In the world of interior design, every room needs a focal point, a point of visual interest that dominates the space and sets the stage for your room’s design. A focal point is the area of a room the eye is instantly drawn to. Once you choose your focal point, the rest of the space will take shape and come together more efficiently. It will be easier to plan your layout, select and arrange furniture, and choose the colors, patterns, and objects to unify your space.

Out of all the rooms in the house, the living room requires a focal point the most. Beyond the foyer, the living room is the first space visitors see upon entering, and the place where family and friends gather for relaxation, conversation, and entertainment. If you’re feeling daunted deciding on a living room focal point, these six living room focal point ideas are sure to inspire you.

Living Room Focal Points

Cool Living Room Focal Point Ideas for Every Space and Budget: Pinterest

Dress up your space with the following stylish and practical living room focal points.

Install a Fireplace Mantle

Glenn Aksel Popsicle Ellie REM Modern Living Room Fireplace Mantel

A fireplace in the center of the room is an ideal focal point for a living room. Even if you don’t have a working fireplace, you can dress up the mantle with decor to make the area look stylish and grab attention. If your living room doesn’t have a built-in fireplace but has a wall with an outlet, you can plug in an electric fireplace and create a warm ambiance for those cool days and nights. Has your mantle seen better days? Then consider installing a new one.

Once you decide on a mantle, here are some decorating tips:

  • Choose a wood tone or color that matches one that complements your aesthetic.
  • For a traditional home, choose dark wood.
  • A light or bright-colored mantle can make a bold statement and complete the look in a modern home.
  • Once you install your mantle, decorate it with photos, greenery, and other home decor items.
  • Swap out decor around the holidays to create a festive mood.

Design a Feature Wall With Floating Shelves

Glenn Aksel Ellie Book Wedgie REM Modern Living Room Floating Shelves

You can create a feature wall by mounting floating shelves on a long wall. Choose a floating shelf that extends the length of the wall. Then display a large photo or piece of art in the center and layer medium-sized and smaller objects on the sides of the floating shelf. Another option is to install smaller floating shelves and arrange them in a stacking pattern. Create jagged lines or an asymmetrical design. You’ve got so many options when it comes to styling floating shelves for your living room feature wall. Here are a handful of tips and ideas.

  • Display objects in neutral colors that match the room, such as black, white, and beige, or gray.
  • To make your focal point pop with color, select floating shelves in bright colors.
  • Group similar items together such as baskets, greenery, art, or photos, or choose a single category, such as a plant- filled wall.
  • Choose a theme such as music and display vinyl records and music-related decor.
  • For a unique presentation, combine smooth and rough textures in various heights and widths, such as glass, wood, metal, and rock.

Hang Bookshelves

Tromso FM3 Popsicle Ellie Book Wedgie Modern Claymore Armybrat Livingroom Hang Bookshelves

If you’re an avid reader, why not make your focal point a wall filled with books? Architectural details make great focal points for bookshelves. You can install bookshelves on a feature wall and other architectural features showcasing your favorite volumes and home decor.

  • Alcoves: An alcove can provide privacy away from the central area of a large living room to get lost in a good book in a favorite reading chair.
  • Brick walls: Another great focal point idea to install bookshelves is on a brick or stone wall. These areas will not only house your favorite stories, but add texture and character to your living room.
  • Fireplace walls: The walls above and on the sides of a fireplace are the perfect place in a living room to install bookshelves. On the mantel, place a large piece of art or statement mirror in the center. Then on each side, install floating bookshelves to expand your focal point.

Consider Picture Ledges

Tromso Fm1 Fatlippie Modern Livingroom Picture Ledges
Tromso Fm1 Fatlippie Modern Livingroom Picture Ledges

Picture ledges are having a moment. Available in a wide variety of colors, picture ledges contain grooves that help keep display items in place that might otherwise fall off of shelves. Picture ledges are ideal for collage displays with layered artwork, objects, and small plants. They also provide various opportunities to show off your personality

  • Display oversized coffee table books or family photos on a long wall across from the sofa or around the TV.
  • Arrange a collection of pottery or souvenirs from your travels.
  • For a streamlined look, choose a similar color ledge as your wall.
  • To create drama and contrast, use white picture ledges on a dark accent wall.

DIY a Wood Wall

Fatlippie Peggy5 Bookwedgie Modern Room DIY Wood Walls

Installing wood on a wall can create a warm and organic focal point in a living room. If you love a challenging DIY project, installing wood can provide an excellent way to save money on labor costs. If you’re not up for the task, you can always call a local pro. In either case, you have many wood options to choose from. These types of wood make beautiful accent walls.

  • Fluted wall panels
  • Shiplap
  • Reclaimed wood planks
  • Wooden tiles
  • Wood trim used to create your own wall design

Paper Your Walls

Aksel REM Book Wedgie Paper Your Walls

Wallpaper has made a comeback in the last couple of years. But if the idea of papering all the walls in your living room feels overwhelming, consider creating a focal point with an accent wall. Wallpapering one wall can make a beautiful presentation and a dramatic statement in a living room. Plus it makes a beautiful backdrop for floating shelves, art, or statement furniture, such as a sofa, media cabinet, console, or credenza.

Wallpaper comes in various styles, designs, and colors to match every design aesthetic. So whether you prefer a theme, such as flowers, music, or art, you can find a wallpaper design that suits your personal tastes. According to Dwell magazine, you can even find wallpaper that smooths over cinderblock, textured, and uneven walls.

A smart wallpaper option for renters is peel-and-stick wallpaper. When you move, you can peel it off the wall and won’t risk losing your security deposit.

From wallpaper to wood and shelving, you’ve got stylish and functional living room focal point ideas you can customize to coordinate with your style.

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