What’s a Focal Point and How to Create It In Different Rooms

What’s a Focal Point and How to Create It In Different Rooms

Custom Homes
Decoration and Design
Interior Design
By Alex Mikayelyan September 13, 2022

A lot of elements are at play in the interior design of your home. Think of it as an orchestra where each tiny element; every minutia comes together to form something that is far larger than the sum of its parts. What we would call the crescendo in an orchestra would translate to the focal point in the world of interior design. The metaphor may not be ideal, but you get the idea that they are the elements of interior design which are the loudest and tend to catch your immediate attention.

Many homeowners make the design mistake of overlooking focal points in their interiors. As a result, the room is a lot less dynamic and loses some much-needed character and personality that a properly developed and accentuated focal point could have offered. So, knowing about them, how they work, and where to find them in different rooms can help you develop your interior design into something more personal and attractive to you and your household. 

What Is a Focal Point?

Understanding the basics of a room's focal point is important to help design your home.

Understanding the basics of a room's focal point is important to help design your home.

Focal points are present in many forms or mediums of design, not just interior. Be it painting, photography, or even sculpting; you will find them in some form or another. A really easy way to spot a focal point is to walk into a room and see what aspect of the interior invites your gaze. Your eyes are naturally trained to gravitate towards areas of interest in the room. 

Each room has its own unique focal point that may have been created as a result of the building’s natural structure, the lighting, the decor you put in, or the furniture. So, as you would imagine, there are a lot of ways to create focal points in your interior. 

You may be asking yourself why a room would even need a focal point; they are what determines a lot of the characters in the room. Without a focal point, the room looks as if all the various design elements blend into one another without any focus on any particular area or feature. Once you accentuate and emphasize them, the other design elements complement that one area of the room and work in unison to create a more wholesome atmosphere.

Bedroom Focal Point Ideas

Bedrooms focal points are easy to get creative with and can adapt to what you're working with.

Bedrooms focal points are easy to get creative with and can adapt to what you're working with.

No words can do justice to the concept of focal points the way photos can. Understanding the concept behind focal points is not something that is better visualized than verbally explained. So, imagine the following focal points in your bedroom and envision how they would work with the rest of the interior.

Artwork Above the Bed

You can highlight your bed as the focal point of your bedroom with a splash of art.

You can highlight your bed as the focal point of your bedroom with a splash of art.

One of the most noticeable places you can hang a painting in the bedroom is right above the bedboard. The eyes naturally gravitate towards the bed upon entering the bedroom, but with a large painting hanging above it, they get there much faster and take in a richer scene. Use this space above and around your bed for extra emphasis if you wish to divert attention to your grandiose bed and the elegant furniture, artwork, and decor that surrounds it.

Let the Lighting Do the Work

Your lamps and chandeliers are focal points waiting to happen.

Your lamps and chandeliers are focal points waiting to happen.

Not everyone wants the bedroom focal point to be the bed or the area around it. Some people want to divert attention from that area and to other parts of their bedroom. A tray ceiling is a perfect way to do this, especially if you have more interesting lighting in your bedroom. If you happen to have a master bedroom with plenty of vertical space, consider installing a gorgeous chandelier that will act as a focal point that is visually higher. Soak in the elegant lighting fixture and the stylized ceiling with this unique bedroom focal point. 

Wardrobe and Other Furniture 

Make better use of your bedroom furniture by adding focal point to function.

Make better use of your bedroom furniture by adding focal point to function.

Naturally, the bed is not the only piece of furniture in your bedroom. There are cabinets, drawers, and most importantly, the wardrobe, which can very easily function as focal points in your bedroom. The key here is to allow the wardrobe to pop out among the other pieces of furniture. Invest in a wardrobe that is different in terms of texture, color, or a bit of both, as this heterogeneous design will attract more attention. 

Creating a Focal Point In a Living Room

Making the best of your living room focal point can give it a more welcoming feel.

Making the best of your living room focal point can give it a more welcoming feel.

The living room is one of the busiest areas in the entire house. Be it for household congregations, movie nights, or lounging with guests, the living room hosts a slew of activities; all the more reasons to create a properly emphasized focal point. While you have the freedom to create your own unique focal point, the are three most common living room focal points you can consider

High-Tech Entertainment Center

Home entertainment systems can also be the focus of your room.

Home entertainment systems can also be the focus of your room.

Homeowners do not simply settle with a single television set and a few extra gadgets on the side. Homeowners want the full entertainment experience and they want it to be easily accessible and in the comfort of their home. With the entertainment center acting as the focal point for the living room, you now have yourself a room akin to a home theater as all the attention goes to the TV. With some added decorations, speakers, and the furniture laid out to face the entertainment center, your focal point is set and all eyes are on the big screen. 

Using Wood As a Feature Wall

Give your interior a fresh look by getting creative with your accent walls.

Give your interior a fresh look by getting creative with your accent walls.

When it comes to focal point ideas for the living room, or similar rooms such as a lounge, great room, or hearth room, making use of unique colors and textures on the wall could be a perfect way to emphasize the focal point. Accent walls make for perfect focal points, as their entire point is to look different from the rest of the interior. This variation in visuals is going to attract more attention than other areas of the interior. So if you have an accent wall that features textures and materials which are different from the other walls, this can definitely make for a great focal point. 

Bringing It Around Fireplaces

Your fireplace is a canvas full of potential to grab more attention or take attention away from other elements in the room.

Your fireplace is a canvas full of potential to grab more attention or take attention away from other elements in the room.

When it comes to creating a living room focal point no fireplace has ever disappointed in attracting people’s gaze. While it is very much possible to create a living room focal point without fireplace installations, if the room does have one, bring it into the spotlight. Fireplaces draw people in by their warm nature, especially when they are lit. First, there is the shape, which most often stands out from the rest of the room's topography. Any fireplace focal point, be they woodburning stoves or wall inserts, is visually distinct from the rest of the interior. Whether Colonial or Victorian fireplaces with their ornamentation and complex design, or the sleeker, one-piece wall inserts in contemporary living rooms, fireplaces can add enough visual variety to attract attention without being overbearing. This is what makes a unique fireplace so convenient among the many living room focal point wall ideas.

Kitchen Focal Point

Let’s finish things off with the busiest room in the entire house. There are a lot of activities and chores that are done in the kitchen throughout the day, from eating breakfast to cleaning, cooking, or simply sitting around a table and socializing. By emphasizing the focal points, you can create a more desirable kitchen atmosphere that will make your activities much more enjoyable.

Wild Backsplash

The subtle art of kitchen backsplashes as focal points.

The subtle art of kitchen backsplashes as focal points.

Backsplashes are the decorative walls that are located behind the kitchen drawers, cabinets, sinks, stoves, and all the other kitchen necessities. They can add a lot of color and texture to your kitchen. Now, considering how varied your kitchen appliances are, you don’t have to worry too much about creating visual heterogeneity in this room. However, the backsplash can be the perfect way to put more emphasis on the workstation of your kitchen. Apply a bright and bold backsplash and watch as your kitchen’s essential area becomes the highlight of the entire room. 

Kitchen Island

The kitchen island can easily become a focal point in your kitchen.

The kitchen island can easily become a focal point in your kitchen.

Aside from being some extra workspace, kitchen islands also add some visual complexity to the kitchen. By adding some extra visual emphasis to the kitchen island you can accentuate it and turn it into the perfect focal point which sits right in the middle of the kitchen. Most kitchen islands will have countertops that match the surrounding surfaces to create some uniformity in the kitchen. However, you can turn this on its head by making the countertop of the kitchen island completely different from the surrounding counters, making it pop out and look more unique. This way you create a focal point that adds visual variety without being much of a burden on the visual senses. 

Vibrant Cabinets

Opt for cabinet focal points for a lively and vibrant kitchen.

Opt for cabinet focal points for a lively and vibrant kitchen.

Cabinets are the face of your kitchen. While there are plenty of colorful and textured surfaces you can find in the kitchen, it’s the cabinets that really set the mood. Brighter and vibrant kitchen cabinets are going to make your interior more lively and fun, whereas neutral hues and smoother textures are going to make it a little more somber and serene as if channeling certain aspects of feng shui. You can create a focal point using these variations on cabinet textures and colors to bring them out into the forefront and turn cabinets that would have otherwise blended in with the rest of the kitchen into the light. 

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Written by
Alex Mikayelyan

Written by Alex Mikayelyan

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