What it comes down to is to keep it simple, not empty.
You have an important Zoom meeting in five minutes, and apart from preparing your presentation, you’re also looking for a little corner with a decent background at home that would look presentable to your colleagues.
While many of the basic design principles apply, there are (3) specific design rules for video call backgrounds.
- Have 3-6 feet — between you and your background.
- You also want to keep the space clean and tidy
- Choose a spot that doesn’t attract clutter.
But that doesn’t mean the area needs to be sparse. Your space should tell a story about you. After all, it’s your home, we need to embrace our humanity now more than ever! Select decor that’s inviting and shows your passions along with who you are:
- Memorabilia and books you love
- Art that speaks to you
- Your favorite colors
- Fresh flowers, live plants, or a lit candle
- Record Album Covers (Your favorite artists)
Just make sure the story YOU tell is connected, and that the colors complement each other and your skin tone. You also want to make sure your space feels cohesive. Too many competing elements (too much Cha-Chi) can be distracting for viewers.
To style the perfect Zoom backdrop:
- Vary the height and visual weight of objects in the background. Add a lamp and mirror to the background to make a striking statement. Add photo frames and books that provide texture but don’t rival.
- Mix old and new. Vintage items always add warmth and interest.
- Your goal is for texture over pattern. Natural materials and textiles add wonderful visual texture. Too many graphic patterns can be overwhelming on camera.
- Design your space through the camera. Some things that work in real life don’t translate to a two-dimensional digital world. Look at your space onscreen and adjust accordingly. I suggest this with my design and staging clients all the time, I would like to mention, this little tip saves you time and money.
|Play with your space ~ Set it up ~ Look at through the lens of a camera ~ Redesign|
A Checklist For Zoom Video Backdrop Design
Watching Obama address the nation during the recent election campaign from his “Zoom Corner”, I couldn’t help but notice his office checks all the boxes of a well-designed video conferencing setup:
- Great lighting!
- Perfect camera setup — slightly above his eye line
- Bookshelves add texture and a cozy vibe without being cluttered
- A mix of items on display — new and vintage, personal and professional
- Backdrop colors compliment his complexion and wardrobe
- Lighted sconce and fresh flowers add warmth and life to space
You wouldn’t want to be remembered at work as the person whose spouse or children were seen walking around in their underwear, or the dogs fighting (it happened) in the background.
To avoid this scenario, I recommend you avoid high traffic zones which include: 1. kitchen, 2. Near bathrooms, 3. By the front door.
And if you’ve settled in a room for your video call, hang a sign on the door or wall “ZOOM MEETING IN PROGRESS” when meeting and filming.
One reason why we all look so awful in Zoom meetings is how we sit. Your environment can mimic a professional setting starting with where you are seated. I have noticed that working on a bar stool or anything counter-height has been a good alternative to standing desks.
Personal vs Professional
The boundary between the personal and professional blurs easily, especially for those working from home. I suggest you clearly define the distinction between the two to avoid looking unprofessional.
Our homes are indeed personal spaces and you will definitely share a little more than usual when working from home. Remember to clean and organize: having photos, artwork, books, and travel memorabilia in your background is a great way of telling your story.
Zoom conferencing might have skyrocketed as a solution to a problem, but I’m very confident it’s here to stay. Let’s at least make it Style with Lifestyle by Design.
Have questions about how to design your Zoom space? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace ♥ Harmony