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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Shields


Whether it's Google Meet, Skype or Zoom, apply these design tips to your room!

Many of my favourite home décor tips and tricks were not taught to me in design school. Styling your home office for a video conference is the latest on that list!

Never mind design school -- even a year ago, writing a guide on décor for Zoom meetings would have been kind of odd.

You need no explanation as to why things are different!

We have a seemingly endless list of video conferencing apps at our disposal. Whether it’s Google Meet, Skype or Zoom, professionals working from home have at least one of these bookmarked in their browser.

Video chats are now part of our “normal” lives, and since we aren't able to interact in real life, we only have our small box on Zoom to communicate a) who we are and b) our professionalism.

By following these amazingly effective tips for Zoom backgrounds, I promise you'll convey a polished, stylish look in video conference meetings that will impress your boss, colleagues or clients. Even if you’re not dressed from the waist down. ;)



First and foremost, remove any and all of the clutter that might be visible (as well as paying attention to areas outside of the camera's sightline.) A mess does not impress! Start with a “blank canvas” (i.e. empty space in your video conference screen background) and mindfully build from there, or edit what’s behind you and then edit some more.


Shelfie Love

Once you’ve decluttered to ensure you’re not being photobombed by needless knick-knacks, place the objects that made the final cut on a shelf behind you. Since shelf styling is harder than it seems, take a peek at my shelfie styling guide for help.


Showcase Your Bookcase

I love the look of a bookshelf backdrop, as long as the books are arranged in a visually-pleasing way. Make sure the book spines all face the same direction, you may wish to colour code them or side by side complementary colours. Feature books that reflect your personality or convey what you wish to as a person (architecture buff, nature lover or fashionista.) Add a few objects onto the shelf or the actual books if they are horizontal, as a layered finish.


Art is Smart

Use a favourite painting as your backdrop, as long as it meets the following criteria: it isn't too bright or fussy, it doesn't have nudity that might offend, and that it is placed straight and evenly. Another great looks is a collage of complementary pictures behind you.


Avoid Corners

Just because your boss has cornered you into a Zoom call, doesn't mean you literally have to position yourself in a corner! The angles don’t make for a pleasing video conference look, plus you don't want to waste the chance of impressing and seeming interesting by sitting yourself in an awkward corner. You’ll bore your audience before you’ve even begun.


Simple (and Real!) Wallpaper

Wallpaper is a fantastic backdrop that makes a subtle yet stylish statement. Ensure it's not a busy print as you want to avoid distractions in a video meeting. Let me be clear--I don’t mean virtual wallpaper, because it makes us all wonder, “where are you that you want to hide it from us!?” New to wallpaper and not sure where to start? Check out wallpaper from some of my favourites: Graham and Brown, Brewster or for an edgier vibe, Juju Papers or Drop It Modern.


Solid Paint Palette

Choose a cohesive, neutral or monochromatic colour palette to keep the focus on you. Much like in my staging work, you don't want the decor to take over, as we are selling the house, not the decor. In this case, you are selling yourself as stylish and professional. In the unlikely case you're a graffiti artist advertising your work in a Zoom meeting, you may disregard this advice!


How's My Light?

Good lighting of course, is key. Opt for natural light on your face but make sure it doesn’t leave you squinting, and avoid having your back to a window which creates a shadow. Ideally, you want direct, yet diffused sunlight, like the kind you get on an overcast day. A desk light manipulated at angles can work-- just try playing around with the lights before your call or invest in a ring light. The secret weapon of photographers everywhere, a ring light creates shadowless and beautiful illumination.

To sum it up, never overlook how your video conference backdrop looks!

For a more detailed consultation, contact Amanda Shields Interiors at Yes, we will Zoom with you, too!


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