Living or family room designs need a focal point. More than just being nice to look at, they help pull a room together... often adding comfort and even guiding furniture placement.
Unless your living or family room design has an obvious focal point (a large fireplace, unusual windows, etc.), you’ll need to create one. How? Select an object that promotes the room’s main activity. A handsome TV cabinet will make TV-watching easier... or a unique area rug under a sofa and chairs will invite togetherness.
According to professional room designers, the perfect focal point meets eight criteria…
#1. Nice to look at. Being the center of attention, a handsome design and quality construction are must-haves!
#2. Well lit. Accent lighting aimed at the focal point (or inside of it) adds art gallery-like drama.
#3. Personal. Adding books, pictures or favorite objects above or inside a focal point adds personalized, unique details to a room. Adjustable shelves inside a cabinet helps customize your display (they're also a helpful organizing idea).
#4. Useful. A focal point that's also functional does double duty! A fireplace adds warmth. Furniture with drawers add storage. A cabinet with glass doors keeps TV and stereo components dust-free and the remote control working!
#5. Without a bad side! If the sides or top of a piece of furniture are visible (even from a balcony), they must be as well designed and finished as the front!
#6. Next to seating. Whether a fireplace, window or TV wall, a focal point is best accompanied by a comfortable living room furniture arrangement right next to it.
#7. Scaled for the room. In living or family room designs with a high ceiling, a tall fireplace or furniture cabinet will look more proportionate. In a small room or one with low-ceilings, a low mantel or a wide cabinet will look more proprotionate (and make the ceilings look higher!)
#8. Unlike the wall behind it. Focal points that contrast the color or texture of the wall behind it stand out. Objects with sculptural, or three-dimensional qualities add extra drama.
In most living and family rooms, watching TV is the main activity! A grand cabinet, like the Napa grand wall (above) houses a large TV without making the TV the focus of the room.