The eye goes to color, and when color is placed around a room your eye moves from one area to another taking in the entire space. Using color as a focal point can be very effective. However it can be tricky, too much color and the room can be overwhelming and too little and it gets lost. Where is that perfect balance?
Every room needs a focal point, something that draws your attention and paint can be a very effective medium to do this. Focal points create interest and when you build the rest of the room around it you have a very pleasing space.
Paint is an easy way to create a focal point. I use a very inexpensive method called color blocking. Color blocking is very simple. You apply a block any size or shape of an accent color to a wall. I had a set of three pictures I loved and wanted to put them on a very large wall in my living room. The pictures alone would have looked lost, but when I put a large block of an accent color on the wall and then hung them inside that block of color they looked wonderful. I pulled the accent color out of the pictures themselves, this made a cohesive look.
When looking for focal points look for architectural items in your home. Arch ways, recessed walls, bay windows or moldings. Use paint to make them stand out and become a point of interest in your home. You can make them more interesting with a contrasting color.
Look for the largest piece of furniture, window or even a high ceiling, anything that can be accented with color to bring the eye to that location. Don’t stop there after you have found the area in your room that you want to accent, continue that color around the room. It can be in pictures, pillows, fabrics or rugs on the floor. This method will make the eye move around the room, and it will feel complete and connected.
Just a word of warning…do not overdo the accent wall unless you are able to balance it within the room. Example if you have a red room, which is already a very intense color and you decide you really love the deep color of purple, and you want to paint it as an accent wall. Pulling that off could be a challenge; the combination would be very overwhelming and intense. A better way might be to use a different hue or intensity of the red in an accent wall, and put the deep purple throughout the room in pictures, pillows or fabrics. This would give you the best of all worlds.