Home office background – top 7 ways to create a professional look

Working from home has become a new reality for many people and that reality means adapting your home office space in general and the home office background more specifically.

If your work requires you to use Zoom, MS Team or any other video conferencing, you must think about what your work space looks like to your clients and colleagues.

As the line between professional and personal space is becoming more blurry, I believe in the importance of preserving a distinct, private, professional space, both for your clients, coworkers, and your own wellbeing.

As a professional home stager/decorator, I help clients set up home office spaces, whether they’re a dedicated room or just a living room corner.

A functional and appealing work environment results in better focus, motivation and productivity.

This post focuses on the home office background (or backdrop), which is whatever your collaborators see on their screen behind your head, when you are on a video call with them.

Even though our world is becoming more informal, I find it quite distracting and, even, disturbing to see an unmade bed or a pile of clothes behind the person I’m talking to.

As we’re all influenced by what we see, separating your professional image from your personal life is essential, in my opinion.

How do you feel about this one?

I also realize that not everyone has a dedicated home office. If that’s your case, no worries, this post is for you!

We’ll look at several options available to make your home office backdrop “presentable”, no matter what your circumstances are.

When I moved into my home office, all the walls were painted a light gray color. This color is beautiful everywhere else in the house, but it didn’t work at all as my home office background! I was totally blending in…

I considered a couple of options (see below) and decided on a neutral and understated wallpaper for the back wall only. The materials were under $100 and my husband graciously put it up.

home office background
My home office background

How can you quickly and inexpensively create a nice professional home office background?

If your desktop/laptop meets the Zoom Tech specs, you can use a virtual background for your online meetings.

If your device allows you to set up the Virtual Background for Zoom or MS Teams, you can download images from several places (or even upload your own).

Here are a few free sites:

Zoom Virtual Backgrounds Collection

Canva Zoom Virtual Backgrounds

Shutterstock Free Virtual Backgrounds

Unsplash Virtual Backgrounds

Hello Backgrounds

The Virtual Home Office Backgrounds aren’t my personal favorites :).

Another option is to purchase a Vinyl backdrop and put it up on a wall behind your desk. These backdrops are readily available, inexpensive and easy to set up.

You can either tape the backdrop directly to the wall behind your head or purchase a stand and a set of clamps.

The latter setup is freestanding and can, therefore, be easily moved when needed. See below for the links to purchase backdrops, stands and clamps.

Here are just a few of the vinyl backdrops I recommend. I selected the ones which are contemporary, understated, professional and look good with any decor.

Full disclosure: The links below are my affiliate links which means I’ll be earning a small commission if you purchase anything.

Click on the title or on the image to see all the details.

I’m all for simplicity and ease of setup. If you prefer a permanent home office background, I have a few ideas for you:

Try to find a flat wall, if possible and set it up as a small video background studio.

  • Paint the back wall a contrasting color (navy blue, medium grey, light blue, greige, sage green, etc). Green is the King in 2022, but watch out for the right shade of green!
  • Click here for some home office (and all other rooms) paint color ideas.
  • Wallpapers. You don’t have to wallpaper the whole room, only the backdrop wall. You can find inexpensive peel and stick wallpaper online. I recommend selecting a neutral design and colors (but with some texture and visual interest). You can go bold but be mindful that your home office background isn’t overpowering or distracting.

Here are some inspirational ideas for you:

  • Install some attractive artwork on the back wall, centered behind your head. See some examples I found on Amazon below.

  • add Faux wood or brick paneling to the back wall

  • Set up some simple bookshelves and accessorize them with objects which represent you and what you do and like. Books, magazines, plants and a few photos, as well as some decorations will enhance your home office backdrop. Don’t clutter the space!

I’ll be happy to help you select the best option for your space and your budget.

I recommend a one hour online consultation and you’ll walk away with a design plan for your home office background.

No more unmade beds, paper piles or unfolded laundry for everyone to see!

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