The focal point is where your eyes first land upon entering the room.
A writer creates a story using a main character to captivate you. This character leads you to the climax of the story.
The same concept of focus can be applied to your home by using a focal point. The focal point is the main character, the pizzazz... and the rest of the room is the supporting elements.
The focal point can be an element already in the room, like a fireplace mantle or a big window with a view, or it can be something you design, like an accent wall or large piece of artwork.
This center of interest should face the entry way, or whatever is the most common entry point for your room, but it doesn’t have to face the furniture.
The focal point helps set the tone and mood for a space, and will give your room a sense of life and character, bringing all of the elements into a cohesive, balanced, and harmonious look.
5 Easy-to-Create Focal Points in Your Home
1. A dynamic view
If the focal point is a large window, enhance it with luscious fabric panels or drapes from the ceiling to floor. This emphasizes the height of the window, and frames the view... saying, "Look at me!"
For added drama, chose drapery in a contrasting color from the wall color.
Perhaps you prefer to not use drapes, then consider framing the window with molding in a contrasting color.
If gazing at the fabulous view is the primary function of the room, arrange your furniture pointing to this area of focus.
2. A cozy fireplace creates a focal point
Celebrate the fireplace with a grand display by placing an over-sized piece of art above the mantel to draw your eye even more.
If the room is small, a large mirror dramatically framed will reflect making the room appear larger.
For additional drama, add symmetrical candlesticks on the shelf and tall topiary floral arrangements on the hearth below to balance the art or mirror above.
Need more drama to increase the WOW? Enlarge the area of your fireplace with accent chairs placed on either side.
If the main purpose of the room is enjoying the intimate glow of the lit fireplace, arrange the remaining lounging furniture pieces around this showstopper.
3. Letting Artwork be Your Focal Point
A statement piece of artwork or mirror can carry a room by itself.
In this case, you’ll want to make sure the piece you choose is big enough to suit the wall it’s placed on.
Depending on the size of the wall, a table, headboard or bench may be placed below it, adding to dramatic scale of the focal point.
The art should be placed at eye-level, whenever possible.
4. Going Oversize to Create a Focal Point
Your large scale furniture piece may be your focal point.
It may also do dual duty, such as a stunning cabinet with doors that open to reveal a TV.
If watching TV is the primary use of this room, arrange your lounging furniture pieces around it.
5. Using A Collection
An unusual wall grouping can catch your eye, alluring you in with its intricate details to become the focal point of the room.
The size of the collection needs to fill the wall, becoming the dominant feature in the room.
How do you downplay the focal point?
What if you don’t like the first thing you see when you enter the room?
Your goal here would be to have the focal point blend into the room and play up the secondary focal point.
Here are some ways to play down focal points.
1. To downplay an architectural feature, such as angled walls or build-in shelving:
-Paint it the same color as the rest of the room.
-Accessorize it with neutral colors and very little texture.
2. To downplay a fireplace:
-Keep the decorations on the mantel to a minimum in muted colors.
-Paint it to blend in with the walls.
3. To downplay a view:
-Use drapery that blends in with the wall color.
-Use sheers or translucent blinds to block the view, but still allow in light.
Remember creating a focal point gives the room the first-glance WOW.
Once you decide on your focal point, the next step is to coordinate how you'll spend time in the room.
Your lifestyle will guide you as to how to arrange your remaining furniture. Be it grouping your furniture for conversation, quiet reading, or watching TV.
Related reading: Enhance Your Focal Point
NEXT WEEK: 3 Ways to Strengthen and Feature the Focal Point in Your Home
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