It's hard to believe, but the moodboard maker site called Olioboard launched four years ago this month! At the time, it was one of the only online moodboard makers - beside Polyvore & before Pinterest - where you could creatively pull together thoughts, ideas, and concepts for room designs, party planning and even fashion. Its primary use today is for interior designers, stylists and stagers to use the site for creating 2D and 3D room plans for their clients. Even home enthusiasts and DIYers can pull a look together for a makeover, or even retailers have used the site for pulling together trends. The depth of details on these boards have changed - A LOT - since the site's launch. Everyone in the Olioboard community has learned from each other, from sharing concepts online in Twitter feeds or emails and even joining a member administrated OlioboardFanRoom on Facebook. Four years ago today, Holly Becker of Decor8 had written about Oliboard's app for Real Simple. Although I didn't join in June of 2010, I did manage to find their site in July 2010 (see Creating Online Moodboards at Olioboard.com) where since then, I've been a loyal fan of the site.  I've even had the chance to meet the co-founder, Sheilah MacSporran at the Design Bloggers Conference, plus I've enjoyed joining a few of the many design challenges and sponsored contests the site has offered over the years. Here are a few of the latest boards I've been able to create on Olioboard, plus a peek back at a few firsts and some of Olioboard's game-changing applications and uses...

The two above 3D boards are the latest boards I created, and add into a design challenge at Olioboard, where a member suggested designing a room inspired by blue & white porcelain. You can add an existing board you've created (as I did here) or create a new one from focused on the challenge criteria. Both of these boards I did were inspired by mixing my love of the beach with my latest decor obsession of blue & white. This particular design challenge is a voters placement + award badge, unlike a retailer sponsored contest...

One of the last retail sponsored contests at Olioboard was not only voters choice to place, but 5 products from Hayneedle also had to be used in the board designed with an outdoor space in mind. After the Top 50 boards qualified, judges Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis selected their picks for Top 3 boards... Thankfully I placed in the Top 3 - and we all won a ticket to attend Design Camp this summer at LVMKT. Since I'm attending as a guest, I had held giveaway on my blog, to giveaway my winning ticket to design camp - and the winner of that giveaway was Laura C. Moffatt!


You can see from the above boards of today (shown above) that time and practice helps to develop your skill set on Olioboard - but not all boards are 3D room designs. When I first started on Olioboard, I first experimented with sample board layouts (you can see below) - showing only the items I would use in a designed space...

These types of 2D boards are great for homeowners to get an idea of colors and textures that can be used in their space. Eventually, since you can upload any image to your Olioboard library or sets, I used Olioboard as a means of pulling together "Concept To Completion" boards as well as before and after boards...

 Olioboards can also be a great visual tool when working with a client. Both 2D and 3D boards can pull together the look of a project, and also be printed to organize in a project binder. When the online boards are printed into a binder, it becomes a "go to" tool because within that binder you can also keep fabric samples, paint swatches, product info sheets, and most importantly: the correspondences and receipts from the project...

The Olioboard site can also help stagers or homeowners who are selling or planning to move - since you can create a virtual staging of a vacant space (read: How To Use Olioboard For Online Home Staging), or even merge together floor plans + exterior photographs when house hunting...

 For bloggers (or retailers), Olioboard can become a means of creating online content (see Kids Room Design BlogHop) from curating trends or merging fashion and decor onto boards (see blog link up Passion For Fashion - Spring Fashion & Decor) to even planning your dorm room (see Dorm Decor - Planning Your Residence Hall Space) - all ready to share from the Olioboard site via Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. Or you can download your boards, save to your computer and further enhance your boards via online tools such as Picmonkey, where you can add frames, overlay your logo, add text, create covers (ex: for Facebook) or even convert your room board to black & white. Boards uploaded to Picmonkey can also create even more pinnable (vertical) content to share on your social networks - a great way to market your brand OR create marketable content for an event...

Here I just used my logo, but you can add whatever text you want to communicate - Try different arrangements and test different layouts to see what works best for you. 

Here are a few tips I've learned over my time using Olioboard:

1. Make use of creating sets within your library it will help when you're saving new items or when you're looking for something specific for your board (for example: your logo, plants or blue chairs).

2. The take time to learn the editing tools - eliminating the white background is great, but make the image stand out when it's layered vs. being transparent.

3. Think mobile device when building a board - white space is your friend - not every surface needs to be covered as a real room might.

4. Utilize 'tags' on the site - This helps with searchability not only on Olioboard, but in Google (images) as well. For location, add your zip-code as a tag with key words such as "Interior Designer", "Interior Decorator" -- great to use if you've recently moved and you want locals (over time) to find you.

5. Speaking of Google searchable images: when saving your Olioboard, add either your name, your company name or your blog name in the image description on your computer. Again this helps your SEO. For example: Google search your name - afterwards, click "images" and see what pops up. Your boards can pop-up along with the photographed work you've done, whether it's on your blog, or another site featured, or pinned to Pinterest.

Olioboard recognized by  Mashable
"For aspiring interior designers and overall design enthusiasts, Olioboard is an easy way to communicate complex artistic concepts visually. Use it as a brainstorming tool or simply to visually organizing thoughts." - Mashable

What's next for Olioboard? This year, they are branching out to test the waters of further merging online designers with some of their site's top selected retail brands to help consumers shop - A great way for students to get started in the industry plus a great means of retailers teaming up with industry tastemakers to curate current trends for them, while having a chance of making a little extra cash.

 plus see a collection of my boards in the tab above: Roomboards

Personally, I'm grateful for the site having been developed. I could sketch 3D, draft and render, but I had the hardest time learning CAD. Working with a site such as Olioboard has helped train my brain and hand to computer aided design - and it's so much faster to do a quick change to a plan or create plan A, B, C to choose from - by simply hitting "Duplicate" board on site - make your changes and presto, new board.

Have you tried Olioboard? 
How did you like it?
What have you used it to help you create?

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Birthday Olioboard!

1 comment:

  1. Lynda:

    This post is just absolutely fabulous - you are 1 amazingly talented designer and what I love best about this post is how you showed how you 1st started, in 2D, on Olioboard. It can be intimidating for others to see someone as good as you are, and you've helped so many people with this post know that they don't even have to attempt 3D if they're not comfortable with it yet, but can use Olioboard in 2D.

    I would like to add 2 more tips here for those who will read this post.

    On Olioboard's SHOP link, you can filter by price, color, room, brand, and piece making it very easy and time efficient to compare all the online options in the market ,for example, for navy blue sofas between 1000-1500.00.

    This FILTER capability on Olioboard is used extensively by designers, stagers, stylists + consumers to help them quickly visualize what online options are available to them.

    TIP 2:

    All boards made on Olioboard can be kept secret, so whether you're a designer, tastemaker or simply a home enthusiast who quickly wants to play with various room schemes to see what works and what doesn't, or who wants to create presentation boards privately, this can be done. Later, if you decide you want to make them public & share them or embed them in a blog post to show before and after, you can, with a click, but you never have to.

    Thanks again, Lynda, and congratulations on winning your ticket to The Interior Design Camp in Las Vegas this July. I hope you have a wonderful time!

    Leslie || @tkpleslie



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