finding focus…
defining your focal point


It’s a common décor refrain—what’s your room’s focal point? A focal point is usually the first thing you see when you enter a room. It may be because it’s right there in front of you, or because it’s such a dominant presence that it overshadows everything else. It sets the tone and mood for the space. Some spaces have a natural focal point like an amazing view, fabulous architectural element, or a giant fireplace. Others lack anything to draw the eye and require a bit more effort. Either way, deciding on your room’s focal point and putting the spotlight on it will create a more interesting and pleasing interior. We’ve got some tricks to making that work without overwhelming the rest of the room.

Start by thinking size and scale. Getting this element right is vital. If your focal point is too big for the rest of the space, you will never feel comfortable. Too small and suddenly you’ve lost focus entirely. If you’ve got a built-in point like a floor-to-ceiling picture window, make sure your furniture and accessories are equally scaled, even if the room is small. Pairing petite pieces with an over-sized focal point takes away from both. Another trick is to add balance. Use large-scale art and accent pieces to keep visual lines clean and uncluttered and add a sense of balance to the entire space.

Start with what your space has to offer—whether it’s a great view, a cool arch, fabulous fireplace, or even just stunningly gorgeous floors—then go from there. Find the element that really makes you say “wow, this room is great!” and highlight it by making it the centerpiece of your design plans.

If your space lacks a built-in focal point, you can create one. And no, we don’t mean by getting a bigger television! You can create visual interest in a monochromatic space by adding texture. Create an arrangement of reclaimed wood photo frames to set off a large, plain wall. Or make a display of beautiful wood pieces on crisp white shelves, then light them up like art. A focal point can be anything that draws your eye and creates visual interest.

Even small rooms and narrow hallways can get in on the act. Try painting your hallway door a bold color, or hanging a collection of mirrors in a small room. One bold, unexpected choice instantly sets the tone and makes your space feel more complete. The fewer built-in details you have, the bolder you can go.

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