Simply put, a focal point is the thing that draws—and often keeps—your attention. The best way to understand this concept is to make it real. Pick a room in your home, walk in, look around and notice the focal point (whatever captures your attention). You may be surprised by the results.  

The important thing to remember regarding focal points is to be purposeful with them. This will help your space feel in focus; balanced, comfortable and well put together. 

Tried-and-True Focal Points

Be creative and purposeful in choosing your focal point, and let your decision be driven by what pleases, comforts or inspires you. One of the items listed below may be perfect for your space.

  • Inspirational piece of art
  • Family photo collage tastefully displayed on a main wall
  • Beautiful grouping of plants with dramatic up-lighting
  • Unique “conversation piece” furnishing or featured accessory
  • Fireplace (highly ornate, dramatically simple or anything in between)

Creating Balance Around Ginormous TVs

Many modern spaces feature a bigger-than-life TV. This may not be what you want for your focal point. Trouble is, there may be no good way to hide it, and if it’s mounted, there’s certainly no way to put it away when not in use. Since this situation can’t be “solved,” think about diffusing it visually. Create another focal point to create balance and expand the mood of the room so that it’s not all about the TV. (... and make your lie to friends that you “hardly ever watch TV” a bit more believable).

Focused Tips

Apply these tricks of the trade inside and outside your home to ensure your focal points dazzle: 

  • Use lighting to draw the eye:
    Add directed lighting on plant groupings and artwork or inside lighting in cabinets where collections are displayed to add pizazz and turn them into true focal points.
  • Be deliberate:
    Understand that less is more—limit the number of items featured so your focal points are clearly defined.
  • Avoid clutter:
    Slim down your collectables to prevent a cluttered appearance (you can change them out from time to time to feature all your favorites).
  • Stagger items on display:
    Vary the heights of featured items to add interest to your displays.
  • Feature unique items:
    Shop garage sales and thrift shops with an eye for items that will capture attention and imaginations (or items you can modify to make them one of a kind).
  • Use paint:
    Paint a complementary color on the one wall of your room and hang your treasured art or artifact, front and center, on that wall.

Now, what will you do next to love where you live?


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