FOCAL POINTS 101

September 11, 2019

So we're gonna get real basic here quickly and then move on to the nitty gritty. Let's do this! 

 

What's a focal point? 

When you walk into a room, your eye naturally gravitates toward certain elements in the space whether they're created or architectural. The focal point is what grabs your eye immediately. Kind of like a lead role in a movie. 

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Why should you have one?

A focal point gives your space a sense of order. It gives the eye somewhere to start and really sets the tone for the rest of the space. Having an excellent focal point can also help detract the eye from perhaps not so great aspects of the room. 

 

Cool. We got the basics down! First things first;

 

1) Clear the Room

It seems like almost all of my posts start with some form of "Clear out the space". I can't help it. It's great to get a fresh look at the room. I suggest moving out any furniture so you can get a good look at what you're working with 

 

2) Walk in With Fresh Eyes 

Next, walk into the room and ask this question: "Where does my eye naturally go when I first walk in?". Some rooms will have a natural focal point such as a fireplace, french doors, built ins, vaulted ceilings, large windows with a great view, or just beautiful windows themselves. Others you'll walk in and just see an expanse of wall. No biggie, we can work with that! 

 

3) Plan for Furniture 

It seems backwards, but before I even set about the task of creating a focal point, I make sure that the furniture I'm going to use will be centered around or toward the intended F.P. 

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4) Choose Something Eye Catching

This is the most fun part of the whole process! Choosing what you want to display! Your F.P. should be a great leading role! Remember, you wouldn't want to watch a movie with a crappy main star right? Don't pick a crappy F.P! 

 

My Suggestions: 

Large Pieces 

Mirrors, clocks, pieces of art, wall tapestries, physical objects you can hang 

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Displays of Smaller Pieces

hats, plates, smaller pieces of art 

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Faux fireplace 

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Wallpaper 

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Large furniture 

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Dramatic lighting

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Ceiling treatments 

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Pick something interesting but something that plays well with the rest of the room! 

 

 

Focal Points by Room 

 

Living Room

If you're lucky enough to have a fireplace, make it your FP and then send me all the cozy fireside pics so I can covet your life and warm toesies. 

 

Dining Room

If you enter your dining room from the head of the table, your F.P. will likely be a cool light fixture or the table itself. Showcase the table well with a pretty centerpiece or get a freaking BA light fixture and let it steal the show. 

If you enter the dining room from the side of the table, your F.P. will probably be on the wall behind the table. Follow the same tips above to choose a good F.P. for that wall. 

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Kitchen

My favorite kitchen F.P. is the sink/window combo. There's something storybook about it to me. Not sure why. Other possibilities are range hoods, the lighting above an island, or even open shelving styled excellently. 

 

Bedroom

Typically the focal point in a bedroom is the wall the bed is set on. If this is the case for you, make this entire wall your focus. Choose a quality, showstopper headboard, pick some fantastic art above it, don't skimp on nightstands or lighting above them. Or you could even add a feature wall like we did in our old house! 

 

Trouble shooting

 

Problem: You have multiple points of entry in a space:

I'd suggest choosing no more than two focal points, and even then choose one of them to be the main star of the show. The point of entry you use most should showcase your main focal point. The secondary point of entry should showcase the secondary. (simple right?) 

 

Problem: You need two created focal points. 

If you need to create two FPs, I wouldn't pick the same type of FP for both. As a general rule I don't style two gallery walls in a space. I'd probably pick a funky wallpaper for one FP and then Art for the secondary. Or something to that tune. 

 

Have fun! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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