How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space

Are you working from home these days? Same! I don’t know about you, but my family went from one person working from home (small business perks!) to three of us all on video conference calls at the same time. Since we live in New York City and are short on space, we ran into some challenges about how to set up work spaces in our home that looked professional and uncluttered. Styling vignettes to create our individual spaces are what has saved us these last few weeks!

My family went from one person working from home to three of us all on video conference calls at the same time.

What Is a Vignette

In interior design, a vignette is a small collection of objects that looks pretty. Looking at objects as a collection rather than as single “things” is an easy way to create focal points in your design, and distinguish your design style to make your space look more polished.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
Looking at objects as a collection rather than as single “things” is an easy way to create focal points in your design.

Choosing Your Space

When setting up a work space, try to settle on a part of your room that is relatively uncluttered, or that has a large wall behind you. Test your webcam to see what parts of the room behind you are visible, and make sure you remove any objects within view that are distracting or messy.

Think about your space in the context of the webcam, and not necessarily what you would do under normal circumstances. If you’re working out of your bedroom, for example, perhaps temporarily finding another spot for the extra things you keep on your bedside table may help keep your workspace more focused.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
If you’re working out of your bedroom, try to clear off your bedside table from the “extra little things” that might clutter the space.

Select Your Surface

Vignettes can be created on a tabletop, shelf, or even a blank wall. Use a surface you already have and decide where you’d like to focus your efforts. It looks crisp and clean on a webcam to have a large wall behind you, or a well-organized bookshelf or console table.

Shop the House

Select some objects from your home (don’t forget to shop all of the rooms!) that speak to your personal style. Consider sticking to a specific color palette, or think about colors that are already in your room and find objects that coordinate.

Don’t forget books! Large books or ones with similar colored spines make for excellent accessories when designing your vignette. Be sure to check underneath the jackets of your favorite books; Hardcovers often have great solid colors or creamy neutrals hiding beneath brightly colored book jackets.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
Books are your best tool to create height and layers in your home decor vignette.

Stick to Odd Numbers

Just like when you’re designing your bookshelves, odd numbers keep your eye moving around your space and will lend a sense of organization. Threes and fives are your best bet.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
Groups of odd numbers of objects work best for vignettes, especially threes and fives.

Vary the Heights and Textures

In your grouping of objects, vary the height of each item so that no two objects are the same size. You can use pedestals or stacks of books to elevate smaller items.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
This vignette keeps your eye moving across the items because each item (or group of items) is a different height.

Try to use objects with different textures rather than showcase things that look too similar. If you’re working with a porcelain vase, for example, pair it with a wooden item and something woven such as a basket or stack of coasters. When in doubt, use a strand of Recycled Glass Beads for a great pop of texture and color! Glass bead strands are a fool-proof and easy piece to style.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
Mix objects with different textures such as wood, glass, porcelain or woven basketry.

Consider the 3-Dimensional Space

Make sure that the objects in your vignette are using the full depth of your surface. On a table or bookshelf, for example, bring some objects forward and push others back to add dimension.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
On a flat surface like a table or shelf, push some objects forward and others back to create three-dimensionality.

If a wall is your vignette surface, consider overlapping what you hang on it to create some dimension. Baskets are a great way to add visual interest to a wall behind your work space. Woven Palm Baskets are easy to hang on the wall, and you can do it in just four easy steps.

How to Set Up a Professional At Home Work Space
Hanging basket on the wall is a great and easy way to add visual interest to your at-home work space.

Take a Peek

Always step back and look at what you’ve accomplished! Nothing you have created here is set in stone. Feel free to tweak until your vignette feels finished. It’s best to air on the side of minimalism rather than have too many things behind you on your video conference call.

Our Best Vignette Recipes

How to Set Up a Professional Work Space At Home

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Bonus: Virtual Backgrounds

If you’re using the latest software or have a brand-new device, you may be able to upload a virtual background to your next Zoom meeting. We created a few free virtual backgrounds from some of our most popular travel photos so that you can attend your next meeting from a palace (or next to a camel in the middle of the desert!).

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