As the name suggests, “emphasis” is an interior design principle stating that central furniture or art pieces play a role in grabbing attention or being the focal point of living spaces.

Example of emphasis used in interior design. Wall art as focal point of this living room
Source: Pinterest

How Do You Create Emphasis In Interior Design? To create emphasis in interior design involves creating a point of focus within a space. The focal point needs to be visually significant enough to catch and hold attention. Elements like texture, pattern and color are used for emphasis in certain focal points.

In interior design, there are many different ways to create interesting, demanding and dramatic focal points in a room. Read and find out more about this amazing design principle.

How Do You Create Emphasis In Interior Design?

When walking into a space, people immediately do a scan of the room. The eyes tend to rest on attention-grabbing elements. The design principle dealing with the dominance of focal points or area of interests is called Emphasis.

If you want to achieve an engaging, effective design, your objective should be to have coexisting subordinate and dominant elements, drawing eyes around the interior.

When it comes to emphasis in interior design, your space should dictate where the viewers look.

Imagine walking into a space with a white floor, white walls, white ceiling and in the middle, a white table with white chairs. How boring is that? Rooms become tedious and bland with no dominating element.

Once you add a focal point and a few visual accents, like a red vase, you engage the eyes, make the interior more interesting and create an effective design. To add emphasis you can hang a red pendant above the table or paint each chair bright red.

Creating a focal point for the purpose of emphasis

There are several different ways creating focal point in interior design. Here are few most common examples:

  • Use Statement Furniture– Large furniture or statement pieces serve as good focal points. Typically, this is the case in bedrooms and dining rooms where a room will obviously have central pieces. You will want to add tables or centerpieces or throw pillows on the bed to catch attention, which adds emphasis.
  • Add a Back Splash – Bathrooms and kitchens tend to have their own focal points such as tile back splashes either in the stove or in the shower. Make sure it includes a bold pattern or color.
  • Use Art – Mirrors and artwork carry entire rooms. Make sure you select artwork or mirrors big enough for the wall you hang it on. Place mirror or artwork at eye-level. Highlight the piece by adding accent lighting.
  • Add An Accent Wall– when it comes to focal points, accent walls have always been a popular choice. Usually, accent walls are the furthest wall away from the room’s entryway. Draw attention by using patterned wallpaper or bold paint color.
With right choice of accent wall you can create great emphasis in interior design
With right choice of accent wall you can create great emphasis in interior design
Source: Pinterest

TIP: use inexpensive chalk paint, I found on Amazon. It can look creative after as well.

Different Types of Emphasis in Interior Design

For any successful design, emphasis in interior design is important. When you encompass the center point of a room you command the attention of the viewer to specified areas. You then lead the viewer’s eyes where they please using other design elements. There are various kinds of emphasis including subordinate, sub-dominant, dominant and emphatic.

  • Subordinate – this type of emphasis includes small decor and accessories. For example, a throw in a contrasting color you drape on a couch, small room features such as small art and trinkets around the room.
  • Sub-Dominant– this type of emphasis includes smaller features such as central furniture, curtains and rugs.
  • Dominant – this type of emphasis involves any features you add in to dominant the space completely. For example, a giant chandelier that hangs at eye level on top of your dining table. It can also be a giant vase of flowers. Dominant emphasis can also be a huge antique bed or a giant trunk that grabs all the attention in the room.
  • Emphatic – this type of emphasis uses architectural or natural focal points, clear features and natural structural parts of the room such as a grand archway or a giant set of doors at your entry.
Huge doors as emphasis - focal point in your interior
Source: Pinterest

Design Elements To Create Emphasis

To create a focal point in an interior there are design elements you can use to create emphasis such as:

  • Mass – emphasize something that is “heavy” or seems to have “weight” by using shape and color to look “massive.” For example, a bright orange room with colorful furniture is a great backdrop for a heavy statue or concrete shape that goes against the theme of the room.
  • Texture – Use texture to emphasize a space. For example, a pendant light covered in fur against an unpainted cement wall is going to look stunning. The fur rug on a bare floor will stand out immensely. You can also play around with texture using textured wallpaper, rugs made with various types of fabric or yarn, throw pillows and interior plants such as ferns also add texture.
  • Color – color shifts create a design’s focal point. Color is what makes an accent wall stand out. If you have a room with three gray walls, the one painted burgundy on the far end of the room will grab all the attention of everyone who comes in. If you keep everything monochromatic, the focal point becomes the element with a completely different color.
  • Shapes – group similar things together, such as circular pendant lights and circular sitting schools. The square or octagonal table in the middle will then stand out. You can also play around with square such as square patterns on a rug, square tiles, square throw pillows and then an irregular-shaped table will stand out.
  • Lines – use the flow of lines to determine a room’s overall direction. When you alter the flow, the point where the flow is broken becomes the focal point. For example, if you use horizontal lines in your design and use vertical lines to break a pattern, it stands out where you want the attention.

Can you have more than one focal point in a single room?

When entering a room, the eyes are immediately drawn into areas or items in the space. This can be the fireplace or a large window. When there is one focal point, it is easier to decorate.

When there is more than one focal point, room decor become more complex.

A room looks messy or disorganized when there are too many objects trying to fight for your attention. When a room has more than one focal point, such as a painting and a fireplace, you can arrange furniture around each focal point.

This will give your room a sense of order because it will feel as if you have two separate spaces in the room. If your main focal point is the picture window’s view, arrange furnishing in such a way that it does not block the view but instead, frames it.

You will need to arrange furniture carefully in rooms with two different points of focus to make a space interesting and unique. To decorate a space with two focal point, you can first make a decision about which one is more imporatnt.

Chandelier and big wall mirror are creating two focal points in this dining room example
Chandelier and big wall mirror are creating two focal points in this dining room example.
Source: Pinterest

Attract more attention to the primary focal to be the focus as soon as you enter the room. Patterns, reflective surfaces and bright colors attract attention immediately. If there are two points of focus such as a painting or a fireplace, arrange furniture around each one.

Emphasis is important interior design principle. Learn more about base of each interior – Balance.

Related Questions

Does every room need to have a focal point?

Focal points are the aspects of a space where the eye goes to first. There should be a focal point in every room. Other than windows, there is usually an architectural part of the room that serves as the focal point, such as a fireplace.
In vacant rooms such as the living room, it is usually the main window. Depending on what you are trying to achieve and what time of year it is, you can focus on these focal points or create one of your own through hanging art work or placing furniture a certain way.
Every room needs to have a focal point. Having one area for the eyes to rest brings peace, harmony and balance. When you enter a room and the attention is scattered due to not having a focal point, it feels messy and disorganized. When you add a focal point, everything just seems to come together and be more organized in terms of design.

How Do You Stage A Room Using Emphasis?

In staging a room, the natural focal point is always highlighted. You can also create focal points other than the ones built into the room. Creating a focal point establishes visual interest in a space and gives the eyes a place to rest.
Stage a room by adding a “purpose” to a space, such as leaving an open book on the desk or if there is a giant vase on a round table, adding large fresh leaves and flowers to symbolize Every person that walks into the room should naturally look at the focal point first and then understand the purpose.

What is focal point in interior design?

A focal point in interior design is the point in the room which draws your eye immediately. This can be a large picture window, a TV, painting or a fireplace. Arranging furniture around the focal point gives the space a sense of order.

Subscribe

* indicates required

Recent Content