One of my favorite creative endeavors for both actual and imagined projects is putting together a moodboard with various surface materials, fabrics, hardware, and styling elements. The purpose of the exercise is to determine the language of a project, to see if there's an element that can act as the jumping-off point from which to build a design, or in some cases, just to be able to envision various elements in the same frame, to see if they work together.
I do it as part of my creative process. I turn on music, pull out a ton of samples, and pick and choose from the stash - for me, it's both meditative and energizing! Sometimes it's not even about a specific project, but a way to become familiar with new textures, products, and combinations, in other words, something that can be a beneficial practice if you're a designer or a DIYer.
To put together your own moodboard, collect samples and swatches of fabrics, tile, wood flooring, paint and hardware that you're considering. Most fabric houses offer swatches for little-to-no cost. If you're not interested in purchasing tile samples, I recommend taking your other items to a tile store, and putting them together using their stocked items. Give yourself time, and more importantly, good lighting - or at least lighting similar to the lighting in your project. Try different combinations, even things you don't expect to work or like together - you might be surprised! If one or more combinations strike you as particularly pleasing, snap a pic! Take notes of what products you used, and save it as a guide for when you're ready to implement your design.
As a Designer, or as a customer, it's important to find ways to weed through some of the many products offered. I say, let's do it in a way that's also creatively engaging!
Tune into my Instagram each Monday for a new Moodboard!