What Does “Moody” Design Mean?

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a good weekend and DIDN’T throw their backs out, doomed to spend the weekend laying flat and being a general grump. I really hope that didn’t happen to you. My weekend definitely put me in mind for today’s post!

Defining moody design is like trying to define salty. It is more of a quality than a style itself. For lack of a better way of putting it, moody design is a “mood” of design. There are lots of “moods” of design, such as bright, colorful or quirky and this one happens to be mood-y! Hahaha…ahem…sorry.

Moving on!

To help define what makes a design moody here are a few general guidelines to achieve this “mood”:

#1 Dark Colors

Black, burgundy, dark green, chocolate, wine, navy, charcoal, olive, dark plum, burnt orange. In moody design, these are usually used on the walls, but not always. Dark colors are the fastest, most obvious way to moody design.

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#2 Rough Elements 

Elements that have a ruggedness to them. A sort of gruff, worn, natural, organic, or patinaed look. There is something slightly imperfect about moody design.

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#3 Architecture 

Details like vaulted ceilings, large windows, and intricate moulding are a bonus when it comes to moody design in order to prevent the spaces from feeling too cramped. The dark or bold color will highlight these architectural elements

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Although moody design lends itself well to gothic, greek revivalist, and victorian styles, you don’t need to go full on Wuthering Heights to be considered moody! Any style can be moody, including MCM and modern styles:


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In the board below there are combined scandi, modern, and gothic elements:

OB-Moody Post Inspo

Sofa, Candle Holder, Art, Pillow, Chair, Rug, Glass, Curtains, Pendant,

Any of these individual items could be in any room but that wouldn’t make that room automatically “moody”. Instead it is a combination of these elements that create a moody atmosphere.

Remember this page? If you have questions about any of the terminology in this post, I’ve got you covered in The Fig Design’s Design Dictionary. If you would like to see any more terms or “moods” defined feel free to shoot me a message!