Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 29 May 2020

Rate my room: a new Twitter account is judging the Skype and Zoom interiors of the rich and famous

We all know the backdrop of a video call isn’t accidental

The Room Rater has judged rooms of some of the most famous people in the world, including Michelle Obama. YouTube / PBS Kids
The Room Rater has judged rooms of some of the most famous people in the world, including Michelle Obama. YouTube / PBS Kids

This isn’t the first time I have started a story by saying I love having a look inside people’s houses on Zoom calls. And it’s true – I’m nosy and adore having a scope around private spaces being made public.

So, when I happened to come across the Room Rater Twitter account, it was as though all my birthdays had come at once.

Not only is there a community of people every bit as inquisitive as me, but there was a ready-made selection of homes to scope out ... and judge.

The Room Rater collection focuses on people who are Zooming or Skyping into TV interviews from the comfort of their own homes. They have honed into the backdrops chosen by the likes of Michelle Obama, Trevor Noah and Ellen DeGeneres, as well as academics, experts, journalists and politicians. They then give them a quick review – “too staged”, “panic room” and “nice gallery wall” recur – and a score out of 10.

Here are a few of the best tweets from Room Rater:

Sometimes they get a little personal, asking about friends and family, as they did with Oprah and Gayle King:

Comedian Colin Jost was given the “Where’s Scar-Jo?” treatment, in reference to his partner, Scarlett Johansson:

They hone in on the details, such as this Theodore Roosevelt bust in Conan O’Brien’s room:

And aren’t afraid to come back to people, if they offer up a new backdrop:

They accept submissions and suggestions, as they did with Michelle Obama:

Sometimes they let personal opinions cloud their room-rating judgement:

But mostly, it’s use of space and book-to-decor ratios that are judged:

Or the books on a person’s bookshelf:

And the art in the background:

Household names, such as Trevor Noah, appear...

... but aren’t always given an easy ride, as James Corden discovered:

However, Ellen DeGeneres got their seal of approval:

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Read more:

7 things we spotted in celebrity homes during the One World Together at Home performances

Natural light and virtual backgrounds: five ways to up your Zoom game

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Updated: April 22, 2020 05:17 PM

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