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How to make a Concept Board

Anytime someone asks me, "what can I do to help myself with creating a cohesive design for my space", I always tell them to make a concept board or a mood board. I tend to use these terms interchangeably but they are different. A mood board doesn't actually have the selections for the space, but just colors, and inspirations to give an overall mood of how you want the space to feel. A concept board will have the actual selections like shown above.

For this blog we are going to discuss concept boards as I think those are a bit easier and the most beneficial for people when designing their own space.

Surprisingly not everyone knows what a concept board is or how to make one. So I thought it would be helpful to write a short blog on the topic to show you a couple of different ways to do it.


There are quite a few free applications you can use to create a concept board.


Keynote comes preinstalled on all Mac computers. For anyone with a windows machine, you will need to use Keynote via the browser. Just follow the steps HERE.

When you open Keynote it will have you create a new document, and then you can choose from any of their templates. I usually just choose the first one and delete the template so I have a blank page.

Once you have your blank page, we can then start adding in photos of the items you are wanting to add to your concept board.

Simply just copy and paste a photo onto the page, or you can save the photo to your computer and upload it by clicking the media button at the top. and then select ...choose to be able to select from your computer.

Ok so far its pretty straight forward, but the nice thing about keynote, is it has a built in function to remove background from photos. This is what will help to make your concept board a bit more polished. Since you will be layering different photos ontop of eachother, you dont want white background all over the place. If you dont remove the backgrounds you'll end up having something that looks like this.

So to remove a background you will select an image on your page and go to the right hand side where you will see a side menu. At the top it will say STYLE, IMAGE, ARRANGE. You will select IMAGE and then select INSTANT ALPHA

Once you have clicked the INSTANT ALPHA button, your pointer will turn into a magnification square when hovering over the selected photo. you will select the color you wish to get rid of and drag. You will see the color start to be highlighted that you are removing. keep doing this until the entire background is removed. Just be careful to not remove any of the actual object as sometimes if the colors are similar it will remove some of the item you are wanting to add.

Just keep doing this until you have all of the items you are wanting to incorporate into your space.


Canva is also a great tool to use and has a free version. I use canva a lot for my marketing and social media.

I typically start out with just creating a new design at the top right corner. I'll choose the presentation template

You will start off with a blank page. Canva gives you tons of options for pre loaded designs, but we dont need any of that since we are going to be uploading all of the products. Canva gives you the option to upload images or to just copy and paste directly onto the page.

Canva is a bit easier to use for removing background than keynote, so I think most would prefer Canva for this application.

You can rearrange and adjust the position of the images to get it to what you like as shown in the video.

What should I add to my concept board?

  • Lighting

  • paint colors

  • tile

  • plumbing fixtures

  • rugs,

  • flooring

  • wall details

  • anything you plan to put or keep in the space.

Once you start adding things to your concept board, you will be able to add and remove items to get the space to a point that you are happy with. This will help to eliminate items that just don't end up flowing with the rest of the selections or to help highlight possible problems with certain selections.

Take a look at a couple more concept boards we put together for past clients for some inspiration!

Let me know if you guys have any questions on using these fantastic applications and I hope you end up designing a space you love!

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