Perhaps you’ve come across an article discussing celebrities’ being rated on their home offices. These days there are no studios, and minimal in-person interviews which means everyone, including the famous, is working from home. Our homes, of course, are not being scrutinized on a national stage, but those of us participating in video conference calls know the struggle of trying to find the best place for the morning Zoom, Skype, or Teams meeting. Where is the best lighting? Where is the best angle? What will our coworkers see? I admit I’ve been self-conscious about my background and I usually just end up settling for a seat against a blank white wall (don’t judge me) but I certainly wish there was something more attractive, more aesthetically pleasing I could show off. Let’s explore some options for sprucing up our spaces in hopes of achieving that perfect 10/10 rating from Twitters Room Rater.
The one thing most 8s, 9s, and 10s have in common on Room Rater is stunning bookshelves. Not only are bookshelves grand and beautiful, they help you keep organized and are great for creating an elegant decorative display. Showcase your intellectual side by displaying your impressive collection of literary masterpieces. Those old college textbooks you thought you’d never use again- throw those on there too. Display cultural sculptures you’ve acquired throughout your travels. Let your display tell an aesthetically pleasing story about you and your accomplishments. Some of my favorite bookshelves include the Phase Bookshelves and the Serra Bookshelf. Clean lines and sharp angles make these easy additions to any modern home. For a more retro feel the Kata, Ada, and Grand Bookshelves prove Mid-Century will never go out of style. If your space is a bit tight and cannot accommodate a large bookcase, the Currant Leaning Bookshelf is relatively small and much narrower yet exquisitely stylish.
Beautiful, elegant, and exquisitely decorative screens and room dividers can grant a bit of privacy if your home office is set in an open, shared space. Screens can also be used as a stunning backdrop or as a way to shield a part of your space you don’t want shown during your video conferences. Equally functional and decorative, screens can easily be moved throughout the house as needed. I don’t know about you, but I occasionally benefit from a change of scenery, even if that change is from the kitchen table to the couch to the lounge chair. Wherever your office is that day, make it beautiful with a screen. In case you need some inspiration, some of our most popular screens include the Tall Cranes Canvas Shoji Screen, Japanese Landscape Shoji Screen, and the traditional Shoji Screens. Or if your taste in screens is more avant-garde, might I suggest some of my favorites: the Blooming Screen, Beaded Mosaic Screen, and Sweet Nectars Screen.
Something I saw commented on A LOT on Room Rater was lighting. Mostly the criticisms were about lamps being off which I think is an irrelevant and unnecessary criticism, but what that tells me is that lighting is a background focal point. A stylish floor lamp does much more than simply illuminate your workspace. A stunning floor lamp is equally decorative and brightening. For those with a sleek, minimalist, and natural space, the Hotaru Floor Lamp in Natural finish is a beautiful lighting piece that provides a soft glow that filters through the paper side panels. If your space is more chic, Mid-Century glam, the Funnel and Colonnade Floor Lamps are an easy and sophisticated choice. Or perhaps you could use a decorative table lamp? Might I suggest the Ine or the Kawa Table Lamps.
Plants, Plants, Plants
When all else fails, plants are the way to go. Just kidding, there is no failing here, but plants are a quick and easy way to add natural beauty to your Zoom or Skype office. Even faux plants (for those guilty of killing even a cactus) instantly elevate your space. Plants liven your home, they add rich tones of green, they detract from the inevitable coldness that manufactured interiors produce. Plants are organic art, lustrous, living décor. Don’t want a fake plant AND you lack a green thumb? How about some plant art? Paint it yourself (there is no such thing as too many crafts during quarantine) or purchase one. I choose to believe there is no wrong way to add plants to your home. If you are interested in learning more about indoor plants and would like a guide to choosing the easiest indoor plants to care for, check out our previous blog on indoor plants.
Now go forth and create the envy of all home offices! I’m kidding, of course, no need for this to be a competition, but it can be a fun and simple redecorating project to tackle during quarantine. The work force is changing and the return to “normalcy” is not only uncertain but increasingly unlikely. Today it is a virus keeping us home, but in the next few years it might be climate change. Who knows, working from home might just be the new norm for a large group of people, so make it a space you are happy to show off. Or you can always use one of the virtual backgrounds available on Zoom and make believe you’re participating in the video chat from the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge. Live your best quarantined life!