DESIGN IN FOCUS Creating a focal point
Focal Point - A focal point is one principle in interior design that brings an inviting atmosphere to a well-designed home. It has several functions, including harmony, direction, unifying effect, and orderliness.
Upon entering any space, there are areas of immediate interest that the eye recognises as focal points. Focal points include anything that immediately and often unconsciously, capture one's attention and are interesting enough to make one want to look further. Interior designers and decorators are skilled at creating focal points, assembling all elements inside a particular room so they work together and complement each other to strengthen the whole composition.
Since a focal point is that item or part of your home around which everything is essentially designed, it creates a sense of harmony and an overall synchronisation. In other words, it makes everything else in the room "fall into place". In addition, as the highlight of the room where all other things simply support, the focal point shows direction and balance. Most rooms naturally have some type of architectural "direction", such as built-in cabinetry, a fantastic view or an existing "niche".
However, if your home does not have a natural focal point, no need to panic; choose your focus and create one. If there are no architectural features in the room, notice where your eye falls as you enter a room and create a focus by enhancing that area. Add a TV with a large furniture console underneath it. Focus your furnishings around a beautiful art piece, or purchase a piece of furniture that commands attention (like an armoire, a console, or a chest) and anchor your furniture around it.
In order to draw your eye towards the focal point, you can illuminate the area with recess lighting. Use bright or bold colours to create a focal point. You can also use bold patterns, a bold coloured sofa, or use a beautiful area rug to draw the eye effortlessly around the room. You can also create visual interest by adding vibrant colours and interesting patterns or textures.
Not all of us are blessed with beautiful views, but if you have a great window, or view, arrange the furniture to take complete advantage of it. Add draperies to frame the windows and accentuate the view and draw your eyes to the scenery beyond.
Certain features of a focal point that must be considered are: it must be dominant to draw attention to it; it must also be interesting enough to encourage the viewer to look further; and it must have a lasting impression considering scale, style, colour or theme.
Every room design needs and benefits from a focal point. It anchors the room and eliminates the eye from wandering and bouncing around. All great interior design begins with focal points!
Toni Crockett Design, author of this column, is a boutique style Design & Decorating Firm. Toni would love to talk to you about designing and managing a
renovation for you.