I never pegged you for walnut
I was on a video call with my amazing website designer, turned collaborator, turned friend, and I noticed he was in a different location than normal for our call. He was in a bedroom and the bed was directly behind him. I noticed that the headboard was a very old-fashioned ornate light-colored wood. I was about to mention how A) I'd never seen his bedroom before and B) I never would have thought he'd have that type of headboard, when he mentioned he was at his parent's house! (A-ha! and also, phew!)
Maybe don't try this at home
We have the kind of relationship where I can say something about his design sensibilities and his bedroom (but perhaps you should tread lightly if you want to try this with your clients). When he told me he was at his parent's house, I laughed because I was about to say how I never would have thought that headboard was his style (clearly, it's not. Not to mention the dog art on the walls, but that's another story).
He found it funny as well and said how this could be a newsletter idea! This concept of knowing someone's personality brand as it relates to their aesthetic. In other words "what does your headboard say about you?"
Canopy, four poster, tufted
As we all began to open up our private spaces to the world during the lock-down, it created another level of intimacy, whether desired or not. And regardless if you were holding meetings in your living room, kitchen, closet or bedroom, people were seeing your home, in all its glory (or more likely, state of disarray). I don't know about you, but there weren't many shocked moments for me in terms of what someone's home looked like. For the most part when I noticed someone's space, it fit with who I thought they were. But this instance was jarring and very off-brand, if you will, so that's what got me thinking.
Everywhere is a place for personality
A walnut ornate wood headboard is definitely not my friend's personality brand. His brand is more bold color, modern, clean lines and overall simplicity. This is no judgment on you wood headboard people, by the way. (I see you.) It's more a statement on how, who we are truly permeates everywhere, not just in our businesses but in our decor and our furniture. And of course how we make assumptions about people based on what we think we know about them and often those assumptions are patently incorrect.
Welcome to my reality
One of the reasons so many people use virtual backgrounds or blur their background on video calls is because they don't want people to see their homes. And this is perfectly ok and no one needs to explain their desire for privacy. I mean, who would have thought our bosses and co-workers would see our bedrooms...ever!
But for me, I've never used one, nor have I wanted to. Seeing my background is part of getting to know me. It's part of who I am, what I like and me being my authentic self. Even before I redid my home office during the summer of 2020, I was letting people see my space, mess and all.
Checking out those baby pictures
One reason is I simply don't care, but the other is that seeing what's behind me is a conversation starter. I can't tell you how many of this clock has probably been sold because people comment on it and I send them to the site. Not to mention my son walking by from the kitchen with his breakfast or coming in from the park.
Seeing what's behind someone is a great ice breaker. It's hard to start a conversation about a virtual background (unless it's a really stunning or interesting location), but a painting, a piece of furniture, a bookcase or an errant pet or child can really help set the tone for who you are and open the door to connection.
I always go back to the dating profile example — the more you can tell or show someone in your photos or bio, the easier it is for them to start the conversation. The same applies here. The more we can show people who we are, the more our personality brand shines through and they see us a real person, not just a coworker, employee, client or service provider.
So tell me, what does your headboard look like? Here's mine...
Is that what you expected? Let me know either way. I'd love to hear it.