The Best Focal Points For Your Design Scheme

In the world of interior design, focal points are essential design elements. According to Commercial Silk, the focal point is the most significant part of any room and what you should build your entire design around. This spot is the star of the show. It naturally draws attention and catches the eye while creating an inviting and beautiful atmosphere for relaxation. Without a focal point, your room may feel awkward and boring. There will be little visual interest or point for the eyes to gravitate toward. With a focal point in play, you can improve a room's aesthetic and give your eyes somewhere to focus.

Sometimes focal points can be natural — think of a fireplace or a large bay window. However, occasionally a room will need a little extra design help from us to create a focal point, like adding art to the wall or putting a large potted tree in the center. This article will cover natural and designed focal points to help you create the perfect home.

Display a large art piece

If you want to make a statement in a room, Canvas: A Blog By Saatchi Art suggests introducing a focal point with oversized art pieces and photography. After choosing the art, coordinate your home decor to accentuate these pieces. You can place them in various room sizes to grab attention. Of course, this would only work if you have a large enough wall to support this art — you wouldn't want to put large-scale pieces in a narrow hallway. Instead, you can place some medium-sized wall art throughout your hallway. Perhaps a few canvas pieces with a continuous design.

With art, there are a lot of options to choose from. Whether you want something dramatic with vivid colors to grab attention or desire something more subtle, you're sure to find the perfect piece for your room. Stop by your local home goods store, browse Etsy, or check out flea markets to find artwork that speaks to you.

Put together a gallery wall

Gallery walls are fun and an ideal way to add visual interest to your room. These design elements let you express yourself through various art pieces. Of course, if you're going to put together a gallery wall, you need to know how to design one first.

As Style by Emily Henderson mentions, there are several essential things to consider when putting together your gallery wall. These factors include using horizontal and vertical frames, keeping the largest pieces separate, and creating a grid. You may also want to figure out the layout of your gallery wall before actually hanging the pieces up on the wall. You can have a lot of fun with gallery walls. They provide the perfect opportunity to showcase your favorite art or photography that you, yourself, have taken. Make sure to choose the perfect wall for the setup. A large wall behind a couch is a great spot.

Warm your space with a fireplace

Fireplaces are another great focal point, especially if your fireplace has a unique texture. Think of stone, brick, marble, or tiled fireplaces. You can also display items like vases or decorative bowls on the fireplace mantel to grab more attention. As Northeastern Chimney, Inc mentions, a fireplace gives you a cozy place to settle down and relax. You can create a romantic atmosphere when the mood calls for it, and you can provide yourself and your family with warmth when the electricity goes out during storms, and you'll even have a place to do some cooking in the event of an emergency.

Fireplaces can add a striking visual and plenty of benefits. Fortunately, many homes already feature a built-in fireplace, but if yours lacks one, consider building one. If you go this route, take some time and think about what you want your fireplace to convey. Stones can add a rustic, country feel, while brick gives your space an industrial look. On the other hand, tile can modernize your home or add a traditional touch, depending on which style you choose.

Make a statement with eclectic furniture

Your furniture doesn't have to be boring. Make it fun and unique with lots of colors. While neutral colors are versatile and easy to put anywhere, bright and vivid colors effortlessly capture attention. Think of a bright green or multicolored sofa or a lavender armchair. These pieces work well if you add them to a room with neutral paint colors.

If you're not ready to take the plunge and make a dramatic change in furniture, take it down a notch and add bright colors subtly. Per My Little Shop Furniture, you can use a painted dresser to display bright colors instead of a sofa or chair. It won't be overpowering, but it will still give your room some visual interest and a focal point. You also don't necessarily need to go out and purchase something new to add a focal piece to your home. If you have an old dresser or table that is already bright, bring it out and put it somewhere where it will take center stage.

Consider bay windows

Bay windows are an ideal focal point for several reasons. Not only are they a natural point of interest, but they also provide your home with a lot of sunlight, per Erie Home. There's nothing better than relaxing here with a good book and a hot cup of tea. In terms of a focal point, bay windows look good from the outside for passersby and on the inside for you, your family, and your guests. Whether you have a large bay window with three or more adjoining windows and an attached daybed or if you have a smaller setup, bay windows are sure to draw attention for all the right reasons.

Plus, bay windows are stylish and trendy. These windows are extremely versatile, giving you the opportunity to make them truly unique. You can go for a minimalist vibe, a bay window with storage spaces and cabinets, and even choose whether you want fixed, vented windows, glass, or fiberglass, and if you want built-in shades and blinds.

Design an eye-catching accent wall

Accent walls are a popular choice for a focal point. According to Friday Magazine, these chic and versatile design elements are a single wall or part of one that visually divides a room, adds contrast, and creates a statement. This popular trend dates back to the early 2000s. You can achieve an accent wall with a few simple steps.

While paint used to be the go-to way to create an accent wall, you can also use floral wallpaper, shelves, murals, tile, brick, or wall panels, making it unique to you and your home. You can choose a variety of patterns, colors, and textures to create even more individuality.

Embrace bold colors, especially if you want to make a powerful statement with your focal point. Bring attention to your room with metallics, vibrant paint colors, and unique finishes. Or, if you don't want to make a long-term change, opt for peel-and-stick wallpaper to add the same visual interest as redesigning or repainting your wall.

Embrace shelving options

In the same way that a gallery wall can add several visual elements to your design, so can shelving. Adding some unique shelving or groups of shelves will allow you to display everything from your favorite books to knickknacks. Using shelving as a focal point in your living room helps you capture attention in the best possible way.

Family heirlooms or antiques are ideal accessories to display on wall shelves. They add visual interest to your room, tell a story about who lives in the home, and let your personality shine, per Best Pick Reports. Additionally, they act as conversation starters for guests. You can tell them where these heirlooms or antiques came from and why they are essential to your family. Shelves can help you display items that put your hobbies, travels, and passions front and center. Shelves also add functionality to your space, giving you a place to put everyday items and organize clutter.

Light up your space

If you want an eye-catching focal point, pick the right light fixtures for your living room. With lighting and fixtures, you can set the mood and atmosphere of your living space, per Inviting Home. Low light levels create a relaxing and calm environment, while brighter light can make a room feel more energized and cheerful. Light has the power to produce a cozy and inviting feeling that will put you, your family, and guests at ease. Not only are you creating visual interest with light fixtures, but you're also allowing your living space to become more relaxing.

No matter what kind of light fixture you select, it will be a focal point for your room if you place it right. Hanging pendant lights are perfect for a modern look, or you can choose light fixtures in a metal casing for an industrial vibe. There are a lot of other choices, too, and you're sure to find one that matches your unique aesthetic. Don't forget to pick the correct light bulb, too. You can get colored, soft, bright, natural, or smart light bulbs with different features and colors.

Create visual interest with a potted plant

Potted plants are a beautiful and natural addition to any home. Not only can they be used as a focal point, but they possess many other benefits. According to NASA, plants can even remove harmful toxins from the air of living spaces. Introducing houseplants to your home can also reduce stress, boost memory, and support cognitive health (via Healthline).

As far as focal points are concerned, several types of plants make a bold statement. There's the New Zealand laurel, the fishtail palm, the money tree, the olive tree, and many more. Each of these plants can grow to be significantly large, which helps them to capture attention in a room. They each come with their own benefits and care instructions. If you're choosing to add a potted tree to your home as a focal point, ensure you select one that best fits your lifestyle. Some plants can be toxic to animals and children, so be sure to pick non-toxic plants if you have either at home.

Add built-in storage

Like shelves, built-in storage with specialty lighting provides a unique focal point by putting your most prized possessions on display and organizing clutter, per Wentworth. These seamless design elements can complement your home's structure. With built-in storage, you're creating more than one focal point since you'll display multiple items on these shelves. The focus will be on the well-lit built-in storage, which will act as the main focal piece.

There are a lot of different ideas to consider when creating built-in storage, too. While a built-in wall is standard, you could create a stand-up desk where you do your work or browse the web. Or you can create a homework nook for your kids. You could even do an under-the-window cabinet for storage or a simple built-in bookcase with plenty of shelf space for potted plants, knickknacks, and books. Custom-made built-in storage spaces improve the appearance of a room while adding functionality.

Install French doors

Open floor plans are all the rage nowadays, but there are still homes that feature traditional floor plans. If your home has closed-off rooms, you may want to consider incorporating some French-style doors leading into a bedroom, sunroom, dining room, or living room. Or you can have them leading out onto your patio, which provides visual interest from both the inside and outside while giving your room natural light. These doors are beautiful and can make an instant statement. No matter the weather outside, they create a natural focal point and bridge the gap between indoor-outdoor living.

Per Window World, French doors are easy to install and clean. They're also durable, meaning you're less likely to replace them, need repairs, or spend unnecessary time painting them like traditional doors. There are many styles of French doors to choose from, too, so you'll be able to find one that suits your style.

Incorporate vaulted ceilings

Finally, another focal point that can be integrated into your home seamlessly, providing you with a more subtle approach to grabbing attention: vaulted ceilings. According to House Beautiful, vaulted ceilings are basically an arch underneath a roof that leads upward from each wall to a central point. However, the arch is not a requirement, and vaulted ceilings can be triangular in shape. These ceiling types offer your home a dramatic design while filling in wasted space, such as an attic. Instead of the standard flat ceiling, you'll have an arched version that comes down to a lower point.

With their eye-catching design, vaulted ceilings will steal the show in any room. Plus, you can have them customized based on your style and taste. Choose from a curved or triangular design and use materials specific to your home's style. If your home is rustic, opt for wood. If your home leans more modern or industrial, it may be wise to consider metallic designs or finishes. If you're considering having your home redesigned at all, or if you're having a new home built, consider adding a vaulted ceiling.