Interior Design Basics: Creating a Focal Point

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Interior Design Basics: Creating a Focal Point

Staff Writer · Oct 8, 2010

When it comes to design basics, it’s important to create a focal point. For example, in your living area, a focal point can be a prominent feature, such as an ornate piece of furniture, a painting, fireplace, picture window or expansive mirror. Creating a focal point, then, is essential to establishing a decorating theme.

Determine the Focal Point in Your Apartment

Take a survey of your living area. What do you consider to be the main feature, say, in your living room? Is it a stand out feature of the architecture or do you consider it, perhaps, to be the fireplace or a picture window? If you don’t initially see anything built into your apartment that you could consider as the focal point, then regard your furnishings and artwork. Think about what pieces catch your eye. Remember, when looking for an item to establish as a focal point, it must be something that will hold the interest of anyone looking at it. Therefore, it should be unique with respect to color or texture, or be something that is pleasing to observe.

Think About What You First Want to Focus on When You Enter a Room

Again, your focal point should consist of something that immediately commands your attention. You want it to be the first thing you notice upon entering a room. For design purposes, it’s typically best to arrange your furnishings around the focal point. Therefore, sometimes an outside view can be the focal point with furnishings and accessories arranged around the view.

Colorize Your Wall and Make It the Focal Point

If you don’t have a great outside view or a fireplace, or don’t feel you have any furniture to use for your focal point, don’t despair. You can establish a focal point by colorizing one wall of your living area in a different color than the other walls. Add a grouping of pictures to the colorized wall or a nice display of shelves to give the wall more impact.

Enhance Your Focal Point with Lights

You may want to choose a painting or sculpture as your focal point. If so, you can add special lighting to enhance the artwork. For example, use track lighting to focus in on a picture grouping or a picture light to emphasize the details of an unusual print.

Other Ways to Make Your Focal Point Stand Out

Should you choose a marble shelf or a fireplace as your focal point, then make it stand out further by including such items, say, as plants or small statues or pictures. If your focal point is a lovely piece of furniture, augment its features, for instance, by using a contrasting paint color behind it as a backdrop. Frame your focal point with appealing artwork, plants or curtains, whether it be some type of furnishing, a fireplace or a group of windows.

Just remember, your focal point should be something your eyes are automatically drawn to when you first enter a room. Keep this in mind when you’re decorating. It will make the design process easier and much more rewarding. Establishing a focal point, after all, is elemental, to the basics of decorating and design.

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