. . . And Why You’ve Never Noticed Them
We doubt that we really must stress the importance of a room’s focal point, but just in case you need a refresher, here it is: A focal point draws attention in.
In to the room.
In to the piece.
A focal point also informs. It informs the other pieces of the room (and sometimes the house), it informs the viewer of your point of view, or your style, or at least what you want everyone to think your point of view or style is.
With those things in mind, take a gander around your home and define its current focal points. Common ones: the television in the living room. The magnificent, unset table in the dining room (either bare or piled with unsorted mail, abandoned projects, etc). The gilded bathroom mirror, pocked with toothpaste flecks. The row of appliances on your kitchen countertop. The bare expanse above your bed.
I’m sorry, what’s that? Oh, those aren’t your focal points? Interesting. Because if any of those conditions exist in your home . . . then they are, indeed, the focal points.
As history will tell you, the first steps to solving a problem are discovering and admitting that have one, so at least we’ve got that out of the way. Now it’s time to identify what you want for focal points, and really bring them out.
Today: Focal Points in the Living Room
By now, we’ve all pretty much accepted that the television will pull focus from anything else in the living room while it’s turned on — that is, after all, what it’s there for. If the family is watching a movie, they’re not really supposed to be focused on the gorgeous view. So let’s all step into the 21st century and admit it — if it’s on, the TV is where it’s at.
But what about when the television isn’t on?
That’s where we have plenty of room to play. What else does your room offer? Obviously, windows and fireplaces are the first places to look for focal inspiration. But what about wall art? Gallery walls are so often hung behind a sofa, but aren’t they better admired from the sofa? In the following inspirational photograph, the eye immediately focuses on the gallery wall, then the window, and then the blank television. Plus, by simply angling the two chairs, the room is set up entirely for television viewing.
Try a few different arrangements in your living room — yes, go ahead and keep sofa facing the TV, but see where else your eye may want to wander . . .