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How We Convey Concepts to Clients

Modern traditional primary bedroom featuring vibrant pops of color by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

All throughout our design process, we use a collection of visual presentations to guide us through the many, many decisions that come with a remodel or new build. As we develop a plan for our full service clients, we convey our design ideas through mood boards, design boards and renderings. Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, but they are very different tools used at specific steps of the design process to get the client to the next stage. We may not need each of these for every project or do it for every client, but they are all options that take work and time and expertise.


Mood boards are normally visually inspiring boards that are represented by a collection of images that convey the vibe, style, and story of a space. These boards may or may not include specific furniture pieces, but serve as reminders of the feeling a space should have as we are designing and choosing specific colors, fabrics, and furniture.

Nancy Lane Interiors example of project mood board
example of one of our project mood boards


Design boards are 2D mockups that do include specific pieces of furniture, art, lighting, and décor we've selected, and these pieces are scaled correctly in relation to other items to provide a realistic look to the space on each board.

Nancy Lane Interiors Design Board example

From design board to reality....

Modern transitional bedroom retreat by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors


Renderings are images of 3D models of a space that are designed exactly to scale. They are very realistic and lifelike, and may include the specific pieces selected for the project, but will, at the very least, include correctly scaled representative models of furniture. The creation of these renderings are very time-consuming, so this is an added service for our clients.

Transitional Kitchen Rendering by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors

All of these options show you an aspect of the design, and it's important to know what you truly are expecting as a client when you are asking about a designer's process and what is included in their design packages.


We say, probably not. Keep in mind that specific furniture pieces and artwork are more readily available as 2D images, rather than fully built 3D models that can be placed in a space in a rendering software. Therefore, design boards can be the most accurate representation of what a space will look like in reality.

The model building and rendering process takes considerably more time, and again may not be completely accurate, so really think through whether you would like to invest in that added service.

Our advice? Floor plans and design boards, with mood boards at the beginning, are completely sufficient in conveying concepts and specific pieces. Odd layouts or uncommon architectural features may make renderings worthwhile to invest in, but you would definitely not be missing out by using floor plans and design boards to complete a project.

Are you a fan of design boards or renderings? We wonder how that split would be between clients and other designers - let us know in the comments below!

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