Designers are always saying that every room needs a focal point… and then they usually direct you to the fireplace or some other obvious element in the room. But what do you do if your room doesn’t have a fireplace or anything else that stands out as the focal point? Or maybe the one that is in the room is less than stellar and you’d like a different focus of attention. How do you create a focal point?
Well, before I answer these questions, let’s talk about what a focal point is and why it’s so important to the design and overall feel of a room.
A focal point is the first thing that catches your eye when you walk into a room. It’s important because it is the natural starting point of a room’s design around which all the furniture is arranged. A focal point not only helps you establish your furniture arrangement, but it also draws you in and sets the tone and mood for a space. The most common focal point is a fireplace, but not all rooms have a fireplace or well-defined focal point. In that case, one has to be created. And it’s much simpler than it may sound.
To get you started, we’ve put together 7 ways that you can create a focal point.
HOW TO CREATE A FOCAL POINT
1 Large Piece of Furniture: An over-sized armoire, cabinet, or similar piece of furniture makes a great focal point in a room, especially when it is balanced on either side with plants or artwork. Symmetry, whether symmetrical or asymmetrical, makes it easy to plan the rest of the furniture arrangement around an anchor piece.
2 Art: A gallery wall or large piece of art makes an eye-catching focal point. An over-sized sculpture can also serve as the main focus in a room. Another bold option is a wall mural; they’re trending again. I’ve seen them used quite effectively in many rooms that lacked a significant focal point.
3 Accent Wall: A focal point doesn’t have to be a piece of furniture or just artwork. Painting a wall in an accent color is an easy way to give your room a focal point. Wallpaper, stone, and other textures can also be used to bring attention to a plain wall and make it an eye-catching element in a space.
4 Ceilings: The walls aren’t the only element that can serve as a focal point. A fun treatment or accent color on a ceiling can make a big impact in a room. Just make sure what you want to do balances out with the rest of the room’s design.
5 Light Fixture: Make a statement with a fabulous light fixture that commands your attention. In order for a light fixture to be the focal point, it needs to be very large and stand out in the space. Keep that in mind when you choose to have your light fixture serve as the focal point.
6 TV: Yes. You read that right. I know, designers are supposed to hate TVs in a room. But that’s not how I live. Rather than poo-pooing something that is used everyday, I say let’s embrace the technology and make the most of it. Besides, today’s TVs are kinda sexy looking. Make your TV the focal point by wrapping it in a beautiful cabinet or showcase it on a bookcase. Or you could make it the centerpiece of a wall gallery by placing art all around it. Then the entirety of the gallery becomes the focus.
7 Faux Fireplace: You don’t have to have a fireplace built into the house to enjoy one. There are lots of options for fireplaces now that don’t require chimneys or vents. And if you don’t want an actual fireplace but like the look, how about just using a surround and mantel? I found a fireplace surround at a thrift store many years ago and leaned it against the wall as a focal point in a room in every house we’ve had since. It always adds charm and character wherever it’s put.
Focal points are an essential element in decorating a room. And if you don’t have one, there are many options to establish one. We’ve shared 7 ways to create a focal point, but with your imagination I’m sure you can come up with more. Once you’ve decided on a focal point for a room, you’ll find setting up the furniture arrangement becomes much easier.
We talk more about focal points and other easy decorating techniques like them that quickly transform a space in our free online course 7 Days to a More Stylish Home. Be sure to check it out if you want to learn more.
If you’ve tried any of these ideas in your home or have new ones you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. You can reply in the comments, via our contact form, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.