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How to Define a Focal Point


on January 5, 2018


A focal point in design typically refers to the area to which your eye is immediately drawn. In a room, designers define focal points to draw attention to a defining feature or area. This focal point can be enhanced and drawn out, if the room is designed properly, to make the room more inviting, beautiful, and eye-catching. Focal point definition can help bring out a home’s aesthetic and naturally draw a person from room to room.

The focal point of a room is the first thing you want visitors to see upon entering. If your room has a fireplace, that is a natural focal point. But not all rooms have a defining architectural feature. You can use a number of different things for your room’s focal point, here are a few popular focal points in interior design:

  • Fireplaces
  • Windows
  • TV
  • Furniture
  • Artwork
  • Feature Walls

Once you determine the room’s focal point, the next step is to design the room around it. You want to highlight the focal point, make the room flow towards it, all while drawing out the room’s natural aesthetic and warmness.

Here are some tips to design around a variety of focal points.

Furniture arrangement

Your room’s focal point should influence your furniture placement. For example, if the focal point is a fireplace, place couches, chairs, and end tables around the area, so people could gather around the fireplace easily. By simply moving existing furniture around, you can drastically change the look and feel of the room.

Draw attention with accents

If your focal point is the window or view of the outside, then curtains can frame up the focus and draw additional attention to it. The right curtains can help make your windows pop, and warm up your room with a bright and inviting pattern or color.


Eye-catching artwork

If you have a great piece of art, or one that is special to you, you can use it as your room’s focal point. Consider adding feature lighting to set it apart. Picture lights, track lights or wall fixtures can help draw the eye to your piece. If art is your focal point, consider taking one or two colors from the piece to use as accent colors throughout the room.

Display shelves

Like artwork, display shelves are another feature that can highlight a specific focal point. These shelves could display artwork, family pictures, decorations, lights, or plants. Floating shelves are a great way to fill up unused space, along with adding another dimension to an already established room.


The right lighting can make all the difference. Picture lights, track lights, or wall washer fixtures are three examples that can enhance or brighten up a focal point. They literally highlight a room, and can easily boost the room’s aesthetic and inviting atmosphere.

Contrast colors

Another effective way to make your focal point stand out is to use contrasting colors. This means painting the wall a certain color to allow your furniture, artwork, or decorations pop even more. Changing up the room’s color scheme is not only a great way to design the room around the focal point, but it can also brighten up the room.

Room styling and design can be complex, but choosing or creating a focal point and then designing around that point can make things easier. Find that focal point and then use the tips above to enhance your room.

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