Now that you own your home, you're ready to put your personal stamp on the décor. But how do you start?
Whether you're decorating a living room, bedroom or bath, start with a focal point.
The focal point defines the room's ambiance and underscores the room's purpose. It makes you want to enter and enjoy the room to sit and relax, study, watch videos, eat, sleep, make conversation, play or whatever the room is designed to do.
Focal points can be created by a room's architecture, such as a beautiful fireplace or a bay window with a garden or ocean view.
A fireplace can be enhanced with a wood mantel. Accent the wood with tall candlesticks and hang a dynamic painting above. If there's room, put bookshelves on either side with your favorite collectibles.
A picture window can become a destination with built-in window seats or reading chairs. Be sure to cement the window's beauty by pulling in some of the colors from the view.
How to create a focal point
Some rooms simply don't have an outstanding architectural feature to build upon, so you may have to create one yourself. Here are some tricks of the trade you can use - size, color, light, and curiosity.
Size: Large items attract interest. Start by putting the largest piece of furniture against the largest wall to help traffic flow.
A bed is a natural focal point for a bedroom, just as a sofa serves a living room or den. Rugs also command attention and anchor the décor, so they make great focal points, too. You can pull from the colors of a comforter or rug to finish the rest of the room.
Color: You can influence mood and behavior with color. A contrasting wall color behind your sofa or bed is an excellent way to create a focal point. You can also use more intense colors on accessories such as pillows. Small spots of vivid color help direct the eye to seating areas as well as compliment the focal point. But a little goes a long way - color that is too intense can repel as well as attract.
Light: Your eye travels to where it can see the best. Lighting is essential to giving attention to the main area of the room, such as a chandelier over a dining area. You can also arrange lights to dim or brighten depending on whether you want the ambiance to be lively or intimate.
Curiosity: Curiosity makes you want to want to learn. A collection, a great piece of art, a humorous slogan on a pillow, or an unusual piece of furniture all invite conversation, which is a wonderful way to use a focal point.
Is it possible to have more than one focal point in a room? Yes, if your room is large enough or designed for more than one purpose, such as a living-dining combination room, or a bedroom with a sitting area, you will need a focal point for each area to distinguish it from the rest of the room and to define its purpose.
By establishing what your focal point is going to be, you'll have an easier time pulling the rest of the room together.
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