What’s a Focal Point in Interior Design?

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home design planning

The key to creating a visually appealing space is using basic principles of design. One such concept you cannot afford to neglect is emphasis. A specific design element should serve as a centerpiece, in which people’s eyes would gravitate to when they step into the space. By drawing the attention to the focal point, there is less visual confusion and people get that wow impression.

What to Emphasize

Now that you know the “why” behind the focal point, it is time to answer the “what.” What exactly makes for a centerpiece worth emphasizing? In most instances, you do not need to look far. It is often right in your living space already.

For example, windows. Windows are a good focal point because they offer good views, say, the garden or the sunset over the ocean. The eyes naturally gravitate towards windows too because they elongate the line of sight. Another built-in focal point is a fireplace. It gives character to the area, so it is worth highlighting in the space.

Sometimes, there are no distinct, emphasis-worthy elements existing in the room. You have to create them yourself. One good focal point to build is an accent wall. Paint the farthest wall from the entrance of the room with a bold color. Or, use a fabric wallpaper to make that area pop.

Another design move is to hang an artwork. Make sure to have a piece that is big enough to grab attention. And then, of course, you can also use statement furniture as focal point. This is most applicable for bedrooms and dining rooms, where there really is a key piece of furniture, say, the bed or the table.

How to Emphasize

Just because you already have a central design feature does not mean the decorating stops there. When you are dealing with an existing focal point in the room, the manner of highlighting that object is equally important. And that is a little tricky.

Orange accent interior design

It is tough because it has something to do with a lot of factors in the space, for example, the arrangement of furniture. The general idea is that you want to direct the furnishings towards the window, fireplace, or any focal point to influence the perspective of people viewing the space. 

The second thing you should pay attention to is the sight line. You want the views from the entrance of the space to the focal point to be free from any obstructions. Otherwise, you will not be able to accomplish your goal of drawing the eyes.

The third factor is lighting. Imagine what difference it would make if your artwork has some wall washing effect. It stands out better. Lastly, be mindful of having too many focal points. You will not catch people’s attention by confusing them where to look. Settle on one centerpiece only.

It is the basic principles of design that create a beautiful home. Do not make the mistake of making focal point an afterthought. Consider it in your planning, right off the bat.


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