Focal points are important in designing any space, from the smallest powder room to the largest living room. The focal point is the center of visual interest, the place where your eye is most drawn to in the room. Fireplaces are natural focal points, as are large windows, some built-in bookcases, or even a particularly large or loud piece of furniture. And in today’s homes, another focal point often reigns supreme- the television.

Of course, the whole point of a focal point is for it to be the focus… So what happens when you have two or more focal points dueling it out for attention? How can you create a harmonious space, much less decide where to put your sofa?

If you’re caught in the middle between fighting focal points, don’t worry. This is a common interior design conundrum, and MJN & Associates Interiors is here to help you solve it!

Minimize the number of focal points

Having more than one focal point in a room is not necessarily a problem, but you want to avoid having them on walls opposite each other. This tugs the attention back and forth in the space, not to mention making furniture placement a challenge.

One way to handle this is to create focal points on adjoining walls, so that when you walk in the room, your eye can drift from say, the fireplace on the left wall over to the picture window on the adjoining right wall.

Another obvious strategy when it comes to the TV-vs-fireplace showdown is to mount the television over the fireplace. This is quite the controversy among interior designers, but it’s your house- do what works best for you. There are plenty of options these days to help you pull your choice off in style, like Hidden Television, which looks like a mirror when turned off and comes with a custom frame. You could also consider having the built-ins around your fireplace extended to surround the TV, making the whole wall a focal point in the room while minimizing the “Hey, look at this TV!” effect.

Push and pull the eye

After identifying the focal points in your space, decide which one you want to be the main focus. You can then accentuate the main focal point while de-emphasizing other focal points in the space. For instance, say you want your fireplace to be the star of the show, but you have some attention-grabbing built-in bookcases vying for attention.

You can draw the eye to the fireplace using contrast, texture, and or lighting. Hang a painting with bright colors over the mantel and illuminate it with specialty lighting. Choose a striking material for your fireplace surround. To de-emphasize the bookcases, paint them the same color as the rest of the walls.

If you’re stumped on an interior design problem in your home, we can help! MJN & Associates Interiors offers experienced, friendly interior design services in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and the Hampton Roads area. Give us a call today at 757-306-6000 or contact us online to set up a consultation.