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10 Ways to Save Money NOW By Creating a Focal Point

By 08/07/2012May 23rd, 20226 Comments

I’m re-posting a few of my best posts, this one was originally written in June 2009. This is my all time favourite because creating a focal point (or another more important place to draw the eye) is such a great way to distract from something you don’t like in the room.

Try it, and here’s some tips to help:

You know when you first tour the home you are about to rent or buy? You see all the flaws, the cabinets you will paint (yesterday!), the fireplace stone (it’s gotta go), or how about comments like “Honey there are no crown moldings!” etc. Besides seeing the ‘potential’ of the space, what you also see is the ugly and the dated and before you move into a house, it all seems larger than life not to mention, very expensive!


Then you move in, your furniture is placed, your artwork is installed and those flaws you originally saw as such ‘deal breakers’ don’t seem so big any more.

Clients have said to me “Well I just got used to it I guess”. But I have another theory and it’s closer to–you simply have something else to look at now that you’ve moved in.


1. The mirror hides the imperfection in the wall [above].

2. The piece of art above the fireplace becomes the focal point, therefore the mantle or stone doesn’t seem as bad as it did at first.

3. Ever notice how much sexier your dining table or desk looks–even when it’s covered with paper–if it has a stunning vase with flowers in it [below]?


That’s how important it is to have a focal point in each room of the house!


4. If the end table in your living room is the first thing you see when you walk in, (like in this image above) then your lamp needs to be one of the most important pieces in the room!

5. Toss Cushions. You would be surprised at how quickly your sofa can be transformed from dull and dated to interesting and eclectic, with the right toss cushions. It seems obvious but all you have to do is take a piece of fabric (or a matching cushion from your sofa) on your next shopping trip to bring some colour and drama home with you!

6. Bedrooms. The bed is the easiest piece of furniture to keep neat and tidy so if the first thing you see when you walk into your (or your kid’s) bedroom is a messy bookshelf or desk, re-arrange the room. It’s amazing how many clients look at me like I am a genius when I make this suggestion, when it seems so obvious and straight forward to me.

However, I don’t judge, I am just thrilled that you have hired me to help you make your home more beautiful!

Above images from flickr

7. Garage. Why does it need to be white when the walls in this room get the biggest beating? Bikes, lawnmowers, garden equipment, outdoor furniture, etc. Paint it a fabulous colour (which then becomes the focal point) that fills you with happiness every time you see it and read my post about light colours in dark rooms, if you are still not convinced!
8. Bathrooms. I have saved many an immediate (I can’t stand this bathroom!) renovation by selecting the right colour for the cabinets (that relates to the countertop) and the walls (that relates to the tile), but this solution only works if you have the right colour. This is when the design fee of a colour designer really looks like a bargain!

House Beautiful

9. Kitchens. Cabinets if they are dated, should be painted white or cream period [above]. Read my post on white kitchen cabinets and then have your husband read this post so that he can get aligned with you on painting them! It’s possible also to paint the backsplash if you can’t afford to take it out immediately, sometimes my clients have just painted the dated accent tiles individually if required.

10. Crown Moldings. Okay do they really need to be the first thing you install in your living room before it’s even decorated? I know what this is (your husband is so busted!); men get the value of a house, they want a big, beautiful (our friends will be so envious) house, but then decorating it? The budget suddenly dries up. Is this a familiar song? That’s why I just don’t see the point (of making those kinds of–barely noticeable–changes) until at least your living room is decorated! When you are moving, a stylish living room will sell your house way faster than having crown moldings anyway, so take my advice and decorate instead!

Related posts:

Colour & Condoms

A Light Colour will Never Come to Life in a Dark Room

Selecting your Kitchen or Bath Backsplash; Accent tile or NOT

The Secrets to Selling your House in 2009

Download my eBook, to learn what you didn’t get in Colour Theory – How to Choose Paint Colours – It’s All in the Undertones. Now available in Apple version for iPad.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact me.

To make sure the undertones in your home are right, get some large samples!

If you would like to learn to how choose the right colours for your home or for your clients, become a True Colour Expert.

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