How to Create Focal Points That
Will Help Sell Your Home

How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale

Lovely living room with great symmetry and a focal point fireplace.This room already has a great focal point fireplace. The wood textured mirror makes it even more stunning! Photo by Studio Munroe.

Focal points should be highlighted in every room of your house when staging your home for sale. Your goal is to draw attention to the special architectural features, so buyers will fall in love with your home.

Typically, when you enter a room, your eye is drawn to at least one feature that stands out. It might be a window with a breathtaking view, an architectural feature like a spiral staircase, beautiful French doors or a lovely fireplace. 



The placement of furniture and accessories should be arranged to draw attention to focal points.

A striking focal point may also distract home buyers from seeing the flaws in your home!

Some rooms may contain more than one focal point, as many as two or three, while others will simply be blank walls with an unassuming window.

Below you will find home staging tips to help you enhance natural focus points, or create your own through the use of furniture and accessories.

Identifying the focal points in your home

Look for architectural details

Windows with a beautiful water view makes a great focal point.A water view is always a fantastic focal point!
  • Look for special features, like the shape of the room, arches;

  • High ceilings; 
  • Interesting ceiling details, like tray ceilings, exposed wood beams, box beams;
  • Angled walls and ceilings;
  • A fireplace;
  • Large windows with a great view, bay windows, arched windows;
  • Beautiful winding staircase;
  • French doors;
  • Built-in bookcases and entertainment centers;
  • A feature wall, made of old brick or reclaimed wood.

What about multiple focus points?

Many rooms have more than one focal feature. How do you decide which one to highlight?

Where does your eye go first when you enter a room? Look for the predominant one-- it may be the largest and most dramatic element in a room.

A fantastic view will usually trump a fireplace as the center of attention. If you are undecided, ask a friend where her eye is drawn when she walks into the room.


Create your own focal points!

First, determine the function of a room.

Next, design a point of focus that best

suits that function.


Create your own focal points

Use an armoire for a focal point

A large piece of furniture, like this armoire, can function as a focal point.An large piece of furniture, like this armoire, can serve as a focal point.

An amoire is the perfect size to work as a bold focal feature in your home design. Their sheer mass will command attention in any room.

Accessorize the inside of an armoire by displaying a collection of colorful dishes or other attractive accessories inside. Leave the doors open to show off the contents.

Follow the advice of HGTV designer and home staging expert, Sabrina Soto, when accessorizing; "Never use anything smaller than the size of a grapefruit."

Or, keep the doors closed and hide a TV or small office inside.

Create an appealing vignette on top of the armoire if you need extra height against a tall ceiling. Accessorize with baskets, plants, vases, any number of things.

Be sure to balance the bulk of an armoire with something of equal "weight" on the opposite side of the room.

Create an accent wall

This livingroom brick wall serves as a focal point.I love this brick accent wall with the horses. My eye went straight to the horses!

Create an accent wall with one of the walls in your room. An accent wall is meant to break up the pattern of a room, but must also work well with what you have.

  • Paint the wall in a color different than the other walls, maybe in a darker shade, or a complementary color.
  • You may want to use an accent wall to highlight a decorative element, such as a large colorful painting, a tapestry, antique quilt, or wrought iron sculptural piece. 
  • Accent walls are often surfaced with other materials, like brick, wallpaper, weathered barn siding, and so on. I don't recommend doing this when you are trying to make a home sale. 
  • Accent walls can be very taste specific and may turn some buyers away-- save this idea your new home!

Use a mirror as a focal point

A mirror with ornate frame makes a good focal point.This vignette with decorative mirror and lamps is eye catching!

Mirrors add light and dimension, by bouncing light around a room and creating the illusion of more space.

Mirrors with ornate and interesting frames work really well as focal points.

A dramatic starburst or reclaimed wood framed farmhouse style mirror will immediately catch your eye as you enter a room.

Be careful of what the mirror reflects; you don't want a mirror reflecting something undesirable. 

Mirrors can be hung alone or in wall groupings, just like artwork.

Go to leaning pictures and mirrors to find more accessorizing ideas. 



A light fixture can serve as a focal point

A dramatic and beautiful light fixture like this is a natural focal point.Wow! This is a stunning light fixture, sure to invite plenty of attention.

A stunning light fixture can serve as a main attraction in any room, whether it’s the foyer, bedroom, dining room or over the kitchen island.

A current home decorating trend at this time is a chandelier in the master bathroom, sometimes right over the bathtub.

I once saw a picture of a chandelier hanging in a laundry room. It was totally unexpected, but charming! 

Create a focal point with a large potted plant

A tall, dramatic plant like this one can function as a focal point when no other can be had.The TV is a focal wall, but the tall green plant is where your naturally eye goes.

A single large, leafy tree, like a palm, fiddleleaf fig or banana tree can be attention grabbers.

Or, cluster a group of smaller potted plants together for greater impact. Be sure to arrange plant groupings in odd numbers of three or five, and in varying heights. 

Use plant groupings in a corner, the top of an armoire, as a centerpiece on your dining table, on a buffet or console table or flanking a fireplace or window to draw attention to these features.

Make a statement with artwork

Triptych art makes a great focal point.What a great focal point this would be! Triptych artwork by expressionist, Erin Hanson

Large artwork pieces have been used for eons as focal features. The art should be in proportion to the scope of the wall-- large wall, large piece of art, for instance. 

For a long wall, hang triptych artwork, (like the one above) or arrange a collage of photographs in a gallery type fashion. See hanging artwork and mirrors for information on creating wall groupings.

This living room brick wall is a natural focal point.The brick wall itself is a focal wall. The large clock simply emphasizes it.

Hang a single large sculptural piece of art, made of wood or metal.

Decorate with a colorful contemporary quilt, a large clock, rustic antique doors, old lattice, painted shutters, or any other form of 3-dimensional art.

Be sure that objects are in scale with the size of the room and large enough to make a statement.

Focal point ideas for each room

Create a focal point for your living room

This large mirror over the fireplace accentuates the fireplace as a focal point.The large round mirror accentuates the fireplace in this living room. Photo by makinglemonade.com.

If you have an attractive fireplace in your living room or bedroom, you already have a great focal point. Draw more attention on it by arranging your furniture toward it.

A large mirror or piece of art hung above the fireplace or propped on the mantle will make sure that nobody misses it.

I'm not a fan of arranging furniture toward a big screen television--always makes me think of idol worship. But, because so many buyers want the big flat screen TV, it has adapted itself into the world of home decor.

These days, many interior decorators and home stagers are placing the flat screen TV over a fireplace or an entertainment console as a room decor element.

Or, you can hide the TV inside an armoire, entertainment unit or place it in a room specifically designated for TV viewing. 

Quilt block collage creates a soft focal point.A quilt block collage creates a focal point over this sofa. Pillows in like colors unite the grouping.

I once showed a new house to a prospective buyer who kept casting his eyes around the living room. I knew exactly what he wanted...a spot for his big screen TV. There wasn't one, so that buyer walked. 

Draw attention to a large window or French doors that offer a view-- keep window treatments simple (or go without) so that you have an unobstructed view.

If you need window treatments, match them to the color of the wall to keep eyes focused on the view.

Flank a view window with tall potted plants or small trees to emphasize the outdoors.

A piece of bold furniture, like a sofa, can also work as a focal feature. Place the sofa along a long wall and arrange the rest of your furniture toward it.

Decorate the sofa with colorful pillows in varied sizes and textures. Drape a throw blanket across the sofa for more color.

Hang a painting, a picture collage, a quilt, or beautifully framed mirror above it.

The size and mass of the sofa with artwork above will function in the same manner as a fireplace or other natural focal point.



Bedroom decor focal points

This master bedroom window with elegant window treatments service as a focal point.Use a window to create a focal point. Window treatments, lamps and bedding draw your eye to the window.

If you have a fireplace in your bedroom, you already have your focal point.

If your bedroom has no outstanding features, let your bed take center stage. The bed is almost always the main attraction simply because of its size. 

As a rule, the bed should be placed against the longest wall, but this isn't always possible, due to windows and doors or the size of the room. Placing the bed in front of a window is often the only option.

A window is a natural focal feature and can also serve as a dramatic headboard, of sorts. Dress it up with ceiling to floor draperies and sheers for privacy. 

A large headboard can be the star of your bedroom. Dress the bed with beautiful linens and pillows in soothing and neutral shades to entice buyers into wanting to linger.

Create a focal point in the dining room

The dramatic light fixture above the dining table is a fantastic focal point.This dining area has multiple focal points. Where does your eye go first?

In this dining room photo, your eye goes naturally to the amazing light fixture over the table, to the painting over the console and the flower arrangement on the table. 

In the world of home decor, some think that a centrally located dining table shouldn't be staged as a focal point. The opinion is that a focal point should dominate one wall instead.

To create a focal point on a dining room wall, place a buffet or sideboard table against one wall and hang a mirror or painting above it, as in the picture above. Emphasize it with a chair on each side, then create a beautiful vignette on top.

A large window with an attractive view can serve as a focal point in a dining room. Hang ceiling to floor draperies for drama and flank with chairs or tall plants.

For combined dining/kitchen/living rooms, each area should have its own focal point, regardless of the shape of the room.

A dining table can serve as a focal point too, simply by setting the table with beautiful dinnerware and creating a lovely centerpiece. For more drama, create a tiered arrangement to add extra height.

Create a focal point in the kitchen

White kitchen with multiple focal points.Where does your eye go to first in this beautiful kitchen? Mine goes to the pendant lights above the island. Yours may go to the shiny stainless fridge or range hood.

A stunning range hood and stove, a tile backsplash and beautiful glass-fronted kitchen cabinets can be focal points. A large wraparound farmer's sink is always an attention getter, too.

Other focal point options for the kitchen; an overhead pot rack, pendant or chandelier lighting over the kitchen island, sleek modern faucet fixtures or a stunning countertop.

Create colorful arrangements inside glass-faced kitchen cabinets, or install floating shelves and accessorize to make a feature wall. 

Create a focal point in the foyer

Front entry mirror focal point.Create a focal point in your foyer with a table, mirror and a light fixture.

The foyer is the first impression room once buyers get inside. The foyer must be appealing enough to lure buyers deeper into your home.

The size of your front entry doesn't matter, it's how you manage the area and the feeling buyers get when they first enter.

  • If the focal point is a high ceiling with a stunning light fixture, you are in luck.
  • For a wall facing the front door, hang a large oil painting in warm, serene colors, or a framed mirror.
  • If there's enough room, place a console table, dresser, or bench near the entry. Hang a mirror or colorful artwork over the furniture.
  • For very small spaces; install a narrow floating shelf and prop a picture or mirror on it. 
  • Other foyer ideas; an attractive coat rack, a chest or bench for removing shoes with art hanging above, an antique dresser with a lamp, a lovely antique armoire serving as a closet.

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