Creating a focal point in any room is an important step in interior design work. Because of its eye-catching nature, a focal point often sets the mood that the room has to deliver. Every other interior design decision can be based off of that one piece of furniture, fixture, or room feature. In this way, focal points provide cohesion, hierarchy, and balance. You can see how I managed to create one in my last home office e-design project.
The thing about fireplaces is that more often than not, they are already the natural focal point in a room, be it a living area, study, or master suite. Home & Design Magazine explains that there’s just something about a fireplace that naturally draws the eye and makes the hearth the heart of the home. This is true whether it is a heat source or solely an architectural design element.
This makes the job of interior designers a little easier when designing around fireplaces, but you want to consider certain things to create effective interiors with fireplaces as a focal point.
When two natural focal points meet
While a fireplace is a natural focal point in a room, sometimes, it’s not the only one. The Spruce discussed that other elements, like a large window facing a fantastic landscape or an exposed brick wall, can also serve as natural focal points. The challenge then is to let one take precedence and use others as secondary and tertiary points for balance. Not doing so might only create an unfinished feel in a room.
To establish hierarchy, de-emphasise your secondary focal points. You can do this by toning them down with paler colours or smoother textures, or using simple window treatments with muted colours. In addition, to further highlight the fireplace, you can threat the wall or the floor around it with standing-out materials.
Arrange your furniture
In order to further establish the fireplace as the focal point of your room, use the rest of the room’s furniture to re-energise the space. The fireplace’s location, design, and size should influence the arrangement of everything else, with furniture grouped around it or facing towards it.
You can also try placing your furniture in such a way that lines lead towards the focal point. You can achieve this by facing two armchairs towards each other on either side of the fireplace. Remember to keep all furniture at least three feet away from the fireplace for safety and room for movement.
For those working with television sets, remember that you should never put them on top of the fireplace for a number of reasons, chief among them being ergonomics. Placing your television on top of the fireplace makes it above eye-level; so it won’t be long before people watching will feel tension in their neck or shoulders. On this topic, you may want to check out how ergonomics can improve your well-being.
In addition to this crucial comfort issue, Apartment Therapy explains that placing your telly on top of your fireplace can cause heat damage and may even void your television’s warranty!
Play it up
Once you’ve de-emphasised competing fixtures and arranged your furniture to suit your fireplace, don’t forget to dress it up.
To further accentuate your fireplace, use colours to set it apart from the rest of the room. Try painting the fireplace wall with an accent colour from your palette, or utilise wallpaper patterns. You can repeat this colour and accents around the room for cohesion.
Another way to accentuate your fireplace is to play up its surround. There are a number of materials that may be used for this aspect. The slew of marble fireplace surrounds on Screwfix can make a huge difference in adding a little class to your fireplace. On top of that, consider placing items like a bold mirror or a piece of art! Decorate your mantel with vases, photographs, and other elements that match your room’s theme. If there’s space on either side of your fireplace, you can even try bringing in potted plants to frame it.
Whatever design decision you make, remember that a focal point should always be the highlight of any room. Treat it well, and you’ll be sure to elicit compliments on the look and feel of your home.
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