#3 Good Interior Design Demands a Focal Point

One of the basic rules of interior design is to choose ONE main focal point in any room. Not two or
three, because this causes visual confusion. And not having a focal point is just as bad — the
room lacks any visual interest as a result.

But there are many people not aware of this rule, judging from what the design team has seen.

A room looks much better with one clearly defined focal point.

And that does not mean that the rest of the room has to be mush — you can incorporate mini focal
points in the room, but they should not compete with the main focal point.

To have a focal point in a room means that the eye automatically travels to that place in the room
first — and then moves to other less prominent places of interest.

Choose less dramatic pieces as mini focal points — they may be smaller, or when balancing items
of the same scale in a room, they must simply be less “out there” compared to the focal piece.

The main focal point can be a large-scale architectural feature, such as a dramatic arch, a
fireplace, a staircase, or a large picture frame window with a great view.

If the room has no natural focus, you can make one with a dramatic painting, sculpture, or a large
and beautiful piece of furniture, such as an upholstered headboard.

You may also create a focus by treating one wall of a room differently than the others—painting
one wall a bright colour, or using a patterned wallpaper on one wall, for example. In bedrooms,
the focal point is often the bed, and here, beautiful bed coverings that co-ordinate with the rest
of the room are a must.
You can accentuate this strong feature by adding a dramatic headboard,
or mounting a commanding painting on the wall over the headboard.

A living room focus is often a fireplace, or a large painting or mirror mounted above a sofa —
usually on the longest wall in the room. If you have both, play up one and make the other more
subtle so there is no confusion about which is the main focus.

The fireplace usually has art above the mantel or propped on the mantel, and accessories should
be simple and uncluttered.

After you define the focal point of your room, orient the furniture and other décor in such a way
that they accent or “point” to the focus.

Lighting in the room should also draw attention to the focus — it should be plainly obvious as
soon as you enter the room.

A clear focus creates a better flow, and cleaner lines — it really does
work!