How to Create a Beautiful Moody Instagram Grid
Have you ever come across an interior decor-focused Instagram grid that stops you in your tracks?
Oh yes, if you’ve spent any time on Instagram, I know you’ve probably stumbled upon a few scroll-stoppers - Instagram accounts that take your breath away for a moment, that suck you into a rabbit hole of captivating, perfectly arranged images.
It’s mesmerizing, it’s seductive, and I think it’s wonderfully inspiring. But it can also leave you with a little bit of an itch. The faintest feeling of… inadequacy. Why doesn’t my Instagram grid look that beautiful? How do they do it?
Perhaps you’ve come across interior decor focused Instagram accounts like @_theleopardlounge_, with its dark, vintage glamour in every square. Or the exquisite monochrome-boho grids of @belliwood_living or @kalk_katt. The twinkling, candlelit grid of @kaginteriorogkust, whose Instagram presence looks like it’s actually enchanted.
You visit accounts like these and think, “How do I make my Instagram grid look like a piece of art like theirs? How do I capture the beauty of my own home decor the way they do?”
In this blog post, I’m going to walk you through my 6 tips on achieving a cohesive, moody Instagram grid for your home decor focused account!
I am far from a professional photographer, but one thing I can confidently say about my Instagram account is this: it has a cohesively moody, rustic, and cozy look. I found an editing style that distinctly reflects me as a person and the style of my home, and I stick with it with for every single post.
If you are drawn to a moody Instagram aesthetic and want to know how it can be achieved through photo editing, I’m your girl!
Let’s dive into my 6 photo editing practices I apply to every photo I post. By the way, all of this - from shooting to editing - is done on an iPhone. 👌
1. Layer your apps
I like to put my photos through multiple editing apps before posting, which gives them the exact style and mood I want my overall Instagram aesthetic to have. By the time I’ve posted a photo, it’s been through at least three editing apps!
Each app I use serves a different purpose based on its strengths. One app is perfect for the moody, vintage look I like, another is great for whitening my walls (which tend to be discolored in photos), and then I finish it all off with a little bit of the Ludwig filter in Instagram.
If you want a step-by-step walkthrough on which apps I use and how I use them, I have a free download for you that I think you’ll enjoy! Click here to get my Instagram Toolkit, which guide you through my 5 favorite apps for creating a captivating home decor-focused Instagram page.
2. Desaturate your colors
Toning down your colors may feel a little counter-intuitive at first (wait, don’t I want colorful photos??) but if you want that moody, artsy look on your Instagram grid, desaturating your colors can be an effective way to achieve that.
Basically, this means clicking the “saturation” function in the editing app you’re using, and turning it down a bit to tone down your colors.
Think muted, monochrome, and vintage. @me_and _orla and @bethkirby are great at this retro, visually poetic style - and you’ll notice that their photos do not feel like they’re lacking in color. In fact, their photos are quite vivid and lush. But there’s an overall pensive, moody, and nostalgic feel to their style, and bright, flashy colors would take that style in a different direction.
Another great advantage to desaturating your colors is you can be selective on which colors you actually want to pop - and boy, they will POP if the rest of your photo is slightly desaturated. One of the tools I recommend in my Instagram Toolkit Snapseed, which has an awesome brush tool with which you can brush over the points in your photo that you want to saturate or desaturate. So you can get really selective on which colors you want to pop and which colors you want to tone down!
Psst… hey dark decor lovers! Click here to take a peek at my little black book of dark decor inspiration - who to follow, where to shop, and my dark decor room recipe. 🖤
3. Texture > color
One way I make up for the toned-down colors in my photos is to really focus on texture. And for home decor accounts, texture is a wonderful thing to focus on anyway!
If you love to decorate, you probably know the satisfaction of a lush faux fur blanket or a woven throw pillow. Texture is what makes our homes sing! For for home decor-focused Instagram accounts, it makes sense for texture to play a starring role.
To really capture the textures in your home with your iPhone, make sure the texture you’re photographing is in focus. Tap your screen on the spot you want to focus on (tap and hold for a moment if you want it to lock focus on that spot), so that the texture you’re photographing is nice and clear.
Also, avoid artificial light at all costs! Turn off your lamps and overhead lighting (which casts a yellowish glow that’s very hard to edit out), and try to only take photos in natural light. Lighting will make or break the look of your textures.
My favorite app for really enhancing the textures of my home is VSCO - its filters emulate vintage film, which is great for texture. VSCO is one of the apps I talk about in my Instagram Toolkit, by the way. 😉
4. Don’t be afraid of being repetitive
When I first started taking my Instagram account seriously and began dedicating it to photos of my studio apartment, I was plagued with this thought: “I live in a studio!! There are only so many different photos I can get out of this space, only so many angles from which I can take a shot of my damn bed! What do I do when I run out of things to post?”
Then I wised up by studying other home decor-focused accounts - the ones I worshiped, the ones I couldn’t get enough of. When I actually took the time to analyze their Instagram grids, I realized that part of what made their accounts so beautiful was their repetition!
The repetitive shots of the same living room, the same bed, the same bar cart, all on one grid… it wasn’t silly or annoying. It’s what gave their accounts a cohesive look. It’s what made their grids an overall piece of art, rather than a disjointed hodgepodge of photos.
Now I have absolutely no qualms with repeatedly posting various shots of my bed. Frankly, every time I do, the followers roll in. So don’t feel weird about being repetitive! Really… no one cares, haha.
5. Have fun with video
This topic is actually what inspired me to write this post! I’ve gotten a ton of people asking me how I add animations to my photos, such as a flickering candle flame, rising smoke from a coffee cup, or even space travel. The answer is Pixaloop!
I talk about how I use Pixaloop in my free Instagram toolkit, but really it’s pretty simple. In the app, you can choose from all kinds of fun effects (some are pretty cheesy though - but still fun!), and Pixaloop turns them into looping videos.
I recommend this for a couple reasons - one, if you’re still nervous about being repetitive with your photos on Instagram, turning a photo into a Pixaloop can be a fun way to add something different and visually interesting to your grid.
Another reason is this: word is that the Instagram algorithm is really favoring video these days. Who knows for sure, since the Instabeast tends to act in total secrecy and leaves its users in the dark about pretty much everything (not bitter 😑), but you know what? I believe it. When I post a Pixaloop video, more people see it. The analytics don’t lie, my friend!
So in terms of how much fun it is to use, the change of pace it can add to your Instagram account, and its potential algorithm benefits, Pixaloop is a win win win.
6. Include yourself
I saved this one for last because I feel quite passionate about it. Pardon me while I daintily step onto my soap box for a moment.
Have you ever come across a cute photo of the person behind one of your favorite home decor accounts? You know, the actual human who created the stylish home you love to follow and who takes the beautiful photos that draw you in every time they appear on your screen?
I don’t know about you, but it thrills me every time I get to put a face to the home - the individual responsible for the style that so inspires me.
But then you scroll down to the caption and the first thing you see is an apology for posting a photo of themselves. An apology! An apology for being a human behind their decor, for celebrating themselves in a brazen act of revealing their face.
We are not Batman, my friends. Our home decor is not a mask meant to hide some kind of secret identity. We are not superheros saving the lives of the citizens of Instagram with our interior decor photos.
We are human beings responsible for the beauty we create, and I see no need to hide that! And there’s definitely no need to apologize for showing up on your Instagram. You are worthy of taking up space on your squares.
If you are uncomfortable with including photos of yourself and genuinely have no desire to do so, that’s one thing. What I’m talking about here is the fact that many of us clearly want to show up in our Instagram, but we’re afraid to because of what other people think. Will I lose followers if I dare to post a non-decor photo? Will I not get as many likes? Will I look like a narcissistic idiot?
These are all thoughts I’ve certainly had before posting photos of myself. But honestly, overall, I don’t care anymore. I’m a human being behind my interior style, and I want to be seen. If you want to be seen too, then post that gorgeous photo of yourself and don’t apologize for it!
- Soap Box Steffi, over and out. 🖖
Do you have a home decor-focused Instagram account? Do you want to start one? What’s your biggest Instagram struggle getting in your way? Tell me in the comments!
And download my Instagram Toolkit if you want a resource to guide you through your interiors-centered Instagram journey. 🖖
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Hey there! I’m Steffi, creator of Moda Misfit - a style blog that aims to inspire you to embrace who you are and express your creative self through home decor & fashion. We're all Moda Misfits here!
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