll see that the kitchen, dining room and family room are open plan and really form the hub of the home, where my family and I will meet and spend time together, and also welcome friends and family into our home. It will also be visible from the front door – so it sets the mood not only for that area, but the whole house. First impressions count – and I want it to be warm and inviting, and incorporate elements from nature to create a relaxed, earthy atmosphere.

Of course, I didn’t realise any of this until I started experimenting with the mood board tool as part of the iStyle course.



Taking into consideration the colours of the walls we have already chosen with the builder, and the colour and texture of the kitchen cabinetry, I was able to start the process of building my colour palette.

I focused on colour palettes from the natural world that appealed to me.

ISCD_iStyle_Colour_-_part 2 colour pallette proportional


ISCD_iStyle_Colour_-_part 2 colour room

I found that even though I love the relaxing atmosphere this colour scheme creates, it didn’t really fit the criteria of giving a space a feeling of warmth. (I’ll be keeping this colour palette in mind for other areas of the house though, like the bathroom for example.)

I don’t mind telling you that I have spent more hours than I care to admit, arranging and rearranging the different elements of colour, texture and furniture in my mood boards and colour palette to discover the combination that I really love.

It’s been quite a journey of self-discovery. Whilst I zeroed in on the aqua colours in the start of the course as a favourite, I found that as I learned to think about creating mood and atmosphere, and emotional responses to a room, I was actually drawn over and over to the earthy tones of orange. They play well with the neutral colours too, don’t you think? It’s probably not surprising then that my favourite season is Autumn – I adore the reds, oranges and yellows of the trees in Autumn. Why have I never made this connection before?
ISCD_iStyle_Colour_-_part 2 my family room c

Having completed all 8 lessons of this short course, I am now ready to apply for my certificate. However, rather than the end – I feel like this is just the beginning. I can now take the lessons I have learned from the course and apply the same step-by-step planning process to the other areas of the new house.

In fact I have already purchased some sheets of A3 card, and have asked friends and family to keep their old magazines for me, so I can begin to create physical mood boards over the coming weeks. I’m looking forward to continuing my experiments with colours and textures.

Instead of beginning the decorating process standing in the colour section of the hardware store waiting for colour chips to jump out at me – I’ve begun to see how I can take inspiration from the world around me. As important as it is to choose the right colours for the walls, there is so much more to think about before buying those paint tins, that’s for sure!

If you are thinking of exploring your own creative potential in interior design, either as a hobby or as a career, I highly recommend visiting the iscd website. The iscd offers both on campus and online courses making it easy for you to study at a pace and location that suits you.

The International School of Colour and Design (iscd) is a well respected and highly regarded school for adult learners established in 1983 in Sydney, Australia. The philosophy of nurturing individual creativity while offering excellence in design education has been the main focus of the school and has attracted a high degree of industry recognition.

The iSTYLE series of leisure courses offers academic quality, short courses for the homemaker as a first step into the world of design and colour education. The aim of iscd is to provide design education at all levels to a wide range of people throughout the world.

Visit for more information.


Disclosure: I was enrolled into the iscd iStyle short course free of charge for the purpose of giving an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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