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Decorating & Furniture/Opposite Focal Points


Design nightmare
Design nightmare  
Hi Jennifer,

I have a great new home with a family room that has two focal points on opposite walls. I really need your help with furniture placement to take advantage of both focal points. There is a media cabinet with built-in book cases as one focal point, then on the opposite wall is a fireplace.  The room is 17' x 19'.  The media cabinet and fireplace are on the 19' walls.

The family room is open to the kitchen.  When you are standing in the kitchen, looking at the family room, the media cabinet is on the right, and fireplace is on the left with windows on each side.  The back wall is blank with no windows.

Right now we have one sofa, a wing chair and three side tables.  I'd love to have a "plan" for the room before we start buying furniture.  I look forward to your response!

Thank you and have a blessed day,
Barbara Smith

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for writing me at All Experts.  Your question is a good one, and one that many new home buyers face.  There are a couple of things to consider.  First and foremost, IF you have the floor space to do so, I would recommend that you position your furniture in a way that your seated guests could take advantage of EITHER wall.  That would mean floating your furniture between the two "focal" walls; your sofa facing the blank wall; the side chairs facing the "kitchen" with a coffee table between them.  If you are purchasing furniture, you may want to face two sofas; or one sofa and two oversized chairs.  By using this configuration, a person seated would have the opportunity to look at the fireplace OR the media cabinet.  

Your other option is to select the fireplace wall as "The" focal point, and by definition, it is the natural focal wall.  Position the television over the fireplace by hanging it on the wall, and create your seating area facing the fireplace.  

Whichever you choose, create some interest on that back wall with a nice large piece of art, and make sure your furniture pieces create a conversation area.

Hope this helps you!


Jennifer Taylor Wojcik, Author
From Day One

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Jennifer Taylor Wojcik


Visit my web site at: Decor: I've written about it, planned it, designed it and colored it, and I've never stopped loving it. It's not what you spend, or who made it, it's how it makes you feel.


College, advertising, public relations, marketing, free-lance writing and a plethora of creative endeavors have led me here. As an entrepreneur in decorative product design, I learned the hard way how tough it can be to be in business for yourself. A stint at a law firm taught me humility too. Some three thousand questions ago, I wondered if I could really help. Obviously, I'm still here and still taking your questions. God Bless You!

"From Day One" and "Day After Day" available nationwide via bookstores and HTTP:// (HomeStyle articles beginning in 1998) Visit me at

BA, Psychology

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