Every room should have a focal point, whether you are staging your home for sale, or decorating your new home. The focal point of a room is the element that draws your eye first, and invites you for a closer look. A fireplace, a picture window or a beautiful view are examples of focal points.

The focal point defines the room’s ambiance and underscores the room’s purpose. It’s the element in the room around which all the furniture revolves. It makes you want to enter, and enjoy the room to sit and relax, study, watch videos, sleep, make conversation, play or whatever the room is designed to do.

What makes a good focal point?

When decorating or staging your home for sale, it’s important to first identify the focal point, and then arrange the furniture around it. In other words, arrange the room in a fashion that when you are sitting in the room, your eyes and focus are naturally on this important part of the room.

What if your room doesn’t have a natural focal point? No problem, just create one yourself. Hang a beautiful piece of artwork or an oriental rug on a wall. A large interesting piece of furniture, such as an armoire or breakfront will also do the trick. Essentially, the focal point of a room is like the verb in a sentence; it needs one to be complete.

How to create a focal point

There are a few simple factors to consider when deciding on the focal point to create in your room – size, color, light, and curiosity.

Size: When you’re talking focal points in a room, size matters. Large items attract interest. Start by putting the largest piece of furniture against the largest wall to help traffic flow.

For the bedroom, the bed is a natural focal point, and the sofa makes a great focal point for the living room or den. Large area rugs command attention and provide a center for the décor, so they are also easy to use as a focal point.

Color: Color has been proven to enhance mood and behavior. An accent wall painted in a contrasting wall color behind your sofa or bed is a perfect way to create a focal point. You can also use rich colors on smaller accessories such as pillows to direct the eye to a seating area and focal point. Just be careful in your use of color; colors that are too intense can repel as well as attract.

Light: Let there be light! It’s only common sense that the eye travels easily to where it can see the best. Lighting is essential to giving attention to the main area of the room, such as a chandelier over a dining area. Install a dimmer switch so that you can also arrange lights to dim or brighten depending on whether you want the ambiance to be lively or intimate.

Curiosity: Curiosity makes you want to want to learn. Add interest to your focal point with a collection, a great piece of art, a humorous slogan on a pillow, or an unusual piece of furniture. These types of items all invite conversation, which is a wonderful way to use a focal point.

Is it possible to have more than one focal point in a room? Yes, especially if your room is designed for more than one purpose, such as a living-dining combination room, or a bedroom with a sitting area. For these types of combo rooms, it’s important to have a focal point for each area to distinguish it from the rest of the room and to define its purpose.

Just make sure the focal points agree that both sides of the room are equally formal or informal, and in the same decorative theme as the rest of the room.