When I do home staging consultations, I often see beautiful rooms where the best features are hidden or obstructed. That means, they do not fulfill their function as a focal point. Focal points are necessary for every room to draw buyers’ attention, guide them along the house, and distract from negative elements. Focal points is one of the main marketing elements that sellers have in their arsenal of home staging tools. Positioned and emphasized correctly, focal points create positive emotions, enhance balance, and help define functions of the rooms. Which in turn helps buyers feel good about the property even though they may not fully understand why.
Every room should have at least one focal point, no matter how small. Some rooms have more than one. It is usually when one of the elements is a natural feature, like a gorgeous view, and the other is added, like a painting.
Common focal points include fireplaces, kitchen islands, chandeliers, and vignettes.
Some already exist in the house, and some need to be created. If a room lacks character, the easiest way to add it is to hang a beautiful bright picture, add a large vase with fresh flowers, or replace the light fixture. A beautifully styled bookcase will make a great focal point in a family room, an office, or a den.
Vignettes made of decor items like vases, sculptures, and books, make wonderful focal points. Make sure you use large items, with various heights and textures. Groups of three items are classic, but it’s OK to break this rule and experiment with different number of objects.
What does not make a great focal point? Huge TV screen is just a black rectangle with heavy visual weight and does not add any pizzaz. It’s best to position it in a way that it is not the first thing buyers see when they enter the room.
If you have an unpleasant view from a window just opposite the entrance to the door, it is best to create an alternative focal point with dramatic artwork or vignette to draw the attention away from the window.
Make sure that the focal point is not obstructed. On the photos below you can see how buyers walk into this room and face the back of the sofa. It takes away from the focal point and creates a subconscious message “stop here, you are not welcomed to this room”. By adding a large piece of art to the fireplace, removing the sofa and opening up the room, a welcoming feeling was created and an invitation to the buyers to envision themselves enjoying a conversation around the fireplace. A feeling like that will stay with the buyers and will help them make a decision about buying the house.
After the sellers made the changes, the house sold fast. Thank you, focal points!