A Guide To Creating Focal Points In A Room

Tara Dickinson
6 minute read

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Focal points serve the purpose of providing a resting place for your eyes. They act to create flow and direction, filling out the storyline for a room. The goal is to create a harmonious arrangement that feels welcoming. This attention-grabbing element, whether it is a large window with a spectacular view, a stylishly decorated fireplace, or some outlandish furniture piece, is meant to catch your eye and make all the other components of the room work. The surrounding furniture and decor are there to complement the focal point.

focalA focal point is the main course of the meal; it’s the star of the show that holds the whole concept together.

  • If you are starting out with a blank canvas it may feel intimidating. But you can begin the design process by choosing a focal point for the room: an art element, an architectural element, a display of collectibles, etc.
  • Once that's chosen you can now design and use supporting elements around that point.
  • Remember to choose a mood or tone when setting the space’s focal point as well. Is it a study nook with a focused vibe; or a porch setting with a relaxing mood…?


  1. Stand at the entrance to a room.
  2. What do you see right away? That’s your focal point.
  3. If there’s more than one feature choose which one to make stand out. 
  4. Now use the tactics below to make that feature capture your attention.


Can you have more than a single focal point in one room? The answer is a definitive yes!

  • Secondary focal points are strategically placed to enhance the primary one.
  • Too many focal points are overwhelming to your senses; your eyes get tired. 
  • Would advise three focal points at a maximum.

Pro Tip: Let your focal points reflect your personality.


Bold Color

Color, color, color! A majority of DIY home decorators shy away from bolder color selections. But as long as you’ve picked out a design style (Roman, Egyptian, German, etc.) you can easily incorporate a bold-colored accent in that decor’s theme.

  • Choose one wall that is the first to be seen when entering the room.
  • The great thing about using paint as an accent color is that you can easily change it as often as you like for a room refresh or shift in theme.


The versatility of tiles makes them a perfect medium for building an accent wall as a focal point in many different rooms (bathroom, kitchen, living room, outdoor dining areas).

  • Make a creative design of mini mosaics.
  • Flooring design tile elements.
  • A tile backsplash of bold prints or colors.


  • With so many unique designs in wallpapers, from live photo imagery to abstract art to wall coverings full of texture, this is an excellent option to use for a focal point accent wall.


Taking advantage of the architectural details in your home is another way to create a focal point.


  • Fireplaces are virtually instant focal points.
  • Accessorizing the mantel will make them stand out immediately.
  • Creating a faux fireplace with a vintage mantel can be added if the room doesn’t come with one already.


  • If you have large windows in any room they can easily become the focal points.
  • If your windows come with a view, that is the focal point of the room.
  • No view, enhance the window treatments; paint the trim an accent color.


Have you ever been in a room where the ceiling is decorated, covered with clouds, or wooden beams are painted in a whitewashed stain? The look is definitely powerful and commands attention. The ceiling is an often overlooked place to create a focal point.

  • Try wallpaper on a central section of the ceiling.
  • Apply an appropriate mural painting.
  • Use a bold accent color.


A curated gallery wall is a really fun way to insert a focal point into any room.  The gallery can be made up of many different things or focus on one theme. Some ideas include:

  • A collection of art.
  • Black and white photographs.
  • Musical objects.
  • Miscellaneous collectibles.


Your home is an expression of yourself. Using art pieces and artistic elements you love is one of the best ways to display this expression.

  • Art is one of the easiest ways to create a focal point in any room. 
  • Hang art where it will make the first impression when entering a room.
  • Oversized, large pieces add that extra oomph.


Mirrors are powerful design elements. They can create depth, provide expansiveness to a space, and reflect light. Using a large mirror can create a perfect focal point.

  • Be mindful of placement.
  • Can also create a gallery wall of several smaller mirrors.


The range and artistic creativity seen in light fixtures nowadays can absolutely make them a focal point for a room.

  • Think stunning chandelier.
  • A row of pendant lights.
  • A standing sculptural floor lamp.


Depending on your chosen decor theme, full length floor-to-ceiling curtains can make an excellent room focal point.

  • Full length curtains make the room feel more spacious.
  • This is a more elegant and opulent look.
  • Can bring further attention to statement windows.
  • Hang them close to the ceiling and drape them all the way to the floor for a dramatic effect.
  • Adding trim to a solid fabric will give them an extra pop.
  • Bold florals make a statement as well.


Entryway Focal Points

  • Bold furniture piece.
  • Area rug.
  • Oversized mirror.
  • Art element.

Living Room Focal Points

  • A fireplace.
  • A spectacular view, large windows.
  • A statement chandelier.
  • Statement furniture.
  • Oversized mirror.
  • Accent wall.
  • Gallery art wall.

Dining Room Focal Points

  • A large dining table.
  • A statement chandelier.
  • The ceiling.
  • A large statement mirror.

Kitchen Focal Points

  • A central island piece. 
  • A unique backsplash with visual interest.
  • Kitchen appliances if modern and stunningly designed.

Bedroom Focal Points

  • The bed (canopy, linens, decorative throw pillows).
  • The bed’s headboard.
  • A decorative accent wall.
  • A fireplace.

Bathroom Focal Points

  • A standalone bathtub.
  • Artistic tiles or tiled backsplash.
  • Shower with living plants.
  • A plant wall.



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