With so many of our interactions happening online these days, there’s a good chance you’ve had to rig a makeshift locale for video calls—and that means your on-screen ambience might not be living up to its full potential. And while there are benefits to digital call backgrounds, there’s a real advantage to incorporating tangible items (like striking wall decor and above the keyboard accessories) into your video conference atmosphere. You’ll leave a lasting impression, and you can enjoy these pieces when you’re offline too.  

An on-camera overhaul doesn’t have to be a heavy lift. Up the ante on your video call look by optimizing three simple components: your backdrop, your accessories, and your desktop props. With some simple tips and a few distinctive finds from Etsy sellers, you’ve got a foolproof formula to take your next remote meetup from bland to brilliant.

Give your backdrop a boost

Eye-catching wall decor for your next video call
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Rainbow weaving from Sunwoven, $375; city neighborhood maps from Native Maps, $32; colorblock stripes print from Jorey Hurley, from $48; half-circle fringe mirror from Candice Luter, $241.50; happy flower face print from Meenal Patel Studio, from $32; magnolias print from Jorey Hurley, from $48; geo singles wall hangings from Studio Nom, from $56

To set a memorable scene, opt for statement decor that’s strategically placed in your background. Your wall embellishments can establish the mood as soon as your connection is made: They set the composition and color palette of your surroundings, and add texture to your environment. 

Vivid art is the easiest way to zhuzh up a blank wall or a bare-bones shelf. With framed prints or a handmade wall tapestry, you’ll liven up the scene and create an opportunity to reflect your personal style and show who you are. If you’re working out of tight quarters, an elegant mirror can add dimension to your space. And though it might not be the first option that comes to mind when you think “wall decor,” greenery situated in wall-mounted planters functions as a virtual and IRL breath of fresh air.

Finesse your above-the-keyboard ensemble

Accessories for upgrading your video call style from Etsy
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Ankara neck tie from Gabe Jade, from $45; geometric abstract earrings from Tsunja, from $49; No. 13 power button bandana from All Very Goods, $24; Henry pocket square, $30, bow tie, $63, and neck tie, $83, from W.B. Thamm; brass arch earrings from Aleishla Lopez, from $66; telecaster enamel pin from Justine Gilbuena, from $10

When you’re thinking about your ambience, your accessories might come as an afterthought. But don’t forget that you’re the focal point of your virtual call—so your wardrobe picks can go a long way.

A face-framing accessory like a graphic headband brightens up your look for laptop chats. Opt for an ultra-comfortable material like stretchy cotton to make for a smooth transition from WFH-wear to loungewear. Now’s the time for playful pieces like sculptural metallic earrings, eye-catching danglers, or jaunty pocket squares. They add a welcome dose of personality to your look, and keep you in a sunny mood even after you’ve logged off. 

Opt for polished props

Props for upgrading your video call style from Etsy
SHOP (clockwise from top left): Hanging terracotta lamp from Noa Razer Studio, $270; the Danish mug from Paper and Clay Studio, $46; bulb bud vases from Paper and Clay Studio, $38; the Danish mug in Appaloosa from Paper and Clay Studio, $50; globe table lamps from Mod Creation Studio, from $89; Editor planter bookend from Stak Ceramics, $46

The final step to maximizing your milieu? Deck out your desktop with lively accents. Spiff up your morning coffee with a graphic mug that will turn heads as you sip. Try a handmade bud vase for low-maintenance greenery, or opt for a planter that pulls double duty as a bookend. And don’t forget the power of illumination! No one is ready for their closeup without some great lighting. A sophisticated table lamp or hanging fixture will enhance your features, whether or not it’s visible in the shot. 

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