Creating Focal Point Interior Design 101

How to Create a Focal Point and Add Focal Point Elements in a Room

When it comes to interior design, the focal point is the place in which your eye is drawn first. Simply put, it’s the star of the room.  It’s safe to say that the focal point is where the flow of the room begins, which is why this is the ideal place to begin in any decorating project.

Knowing just how important the focal point is, it’s important to make sure you choose it wisely. Mastering this step can really make a big difference in the look and feel of your home.


Highlight the Best Architectural Feature

Many rooms have built-in architectural elements that automatically serve as the focal point. This makes it especially easy to lay out the room around it. Some common built-in features you may find in your home are:

  • Windows with a great outdoor view. Regardless of what is in the room, if you have an eye-catching view, using the window trumps everything else. Be sure to keep the window(s) as unobscured as possible.
  • Fireplaces. Fireplaces provide a grounding and warmth to the room that just draws you in. To keep it intimate, arrange seating around it. To elevate the look, consider hanging a bold piece of art above the mantle.
  • Vaulted ceilings. Even if a vaulted ceiling isn’t your prime focal point, it is still a focal point that. Keep that ceiling freshly painted and hang a bold and beautiful light fixture.
  • Built-in shelving. If built-in shelving will be your focal point, treat it as you would the fireplace by creating a seating area that allows it to be seen. Again, to elevate the look, consider painting the back of the shelving unit in a different color.

Creating Focal Point Elements

Those who have no built-in feature to showcase must create one. It does take more effort, but it’s not impossible to create something beautiful. Below are some options to choose from.

  • Statement furniture. Using a large piece of furniture is an easy way to create a focal point. Perhaps you have a large sofa, bed, or entertainment center. Even a pair of bookcases could work. As long as it’s an obvious central piece of furniture, you can turn it into a focal point. Enhance the look of the sofa by adding interest through the use of accent pillows. If there’s a coffee table in front of it, use that to your advantage as well by placing something eye-catching on it. For entertainment centers and bookcases, display decorative bottles, frames or other accessories on any available shelves.
  • Artwork or mirrors. Another way to create a focal point is by using artwork or mirrors. A large mirror not only draws the eye, it also reflects light, which provides the additional benefit of making the space look larger. When it comes to artwork, arrange prints, paintings or photographs in varying sizes of frames on one wall in the room. You could even use decorative plates or clocks in lieu of framed art. To amp up the interest, paint the wall behind the display a different color than the other three walls.
  • Accent walls. Your focal point can be something as simple as an accent wall. This is your chance to buy that bold paint color or patterned wallpaper. Make sure to pick the furthest wall from the entry point of the room so it can really make a statement.
  • Backsplashes. In rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom, a tile backsplash can serve as a wonderful focal point. Again, be sure to choose colors or patterns that will allow it to stand out from the rest of the space.
  • Televisions. Have an HDTV? This too can be a focal point. While this may not be the ideal first choice, it can work. An HDTV hung on the wall, flanked by decorative yet functional accents like sconces, is a great way to draw the eye. Placing a chest or long cabinet beneath it will also pull in more interest, especially if it is painted or simply topped off with some decorative accents.
  • Faux fireplace. No fireplace? No problem! Today, many retailers carry electric fireplaces that can be used when no built-in fireplace exists. Not only can they provide a cozy atmosphere, they are eco-friendly. Furthermore, since the heating option can be turned off, electric fireplaces are something that can be enjoyed all year-round.

Focal Point Fumbles

One last thing to talk about are the mistakes to avoid when decorating around your focal point. Some common mistakes include having more than one focal point, forgetting to frame the focal point into where it’s obvious, and leaving out lighting that can help your focal point stand out.

In need of some designer fabrics to help get your decorating project off the ground? Be sure to stop by one of our showrooms or browse our selections online.

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