How to Style Your Zoom Background in 7 Steps (According to Designers) - Pier 1

How to Style Your Zoom Background in 7 Steps (According to Designers)

Working from home isn’t going away anytime soon, which means lots of video conferences, Zoom calls, and “oops-I-was-on-mute” to come. But while online meetings can feel boring, they don’t have to look boring.

Styling your Zoom background is a great way to motivate you while you work and create a more professional and authentically you backdrop for meetings.

Whether you’re tired of clutter or poor lighting, these designer-approved tips will elevate your Zoom background and get you promoted to “most stylish!” 

1. Choose a well-lit, low-traffic space to set up shop 

Not everyone has the luxury of a home office, so you may find yourself setting up shop at the kitchen table, your couch, or elsewhere. The first order of business is to choose a spot in your home that you can easily work from.

Choose a place where you have ample space to set up your desk essentials like your laptop, monitor, keyboard, and other supplies, so everything is in one place.

If you can, choose a low-traffic spot without background noise, pets, or people. Beth Erskine of Design In A Day says, “Choose your space carefully, and base that choice on the type of work you do daily. 

Zoom is all about the lighting, so choose a place where the light is in front of you, like a window. Elaine Hollerhead of Designate Interior Design says, “If possible, position your workstation by a window.” If the light is behind you, you’ll appear in shadow.

2. Declutter with stylish office storage

After you find your perfect workspace, it’s time to declutter. A clutter-free space not only looks more professional on video, but it can bring a sense of calm while you work too. Even if you don’t have a home office desk or formal office space, there are lots of creative ways to store work-related items.  

Try transforming your wall and decluttering with shelves in glass, metal, or wood, depending on your style. Decorate with your favorite books, photos, or trinkets, while mixing in work folders or supplies. Meanwhile, accent tables with drawers can store office supplies when you’re not using them and double as a flat surface for other decor. 

Mix and match storage bins and place them in cubbies or on a shelf to hide office supplies. And when you need furniture that does double duty, ottomans look amazing and provide ample storage. If your workspace is in a common area like a living room, baskets are a stylish and functional way to store magazines, books, blankets, or other items that you don’t want visible on video.

3. Look polished with three-point lighting 

To look camera-ready, try three-point lighting. Put a light on either side of your camera and one off-camera to illuminate your background, but not directly facing the back of your head. This form of lighting adds depth to your space and offers the most flattering light for your face.

A few other lighting options are floor lamps, which are perfect for anchoring a bare space in a room and providing tons of light. Meanwhile, table lamps are ideal for lighting up your workspace without being too bright and are small enough to sit on a desk, side table, or shelf. For a space-saving option that’s stylish and functional, pendant lights are an affordable lighting source ideal above a table or counter.

4. Bring your background to life with plants

One of the easiest ways to enhance your Zoom background is with plants. Plants add color, shape, texture, and life to your space without being distracting on camera.

 Add greenery with decorative plants, which are great for those of us who don’t have a green thumb. Wendy Yates of Abigail-Elise Design Studio is a big fan of biophilic design, which seeks to bring the outdoors in, to connect humans with nature even when they have to work inside. This enhances wellbeing and productivity, which is certainly needed with so much time working at home. Plants have great benefits including reducing stress and cleaning the air, perfect for a motivating work-from-home environment.

5. Create natural division with curtains or furniture 

If you don’t have a dedicated home office space, consider defining the room with curtains or furniture.

You can create natural division with curtains. If you have a small space, consider hanging a translucent, airy curtain panel from the ceiling where you want to define space. This will also minimize distractions when you’re on video calls. You can also get creative by arranging chairs, sofas, and other seating options in a way that defines the space by its function.

6. Add personal touches

What better way to feel inspired than by adding personal touches to your workspace? 

Include personal touches like a family photo or your favorite art.

Another way to add personal touches is by choosing a few of your favorite books, trinkets, candles, or keepsakes and design the shelves in the background. “Choose your favorite candles to incorporate into your working environment,” says Katherine Christopher of K Christopher Interiors. In addition to looking nice, “Having nice smells flowing around can relieve anxiety and boost performance.”

7. Add a pop of color 

Whether you prefer neutral tones like taupe and cream, or brighter accents like green or blue, spicing up your background with color takes it from a bland-cubicle-in-an-office vibe to a lively space that complements your style and personality.

You can quickly add color with fresh flowers, a cozy throw, wall accents and artwork, curtains, or a bold-colored office chair. Depending on the size of your space, a rug can be a good option too. Keep it simple, fresh, clean, and vibrant!

When all else fails? Download a stylish background 

Soft Loft: Desktop, Mobile

Global Resort: Desktop Version 1, Desktop Version 2

Tropical Retreat: Desktop

Boho Living Room: Desktop

Coastal Living Room: Desktop

Clean Country: Desktop, Mobile


Whether you’re creating the home office of your dreams or just looking to add some flare to a bland workspace, Pier 1 is here to help with our wide selection of home furnishings, decor, and accessories to suit any style. Search for the perfect home office furniture and accessories and get even more home office inspiration on the Pier 1 blog.