A lovely, well decorated room can fail…if it has no focal point. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace, make the most of it. Even if it is a mock fireplace and does not work, give it importance and character with fire irons and a pile of logs in the grate.
Outlook can often be a good focal point. If you have a beautiful country panorama or one of the rare skyline views of a city, arrange your furniture so that the windows become the center of eye interest. if you have neither fireplace or view, you will have to make your own focal point in the room.
Choose the most suitable and convenient wall, decorate it so that the rest of the room is pulled towards it. For instance, a beautiful tapestry with antique wall lights at each side immediately draws eye attention.
A sofa and a group of chairs arranged beneath it indicate this is the central point. The same applies to one large painting, a group of paintings, a wall of books, a massive shelf arrangement filled with collector’s items.
A grand piano also makes a good focal point, so does a mirrored wall, a sofa with end tables and two imposing lamps, and a long, narrow chest arrangement containing books and collectors items.
When grouping furniture make sure you can view the grouping from any part of the room, and get as much pleasure from it as you would a picture on the wall. This is particularly important if you have more than one group arrangement. View it from all angles and opposite sides of the room to check that it looks neither muddled or cluttered.
1. Group chairs and sofa so that traffic goes around and not through the arrangement.
2. Keep chairs resonably close together for easy conservation and to avoid shouting from across the room.
3. If you have lamps away from walls, install floor outlets to prevent tripping over lamp chords.
4. Choose tables that are about the same height as sofa and chairs to avoid spills and upset lamps.
5. Strike a good balance by seperating large pieces of furniture so that the room does not look too heavy at one end.
6. Remember light, slim furniture creates an optical illusion of space, also saves space.
Every room needs a center of gravity to pull it together. A fireplace is the most natural one, but wall treatments, windows and furniture arrangements can be just as eye catching.