The art of the Mood Board

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Welcome to the next stage in our design series. This post is all about Mood Boards. This is the natural progression after the client brief stage.

The Mood Board step is crucial in the design process. It marries our ideas as the designer with the clients to produce one cohesive aesthetic. All without having done a single thing in the space. It is, essentially, a compilation of design inspiration to ensure a clear understanding of the direction in which the project is going. 

It’s how you gauge whether both client and designer are on the same page.

A physical mood board provides the opportunity to showcase the design concept and for the client to see images of spaces which feature elements of the scheme. Everything which makes up the concept is considered and displayed i.e. the materials that will be used, the lighting, the fabric of the furniture, the colour of the accents, wall finishes, floor finishes, lifestyle images, graphics and signage, right down to the knobs on the drawers or handles on the cupboards.

We favour, and will always suggest, a physical mood board to put in front of the client. You can touch, feel and see every element of the space. It really helps the client to visualise the space and to get the level of detail we go to but it also allows us as the designers to really develop the design and anticipate what the customer will experience.


5 tips to brief an Interior Designer

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5 Interior Designer briefing tips to make your money go further

The first post in our new series is all about Client Briefing. The purpose of a Client Brief is to communicate what you want to achieve with your space to your interior designer in complete detail. It is imperative that this is as detailed as it can be to eliminate the chance of miscommunication or misunderstanding.  This is one of, if not, the MOST important things you will have to do when getting an interior designer on board for your project.  But don’t worry if this is something you struggle with.

When you get to the Client Briefing stage, it is our job as the designer to inform, suggest and educate so that both parties can actively work together and achieve the best outcome. It should be the foundation for any design project and it is certainly an important part of our process . 

Designers will usually help to develop the brief with the client. We have highlighted 5 key focal questions in order to help you develop your own brief before more in-depth analysis. You will have the idea of the concept which you are developing and the location where you believe this will be successful. This is the catalyst to developing the brief. It is important to note that your brief is unique to you meaning that the questions should be tailored to your specific needs.


mood board planning

We love it when a mood board comes together

1. What is your typical customer?

You need to know who the concept is aimed at in order to design accordingly with their needs and aspirations.

2. Who are your competitors?

You should take time to research your competition. This will help you determine how your proposed customers are currently being serviced and how you can improve on that. 

3. What do you want to be known for?

This is where you can dissect and develop the identity for your project and what the brand culture will be. How does this then relate to the customer and their experience. Think of what you want to be known for.

4. Budget

Realism is the key here. We believe that it is paramount to get the concept, design and layout right first. We recognise if a budget doesn’t suit client expectations but there are always avenues to explore alternative options. 

5. Are you considering a nook for customers to utilise for Social Media (selfie wall)?

Something like the angel wings at Dirty Martini or Birmingham’s newly refurbished Wagamama with the neon ‘nice buns, bab’ sign. Think of something unique that is on brand that people may like to take a selfie with.


 client briefing set up


Let us know your interior ideas in the comments, we would love to hear from you!

Fiesta Del Asado Argentinian Restaurant – Solihull

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Spencer Swinden’s design team have been busy transforming a space, which once was a small supermarket on the Shirley high street, into a tranquil fine dining oasis. This space has become the Lasan group’s second Fiesta Del Asado restaurant, specialising in Argentinian cuisine.

The goal was to design a space of ‘effortless escape’ and ‘understated luxury’ – quoted from an article written about the new restaurant by food critic Paul Fulford – read here.


Concept Art

Starting with a blank canvas and a vision, Spencer Swinden designers accepted the task of cutting away a slice of authentic Argentina and placing it in the heart of Shirley.

Argentina, well known for its culture, natural wonders and of course, colourful Buenos Aires, is a country who is second to none when it comes to their expertise on steak and wine. A healthy combination of these things inspired the approach to designing the interior of Fiesta.

The vibrant blues and greens echo the colours of the ocean which, sat next to the blush pinks, powder blues and splashes of gold, mimic exquisite Argentinian sunsets. A choice was made to curve the wall on the right-hand side of the restaurant. Not only does this give a cosy aspect to the wide dining space, but it succeeds in echoing the gorgeous ‘Igazu Falls’ which separates Argentina and Brazil, using a ‘waterfall’ of differing tones of green.


Interior of Restaurant Floor Plan


The Bar was essential to the flow of the restaurant.  Mel’s goal was to create a sense of flow that encourages customers to explore the venue due to the various seating options. Her biggest challenge, she says, was capturing an element of intimacy within such an open plan space. The curve at the front of the bar is to encourage this movement and exploration. 

Mel and her designers are so very pleased with how the interior of Fiesta Del Asado has turned out and completely overjoyed to have their name attached to this exciting project.


Fiesta Del Asado :

177 Stratford Road, Shirley Shopping Precinct, Shirley B90 3AX.