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 Focal Point Questions

1What is a Focal Point

A focal point can be defined in several ways. It is the main highlight of a room or space. It is where the eyes are drawn the moment you walk into the room. In photography or painting, it is directly the thing where the camera is focused on. In interior design, it is a thing that draws your attention because it makes a statement and is more dramatic than in other areas. A focal point is one of the most fundamental components in interior design. It is the thing that has a “wow” factor and is the center of attention.

Starting your design around a focal point is more accessible as it sets the tone and vibe of the whole place. The focal point may be almost anything from a striking fireplace, a big piece of furniture, a dramatic bookshelf, a vast window, or even a beautiful piece of carpet. It can also be a wall or a part of a wall with a poppy color, a big painting, or a backsplash in the kitchen. A backsplash is a ceramic panel behind the sink or cooktop that protects the wall from splashes.

You can quickly identify the focal point in a room because there’s usually only one. If the space is not big enough, having more than one focal point can be distracting. There are ways to highlight two, three, or more focal points in a room and still have a fabulous aesthetic.

2. How many focal points should there be in one room

Every room should have only one focal point except that the room is quite large, and it is possible to emphasize multiple focal points. A poorly executed multiple focal point interior design will make the space feel disorganized and unbalanced. Your eyes won’t have anything to “rest” on, making you anxious and uncomfortable. Let’s see how we can have a perfectly balanced multiple focal point situation.


Look at how you can combine two focal points. If you have focal points that work and look good together, see how you can pair them. If you have an exquisite fireplace and a huge TV, you could mount the TV on the fireplace. You can choose more exciting elements to look at and place them together to look like one focal point. For example, if you have a chandelier and some hanging lights, you could arrange them together to make the chandelier look bigger.

Main item

You need to choose one piece of decor. This decision can be made more accessible by deciding on a room’s function. 

What is the room going to be used for?

Is it for entertainment, lounging, or cooking?

This method will help determine the focal point. 

Do you like to relax with an excellent book on chilly evenings, or do you enjoy watching Netflix with your family? 

A nicely decorated fireplace can be your focal point for those read-and-relax sessions. If you like watching TV, a giant screen in the center of the room with furniture pointed towards it could be the way to go. Once you have decided the function of the room and the main focal point, others automatically become secondary. 


Now that you’ve chosen a focal point, you want to draw the eye towards it. Strategically place objects or accessories around the main focal point to accentuate it. For example, if you desire a fireplace to be the main focal point, you can place accessories around it, hang paintings, and make sure that pieces of furniture like the sofa and seating arrangements are pointed towards it. If your main focal point is a big window with a nice view outside, you can add bold-colored drapes so that the viewer is naturally drawn toward the window. Always use brighter, more aggressive, contrasting colors around the main focal point.


Now that you have made the main focal point the center of attention, you need to de-emphasize the secondary focal points. Use paler colors and accents to achieve this. If your focal point is the fireplace, don’t put substantial patterned drapes on the window. Use player colors that match the paint on the wall instead. And if the window is your main focal point, don’t put bright accessories around and on the fireplace. Please keep it to a minimum.


If you have a larger room, you can have “zones” of focal points, like a seating arrangement near the fireplace, with a lovely coffee table in one corner and a big TV and sofas and furniture around it in the other corner. Please don’t mix these two areas with pieces of furniture in between them, and keep them empty to emphasize these two areas as different focal points.

Accentuate a fireplace

You can keep furniture so that straight lines point towards the fireplace, Like two armchairs facing each other on either side of the fireplace. Remember to keep all furniture at least three feet away from the fireplace so you have room for movement and improvement.

De-Accentuate a fireplace

To de-accentuate a fireplace, paint it the same color as the wall behind. Try to maintain the decorations to a small amount, then use paler and dull colors that also match the color of the wall.

Accentuate a view

When you have a nice view outside your window, like trees, a garden, or the sea, it makes sense to make the window your main focal point. You can highlight the view using contrasting colored drapery or bright-colored molding or trim to draw the eye to the fabulous view outside.

De-Accentuate a view

If you have a solid view of stray cats rummaging around in trash dumpsters outside your windows, investing in expensive drapery might not be the best idea. In such a situation, you must draw the eyes away from the window. Downplay any elements that have high contrast against the wall paint color. Again, use dull colors that blend in easily with the wall for drapes and trim. You don’t have to block the light, though.

Decorating and emphasizing multiple focal points doesn’t have to be a huge dilemma. See the space, decide how you want to use it, figure out the main focal point, and make other elements duller.

3How can you identify the focal point in a room 

Imagine a room with a lot of furniture and stuff everywhere, but it still looks organized and balanced. When you ask someone what the focal point is, they might say it’s the fireplace; someone might say it’s the big TV or the ceiling with the eye-catching wooden beams. Well, it’s all of them. A room can have multiple focal points and still be very well-designed. The idea that a room needs only one focal point is a myth. It does make sense to have one if the room is tiny, but if it is a larger space with many functions, having multiple focal points will make the room more balanced and keep the eye moving. The room might have a spectacular roof design, but it also might have an inviting fireplace. This method doesn’t mean we have to choose one. If it is a big room, putting every piece of furniture together would only make a mess. However, creating multiple focal points gives the larger room an overall balanced feel.

The Rule of Three

You can’t determine how many focal points there should be in one room. However, having a general rule of three focal points is a good guideline for larger rooms and two focal points for smaller spaces. One focal point can be created in a smaller room like the bathroom. This method is not a one-size-fits-all rule; we can break it depending on the situation.

Dominant Focal Points

Having said all that, when you have multiple focal points, you should still consider making one of them the dominant focal point. This method will make it more manageable for the viewer to have something to begin on, explore the room further, and return to the same spot. It’ll give the whole room a sense of visual structure. This way, you can have a lot of stuff in the room, but it won’t look messy or busy. One way to achieve this is using an “accent” wall. To make an accent wall, you must paint the wall behind the main focal point in a darker shade or an eye-catching pattern. This method will accentuate the main focal point even further.

In a large room, the big TV is placed against a wall. This TV can be called the dominant focal point because there’s a giant wall behind it. You could also have achieved the same with a fireplace by painting the wall behind it black or some other way.

You must be straightforward when picking the most vital focal point in a room. Look at where you will be facing as you enter the space. If you have a massive empty wall right in front of you as you enter through the door, you have your focal point, and you can start working on it. You can mount a large TV right in the middle of everything and accentuate the wall with a colorful wallpaper design. Then, place sofas and armchairs facing the TV, and you have a dominant focal point that pulls you into the space.

Discovering Your Focal Points

How can you figure out what the focal points in your room should be? The room shape can determine this. Many rooms might have more than four walls, but you can quickly eliminate 2-3 walls for a potential focal point. This method can be done after seeing the architectural design. Look at where the doorways and closets are. You cannot have a focal point where a door is.

Let’s say if a room is open from two sides, then there are only the two walls remaining that can have the focal points. If one of them has a closet, it’s easy to start decorating it now because it becomes your focal point by default. You know where to start working if you see a fireplace on one wall and a door opposite to it with the rest of the room being open. See where you have more room to work with. Again, see what function the room has. If it has a sole function, such as watching TV, you can mount it on the fireplace, and there you go. And if the room has multiple uses, you can arrange it accordingly.

If a room has a massive window with a lot of natural light and a black, glossy piano on one side, then you can have an area for reading and chatting in the daytime in the natural light with space for an evening singalong near the piano. This method can embrace both of the focal points. The window can be fitted with vibrant curtains to highlight it as the main focal point during the day, with the piano being the main focal point at night.


It can be tempting to make windows a central focal point in every room, and we will learn about it in detail a little bit later, but let’s admit that sitting down for a relaxing cup of tea in front of a big window is much more satisfying than looking at a TV. Again, it’s a personal choice. But what occurs when the sun sets? Your focal point would lose its aura. Having one or two more focal points to draw the eyes //as the energy changes from day to night is a good idea. //Having all the chairs facing the window might not be a good decision unless you plan to stare into the darkness of the night for long hours.

Think about the function of the room. If it’s for lounging and relaxing, it makes sense to have some chairs facing the window and some furniture facing the TV on the other side of the room. If the room doesn’t have a TV, having some sofas and armchairs around a coffee table might be a good decoration. This way, it won’t matter if the window loses its magic at night. You will still be fulfilling the function of the room, that is, lounging, with your other set up around the TV or the coffee table.


If you have an entryway with a corridor leading to a door, exit the main focal point. A splash of bright colors is an excellent way to make something more dramatic than others instantly. If the corridor has paintings or wall art that takes the eyes away from the door, it’s a good idea to paint the surroundings of the door in a poppy color to make it stand out and be the clear focal point.


If you have many focal points in a big room, let’s say a fireplace at one end, then some sofas in front of the fireplace, not pointing to the fireplace but facing each other, and a chandelier on the other end of the room. To merge all these focal points into a more aligned look, you need to arrange them in one straight line going from the chandelier to the fireplace. Try placing the sofas in a circle; make sure their straight sides go into the fireplace. Keeping all these dramatic elements along one axis makes them feel connected. In another scenario, in an entryway, you can roll out a brightly colored rug in front of the door, which you want as the focal point. This way, the straight lines of the rug will point to the door, accentuating it further.

Living and Dining Rooms

Living and dining rooms will typically have many chairs and different seatings. Keeping in mind the alignment aspect will make a big difference. Having a good furniture plan is a good idea. Before determining your main focal point, look at functional furniture layouts. Since you have a lot of furniture, you can use it to point toward the dominant focal point. If you have a fireplace with seating in front of it and a dining table beside the sofas, you can create straight lines with the dining table, chairs, and then the sofas, all pointing in the direction of the fireplace. Having a rug in between the sofa setup with the pattern on the rug also pointing towards the fireplace will highlight it further. See how you can align everything and create a balanced look.

Open Plans

If you have open rooms and spaces with many functions, having multiple focal point zones will be a good idea. You have an open area meant for dining, lounging, and reading. You can have two zones, one with the dining table being a focal point and the other with a striking coffee table with sofas all around it as your second focal point. With this being done, the big open area might look segmented. To combat this, you can have a big painting that is a focal point in the center of any of the two walls to tie the whole space together. This method will create a more well-rounded interior design, with neither the dining table nor the coffee table taking center stage but working seamlessly together.


Making a perfect focal point might not be an exact science. It will vary from space to space. And it doesn’t have to be a set of rules everyone needs to follow. It’s your space; if you feel that having no focal points is better, more power to you. But keeping all these tips and ideas in mind will amp up your room. Remember, it doesn’t have to be only one focal point or only two focal points. It can be many or none. Look at the space with its function being the topmost priority and start creating from there. Look how you can align multiple focal points to create a balanced look. See how you can arrange all the furniture to make all straight lines point toward the dominant focal point. Get creative. There is no correct or wrong selection to decide what you want as your focal point.

4How to make windows a focal point

We usually look through windows and not at the window itself. They are seen as good enough if they let a lot of light in the room, and that’s it. Their function is fulfilled. When we think about designing and decorating a room, we usually think about how to arrange furniture, add a large painting, or paint the whole room. We tend to overlook how much a well-designed and decorated window can do for the entire room’s aesthetic. You are missing out on many clever ways to make your interior stand out if you think the window is only a source of light and to view what’s outside. Even after you decorate and design your room around the window, it won’t stop the sunlight coming in. A window with a good view should be the starting point of your design journey. Let us check out some easy ways to make your window the main focal point of your space.

Bigger and better molding

Don’t underestimate how much difference cleaning the molding around your windows will have on the room as a whole. Try a touch-up of the molding with a cleaning solution and repaint them in a bright white color. If you paint the whole wall of the window, this will make the newly painted molding stand out as a focal point. Getting new molding installed can be a great idea to give your wall a more dramatic change in appearance.

Hanging Plants

Who doesn’t love plants inside a room? Having plants anywhere, not just near the windows, gives a fresh vibe to the surrounding area. You can place a shelf beside the window and put potted plants on it. Or you can put a coffee table near the window and put a pot of aloe vera on it. If you live in an apartment on the 5th or the 10th floor, you can keep your plants outside the window in a window box, and it’s easy to install and maintain. You can also hang small lightweight plants on the corners of the window in baskets that you can quickly get from your local Home Depot.

Bold Patterns

Choosing the right curtain and drapes is a classic way to make your windows a focal point. Choosing the right colors will make the windows the statement of your room. You can get curtains, drapes, blinds, and shades depending on how much light you want to let in the room. The selection of colors can create or break the look. An easy way to choose a fabric to make the window a central focal point is to go with a bold print. This method can become the statement of your room. If the room is filled with solid colors, opt for patterns. You could use quirky prints and geometric patterns with contemporary style space and floral designs for more traditional decor.

Different types of window

If you want to make an intense change, consider installing a new window type—there are too many types of windows to list them all here. But choose a window, keeping in mind the theme you want the room to have. If you desire a rustic sense, go with a garden window. You can go with arched or circular windows for more architectural purposes. If you have a nice view but don’t want to open the windows, you can go with picture windows, which will provide an unobstructed view without any visible frames.


You don’t just have curtains and plants to decorate a window. Sometimes, these two options might not suit the room, and changing the window might be too costly. In this situation, you can rearrange furniture around the window, like hanging a TV between two windows or moving the bed near the window. You can go thrift shopping for reasonably priced furnishings that will match the design you are thinking about. Look at all the furniture you have and get creative. Move some sofas or move the dining table or the coffee table. There are no rules. A lamp on either side of a window will make a perfect look at night. The idea is to draw attention toward the focal point, in this case, the windows.

Natural Lighting

The primary objective of windows is to allow natural light to enter. Putting up a fragile fabric as a curtain will let a little light in, which can be a good look in and of itself. Adding plants will draw attention to the natural lighting. You can keep lamps on the opposite side of the windows so that they can blend in pleasingly with the remainder of the interior design when they are off.

5. How to Deal With Multiple Focal Points In A Room

A focal point is a thing that catches your eye as soon as you enter a room. It is one of the most fundamental elements of interior design. It can also be called the ‘star of the room.’ This method can be a fireplace, large window, built-in bookcase, a stone mantel, or a large piece of furniture. But what if your room has more than one focal point, like two or three?

Having more than one focal point can be distracting, taking the whole room’s aesthetic down the drain. Despite having cool-looking furnishing and accessories, with nothing to focus on, it makes the entire room unsettled. The following method is precisely what we will be dealing with here with multiple focal points.

Every room is different, and choosing the right ways to design your living space will make or break the whole situation. Here are a few guidelines and rules to look out for. This method will specifically apply in a living room or dining room because multiple spaces can have multiple focal points.

Choose one item

Pick one element you want to highlight. Remember to choose wisely because this is where the eye will go. If you have a large window, ensure the view outside is striking. We don’t want a window to be the highlight of a room looking over a trash dumpster. It would help if you also considered what the space will be used for. Will it be used for entertainment, lounging, relaxing, or is it a bedroom? Also, make sure that the thing you want to make the focal point should be in good condition. For a fireplace to be a focal point, it must be appropriately cleaned and working. An excellent way to determine a solid focal point is to see its function. If a room has only one function (like watching TV or sleeping), it can have just one focal point. But if it has multiple uses, it makes sense to give a focal point to each. Please keep all of these issues in mind when choosing.

Catch the eyes

Take steps to draw the eye. Now that you’ve decided on the main focal point, you need to “emphasize” the space. Here are some tips that’ll help.

Arrange furniture so that it is facing the main focal point. Make it easier for the eye to be drawn towards the focal point. Adding bright colors will help lead the eyes to the focal point, like paintings or drapes for windows. Keeping colorful pillows near the focal point might be a good look. You can also add decorative items or accessories if you paint the wall with a contrasting color where the focal point is a good idea. Wallpaper or stencil can also be used instead of paint.

Minimize the second and third focal points.

De-emphasize the secondary focal points. Use paler colors, simple patterns, or smoother textures for the second and third focal points. If the bookcase or the fireplace is not the primary focal point, keep the accessories around it to a minimum. If there is an entertainment system beside the fireplace, you can paint the secondary focal point.

Multiple zones

Here are some more tips on moving furniture to create multiple “furniture groups” as different focal points. Use the most significant pieces of furniture around your primary focus and smaller ones as groups in other places as secondary or tertiary focal points. You can have a couch facing the TV and a set of smaller chairs in front of the fireplace. Here, the TV and the sofa would be the main focal point, and the fireplace with the chairs would be the second one.

6Got A Room With Opposite Focal Points? 

When you have focal points on walls facing each other, it’s tough not to let the viewer get distracted. It is much easier when you have two focal points adjacent to each other on the same wall. This problem is a rough situation because the designer must follow the architectural plan and make the client happy by creating an attractive interior design. Let’s see what to do when we have opposite focal points.

2 Focal Points

If a room has a TV nook on one side and a fireplace on the other end, this is an opposite focal point situation. Even if we have a huge chandelier at one end of the room and a large window with a nice view on the other end.

Three doorways

Suppose you have a room with two opposite sides having a main entry, a kitchen entry, and French patio doors, leaving the two remaining sides having a focal point each. You cannot compromise maneuverability or block the doorways. This area also has opposite focal points.

Space dimensions

If you are short of space and still have two opposite focal points, like a fireplace opposite a TV on the other wall, then you need to choose. What will you be doing most of the time in the room? If you are proceeding to read, make the fireplace your main focus point. Write out the measurements of every piece of furniture you plan to use in your interior design. You don’t want unnecessary decorations. If something doesn’t have a function, it can’t take up space in your already confined space. 


Examine how people will move in and out of the space. Always keep functionality as your top priority. If you have an entry door on one side and a patio door on the wall adjacent to it, you might not want an oversized couch around a coffee table coming directly in the center of the path someone takes from the entry to the patio door. Here, you can create your focal point on the wall opposite the couch. Make sure you have adequate space to walk around the furniture, and you are not squeezing in-between stuff.


Making a floor plan diagram with all space dimensions, windows, and door locations would be reasonable. Also, include furniture placement and allow room for circulation.

Accentuate the main focal point.

Now that you have figured out your dimensions, the essential furniture you want to use, and its placement, you need to accentuate the main focal point. Choose between one of the opposite walls and use all kinds of decorations and visual cues we learned earlier to tell the viewer “where the action is.”


Now that you have decided on the main focal point of the two opposite sides, you need to neutralize the room’s color scheme, further accentuating the main focus. An excellent gray color can be very relaxing. You need a clear pathway towards the main focal point with lots of room for movement. Clear, unobstructed paths towards the patio door or a secondary seating area will make the space seem larger and not stuffy. Use similar colors throughout the room and flashy and bright colors on the wall with the main focal point to direct the eyes toward it as soon as someone enters the room.

De-accentuate the secondary focal point.

Making the main focal point more obvious also requires you to make the secondary focal point duller. If the TV is the main focal point and a fireplace opposite the TV is the secondary focal point, place the more significant couches and sofas in front of the TV and assemble a small seating space in front of the fireplace with swivel chairs. Keep everything except the main focal point in a similar color, texture, and hue.