West Elm Is Giving Away Free Virtual Backgrounds to Makeover Your Video Chats

March 25, 2020

Interior decorating doesn’t have to stop amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With more and more people self-isolating and working from home, video conferencing with co-workers, as well as catching up with friends and family, have become part of our new norm for the time being.

And with more eyes gazing at your inner sanctum, West Elm wants to help to make sure your workspace and home look their absolute best, even if you aren’t keeping up with chores or tidying up around the house.

The home furnishings company has unveiled a series of free downloadable virtual backgrounds that can be used on the popular video platform Zoom to make your living space look like it came straight out of a catalog.

“That’s right, it’s a virtual background!” West Elm wrote in a blog post. “No offense to Zoom’s pre-set options, but we’re not talking about a generic outer space scene or a panoramic shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. We’re talking about real-life living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and more.”

There are 14 backgrounds to choose from, and each is from a real-life living room, bedroom or space that was previously featured on West Elm’s website.

Options to cover up your unmade bed or take-out containers include a mid-century living room, NYC waterfront view, industrial loft space, poolside backyard and even a cozy living room outfitted with an adorable dog to make everyone think you are the best puppy parent.

To start your home makeover, drag one of the background photos and save it to your desktop. Then go to Zoom and click the gear settings in the upper right corner. Next, go to“Virtual Background” from the bar on the left and press the plus sign to upload the photo of your desired choice. Voila! Welcome to your new home.

While the company said the backdrops are for Zoom, they will actually work on any video conference platform that allows you to customize the backgrounds on your desktop.

Zoom has seen a dramatic rise in use since the start of the pandemic with over 600K downloads of the app on Sunday alone, according to mobile app tracking company Apptopia, reported the Economic Times.

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