You know what they are. You've been doing them for the past year. It's more than likely your children are doing them, too. It's the ZOOM. It's become the necessary norm during these unprecedented times (we need a new word for "unprecedented" don't ya think?).
The use of electronic devices in our daily lives has been a constant for that last few decades but even more so during the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We've been stuck in our homes which has forced us to adapt to our new normal and fast.
School is now home with teachers and students using electronic devices as classrooms while businesses are using electronics as offices. So it's only natural to assume our surroundings need to adapt to these changes as well.
Introducing... the ZOOM space.
Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with the zooming of everything. I like my home but I like people too. Part of my job is to meet people and more importantly go into their homes. But then the massive curveball of 2020 happened and well, we all know how the story goes... it went sideways.
Case in point, my latest project designing such a space carved from a little area in a basement.
You might be asking what is the most important elements to focus on when designing such spaces?
Two words....LIGHTING & SOUND.
But we'll get to that in just a bit. But first, feast your eyes on this little spot that will soon become a beautiful and functioning area for my client to conduct her business from the comfort of her own home. It doesn't look like too much now but it's quickly transforming into a space all her own.
I started off taking some quick measurements making sure the space could handle COVID requirements such as the ability to practice proper social distancing. Using chalk I was able to draw out a furniture layout and to much to my surprise the space is perfectly capable to conduct any interviews with guidelines in tact. Whew....
I quickly put together a schematic and furniture layout based on the information given to me by my client. Her goals were to have a space she could relax in while conducting interviews with guests using a color palette from her brand not to mention it had to be pretty.
What we came up with was this cozy little nook complete with gorgeous velvet armed chairs paired with a beautiful glass top coffee table in the center. A monitor will be placed above the concrete foundation wall which will air business related trends that will aid in any discussions my client will have with her guests.
Now for the nitty-gritty.
Two elements need to be considered when designing these spaces. The first one is SOUND and how to muffle and contain it is incredibly important. Trying to create a space within a space has its challenges and sound absorption is one of them. To combat this issue we will be applying sound absorbing tiles to the concrete foundation wall and directly above the seating area. These gorgeous tiles from #acoufelt come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors and are perfect for this project. Not only do they serve a purpose but they're a fun way to add color and flare to any space.
The second element to consider while designing this space is LIGHTING. The most direct advice I have to this is to treat the space like a photography studio and you are the subject in front of the camera.
I like the clip-on laptop lighting for super small spaces but those can cause some reflections off glasses so if you wear glasses these may not work for you. An easy and relatively inexpensive solution is to purchase standing photography lighting like this one found on #amazon. Place the lighting side-by-side to the camera and you'll have perfect lighting every time.
Creating versatile spaces within our own homes has become a new standard now that we've been forced to think this way. But it doesn't have to be a maddening or daunting task. Keep it simple by making sure these two elements take center stage. the rest will follow.
The space is starting to come together bit by bit. Inventory and lead times for deliverables have been an issue since the beginning of COVID. The word issue is an understatement. In any case, we're now working on getting tiles in place. We've also added heavy velvet drapery that will enclose the space trapping sound in even further.