This Is My New Favorite Way to Moodboard on the Cheap

published Nov 8, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Have you ever been targeted with an ad that you actually connected with? That’s how I felt when I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and came across a post for Spoak, an online platform that lets you create mockups, moodboards, and curated shopping lists all in one place.

If you’ve ever designed a room in your home or helped a friend on a project, you know how messy things can get in between finding inspiration, piecing together images from different sources, and creating documents with links of things to buy. The list goes on and on, and so do all those open computer tabs. That’s exactly what Spoak aims to simplify by putting everything that comes along with decorating into one digital space. You can connect with other design-loving users via a members’ only message board, use Spoak’s proprietary moodboard tools, and even skill up with their online workshops. For $4.99 a month, I took a chance on this platform, which is still in beta, and here’s how I’m currently making the most out of it.

Credit: Spoak

The “Viz” Tool

For those of us who don’t own pricy Photoshop software or aren’t CAD experts, Spoak’s “Viz” tool is an easy way to bring an e-design to life with some sense of scale and proportion. When starting a new Viz, which is basically a moodboard (see an example I made above), you can select a pre-created room layout or make one from scratch to customize your room’s exact details. From there, you can add in product images and automatically remove the background of those images (for the ones in lifestyle settings) in just a couple of steps. Spoak also has a pre-loaded library of go-to items you might use in your moodboard like furniture, window treatments, and decorative accessories. It’s easy to drop in items and move them around your board so you can realistically mock up what a project would look like IRL. There’s also a place to solicit feedback, too, if you’re collaborating with someone else.

Product Shopping Lists

Once you start adding products to a board, Spoak automatically creates a shopping list for you that includes all the items you’re working with, which is great for keeping things organized. I mentioned this above, but as a Spoak user, you’re able to search through hundreds of pages of products made by companies and artisans with an emphasis on smaller brands. You can also check out what other Spoak members are uploading to their projects for inspiration. I’ve found this helpful when I’m looking for a specific type of item, like a rug, for instance, but I don’t know where to start. Everything is broken down into categories—like style, price, and colors—to make it really easy for you to poke around. If you’re working with existing items in a given project, you can also find those in the catalog or upload images of them, too.

Credit: Spoak

Design Gamified With Challenges

A lot of what I’m describing with moodboarding can certainly be done without Spoak, if you cobble together your own system from disparate apps or even strategically use Google Sheets. One point of differentiation with Spoak, other than centralizing all of your decorating efforts, are the design challenges hosted each month. In the past, assignments like designing a gender neutral nursery, a dream office, or whatever your happy place looks like have been a fun distraction for me because why not? Here’s a design I submitted for the gender neutral nursery prompt a few weeks ago. You don’t have to take part in these, but they’re there if you want to engage, and often the design that wins the most votes from users gets some kind of a prize.

Take Design Courses in Spoak School 

The “Viz” tool is my favorite thing about Spoak, but “Spoak School” is a close second. There’s something about quick, digestible information that I’m always craving, especially if it’s going to help me design-wise in my home. Spoak categorizes their courses into seven sections: design education, professional growth, marketing, clients, rendering skills, and “Spoak Sessions” (think of these as little bonus talks with interior designers and industry folks). Who doesn’t love a bonus AMA with their favorite designers? The best part about these courses is that you can learn at your own pace, whenever it’s convenient for you, and new options are being added regularly. While some of what’s here is targeted to a more pro designer audience, if you’re into in design, you’ll still get something out of it.