The Importance of a Focal Point
What is a focal point?
In interior design and interior styling, there are few elements more important than the focal point. It’s the star of the show, it sets the scene and creates the first impression. It is the one element that buyers will first see upon entering a room, and more importantly the one they will most likely remember long after the inspection is over.
A property’s focal point is often the very reason that a buyer first forms an emotional connection to a home; it’s in their mind as they picture themselves and their family living there - and it’s often the reason that people place an offer well above price expectations!
So unsurprisingly, a lot of planning and thought goes into ensuring that each property that we style has its unique character enhanced and presented in the best possible light for potential buyers. More often than not, it is an existing part of the interior architecture, but there is also an art to creating a focal point where there is none.
A view as a focal point
As humans, we are drawn to the outdoors, especially after most of us have spent a large portion of the last few years inside our homes! Whether it be an impressive cityscape, or a jaw-dropping ocean view, or even just the lush green backdrop of a suburban backyard - a view always serves as a powerful focal point and a key motivation for buyers to imagine waking up every morning to that outlook.
For properties where an outstanding view is a focal point, it’s important to keep the remainder of the room neutral and calm. The key here is strategically positioning furniture so the windows are the star of the show, and the view is maximised.
A defined architectural element as a focal point
As Sydneysiders well know, our city is anything but homogenous with each suburb having a unique personality. That’s why here at Spatial, our Senior Stylists actually live in the areas that they style - giving them a unique insight into the neighbourhoods that they are styling in.
Often properties that we stage have defining interior architectural elements that make a natural choice for a focal point, like the Victorian-style terrace houses of the Inner West with their exposed brick interior walls, ornate fireplaces and embellished cast-iron balustrades. These strong features are in high demand and make a natural focal point for our team to style around. The aim here is to highlight and invite the potential buyers into the room, making them feel comfortable and at home, while also not overpowering the space by straying too far away from a neutral design.
Why does a focal point help sell a property?
Properties with a strong focal point stick in a potential buyer's mind, making a lasting impression and motivating them to make a decision based on emotional connection, rather than logic, which as many agents will tell you leads to a higher offer price.
“On trend” focal points, such as the industrial-style trendy warehouse conversions seen in Marrickville, or the ornate pastel Victorian terrace houses in Paddington are in demand. Buying a home is easily one of the most significant purchases of an individuals life, so it’s only natural that they will seek to buy one that is in line with their own unique personality, characteristics and style. People buy a home that is an extension of themselves, so by highlighting a highly desirable focal point of a property, you are helping them make that connection and moving them further along in their decision-making process.
However, one challenge that comes with a strong focal point is that it can be tricky for novices to style to their full potential. Professional property styling is essential for homes that have a strong focal point, as it gives the buyer an easy visual example of a way they could style an otherwise overpowering design element.
What if a room has multiple focal points?
Property stylists are experts at assessing which focal point is best to highlight for improved buyer interest, and how to downplay any potential clashing features. Here at Spatial, we assess each property and devise a personalised styling proposal to ensure that your house stands out on the market.
When working with a room with multiple focal points, it’s important to focus on the one that first draws your eye in. From there we always start with a neutral base, to help ground the space and provide an uncluttered foundation. We then layer in textures to add interest, rather than using busy patterns or multiple colour schemes which will overpower a space with multiple focal points.
What if a room has NO focal point?
There is nothing worse than walking into a bland box of a room that has no character or style to it!
This is where an expert property stylist really earns their keep - by creating an interesting and memorable focal point that the buyer will hold in their mind long after their walk-through.
Examples of some great ways to create a focal point are:
- A large show-stealing piece of art draws the viewer into the room, often from other areas of the house. This piece must be a continuation of the design scheme of the rest of the property, be that with a similar colour palette, or mimicking textural components of other rooms.
- A gallery-style wall of impressive artworks work best with rooms that are smaller in scale, so they’re not overpowering to the eye.
- A dramatic piece of furniture, such as an eye-catching bed head to give the space a defining feature that the mind will hold on to.
- A large plant or collection of plants gives a room life - literally! We love to work with Porch Envy, who provide our properties with living statement plants that elevate a space and make it feel more like home.
Naturally, everyone has their own tastes and design aesthetic, so the key is to ensure you use a neutral base and only highlight one focal point. This means you won't overwhelm a space, or alienate a potential buyer who can’t seem themselves living in an over-styled space.
Properties that achieve great sales results - that is selling quicker and for more than the competition - are the ones that create an emotional connection with the potential buyer, and there is no better way to do this than with an eye-catching and memorable focal point.