How to create a focal point in a room
A lot of times you hear designers and decorators talk about creating a “focal point”. What exactly do they mean by that? Where do they go? And how can you create one?
The center of interest in a room
Simply put, a focal point is something that draws the eye and makes one pay attention to a specific point in a room. This can be done with a piece of furniture, an architectural detail like a fireplace or a piece of wall décor. By manipulating elements like scale, contrast and color you can create a center of interest in a space that you notice as soon as you enter the room.
Here are some ways to create a focal point in your space.
Evaluate the space
Before deciding what or where you want the focal point to be, consider what parts of the space are most used. First, stand in the main entrance to the space and take a look at what you see. Is there a wall or feature you face right away? Do you see it as you walk past the entrance to the space? This could be a good candidate for a focal point. Next, sit or stand in the space where you would normally spend the most time and notice what you see. For example in a living room, have a seat on the couch and see what is in front of you. This could also be a good place to create a focal point.
Use contrast to create a focal point
The key to creating this point of interest is contrast. This refers to creating something that is noticeably different from everything around it, and can be done in a few different ways. Here we show you ways to create contrast using scale, style and color.
Create contrast with scale. A simple way to create contrast is to use something big to draw the eye. It can be a large piece of artwork, or using a frame that is thicker than any of the frames that are around it.
Create contrast with style. This is a little more subtle, but you can use a different visual style for an element in a room to draw attention to it. A good example is shown above where an antique frame stands out from the modern and minimal design of the rest of the room.
Use color to create a focal point
Create contrast with color. Probably the easiest way to create a focal point is with a little bit of color. Paint one wall or a feature in the room in a color that is very different from the rest of the room and anything you put on that wall will be noticed right away. You don’t even have to paint the entire wall, an area behind the piece of art painted in a different color will also make it stand out.
Another way to create that contrast is by choosing a piece of artwork that has a color palette that will stand out from the rest of the art or furniture around it. For example, if your room is full of light colored walls and furniture, a dark or colorful piece of artwork will stand out in contrast to the room. In the image above, a heavy frame with a burst of colorful art was used in contrast to the dark furniture to create the focal point.
Reduce the visual clutter to help enhance a focal point
Another approach to consider is reducing the visual noise in the room to highlight the thing you want people to look at. By having a uniform environment it’s easier to create a contrasting focal point using one of the approaches described above. Simply creating some extra room around an existing piece of art can help to instantly draw more attention to it.
Follow your instincts
At the end of the day there is no single right way to achieve a focal point - do whatever looks good to your eye, and works for your space. And above all have fun and try things out - you can always change it back later.
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-The UTR Team