Though he doesn’t have much room to improve his score, Capehart has some decor tweaks in mind for next time. “We have a couple of sphere-like objects on the bookcase that look like blown-up versions of the coronavirus,” he said. “Those will be moved further out of sight next time.”
Adrienne Elrod, political analyst and former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesperson, received a 7/10, thanks to some decent lighting, symmetry, and a framed American flag. Her setup, she said, is a work in progress, though; she’s shooting for perfection. “I’m pretty competitive, so I’ve now become obsessed with studying the tricks of the trade of those that @ratemyskyperoom has rated as a 9 or a 10,” she said, adding later, “I think I’m close, but the angle and lighting are key. I’ll be studying up and doing my homework.”
Here’s a quick study guide straight from Taylor: “The more successful rooms are when you shoot with the room behind you, and are not against one wall or a bookcase,” he said. “I like the rooms where you can see the layout, even if it gets out of focus or dark toward the back. I’d like to see some depth. I like to see the couch. I like to see what’s on walls.”
You don’t have to be wealthy to put together a good room, he said. There are ways to make the room more aesthetically pleasing working with what you have.
And a note on bookshelves: “Let’s be real, if you stack books horizontally, you know, you’re not considered serious,” Taylor said. “The people who color-coordinate their books need to be flayed.”
And if all else fails pray that Bahrey, not Taylor, is your rater (the pair divides the labor, though Taylor does more of the writing because of Bahrey’s day job). She is more likely to give a higher score. “She’s Canadian, so we’ve made the kind of obvious point that she’s the nicer one,” he said.
Though home-decor criticism may be less political than Taylor’s other work, @ratemyskyperoom does have a discernible partisan tilt.
On Marco Rubio’s little corner? “Praying for a cure. This may be a toilet. 1/10.” On Ken Cuccinelli’s unfinished walls? “New construction. Maybe they’ll seal him in. 1/10.” On Ted Cruz’s close-up? “New. Better camera position for @tedcruz. Raising his rating to -2/10.”
There is hope for those Taylor does not agree with politically. “I liked David Brooks’s background and I, and I didn’t want to admit it, but I, you know, I had to cough up an eight,” he said. “The striped wallpaper was so intentional and so perfect for David Brooks.”
The fact that somebody is out here keeping something as low stakes as backgrounds in check, politics or not, can feel like a kind of relief. The account has “become a welcome source of lighthearted humor in an otherwise constant Twitter stream of bad news that can be hard on the soul,” Elrod said. “Plus for those of us who are trying to be our own audio technician, producer, and pundit all rolled into one, we need an objective viewpoint. And for better or worse, we know @ratemyskyperoom will be there to provide it.”
More Great Stories From Vanity Fair
— Why Meghan and Harry’s Move to California Seemed So Sudden
— How Kinfolk Magazine Defined the Millennial Aesthetic…and Unraveled Behind the Scenes
— The Surprising—And Surprisingly Contentious—History of Purell
— 31 Great Quarantine Reads, Chosen by the Vanity Fair Staff
— How Bob Dylan’s New JFK Song Helps Explain 2020
— The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Change Dining as We Know It, Forever
— From the Archive: How Bob Guccione Turned Graphic Porn, Muckraking Journalism, and Tabloid Headlines Into a Magazine Success Story
Looking for more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss a story.
Originally posted 2020-04-23 10:50:43.