How to Create a Focal Point in Your Living Room

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Nothing is more monotonous than a blank wall. And a sofa that hangs out in the middle of the floor is unimaginative and boring. Even a fireplace, without a plan, can seem like a big, gaping eyesore. And what about that window, with the lovely view, that has no adornment? Each of these scenarios is a simple example of a room without a focus. The following illustrations should give you a good starting point in creating your own design:

The Picture Perfect Wall A plain, uninspired wall can become a commanding focal point when photos and collectibles are displayed artfully. Choose frames of assorted sizes, shapes, and textures. Also vary the size of the mats, and the number and type of pictures within the frame, to add diversity and a more finished look. Practice arranging different groupings, either on paper, a table, or the floor, until you are satisfied with the look. A long table below the art gallery can hold items that reflect your taste, like a small lamp, a vase of flowers, and a few photos in stand-up frames. Recessed or track lighting on the ceiling, pointed toward your display, brightens and emphasizes your collection.

The Comfortable Couch Keep decorating expenses to a minimum by dressing up the couch. Start with a new slipcover. Add colorful pillows and throws in contrasting shades. Go for fabulous texture in subtle tones if too much color intimidates you. Overstuffed chairs should face the sofa on either side, close enough for conversation, but far enough apart for leg room. A simple low coffee table in between will support drinks or reading material. Vibrant accessories on the table in front of the sofa should help to draw the eye towards the couch, without being overly distracting.

The Cozy Fireplace Call attention to a lovely mantle by wallpapering just the wall behind it. A tone-on-tone pattern is eye-catching without being overwhelming. Tastefully top the mantle with a favorite picture and special accessories. Turn those comfy chairs to face the fireplace for a more intimate setting. Side tables nearby can hold drinks and accent pieces.

That Perfect View A window that captures the sunbeams on cold winter days can be an invitation to a view. A window seat will create an intimate reading nook and provide the perfect spot for contemplating deep thoughts as you watch the sun rise or set. Frame the outside of the window with a softly draped, sheer scarf -- the longer the better. A cheerful area rug will define the space.

With a little bit of effort and a lot of imagination, any one of these focal points can give you that cozy "this is home" kind of feel. If you are blessed with all of these features, consider creating small vignettes out of each space to bring continuity to the entire room. Invite tranquility and interest in every corner. Whether with friends, family, or alone with your thoughts, you will feel very rich, indeed.

Looking to take your interior design up a notch? Here's how to design a color palette for your home.