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Focal Points & Signature Pieces

by | Jul 29, 2009 | Decorating Inspiration, Details, Kitchens

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Focal Points & Signature Pieces

Do you all have a focal point piece of furniture somewhere in your house? Or what I sometimes think of as a “signature piece?” All that really means is that you have at least one WOW piece in your main rooms. Something stunning because of its color, shape, style, size, element of surprise, detail or otherwise striking presence in your home. It might be just one piece, or a grouping of things put together to give you that WOW moment.

Clearly too many WOW factors will make you dizzy (and the WOW you get from guests will take on a whole new meaning). But one well chosen piece or focal point in a room will give your space the WOW it deserves.

Don’t worry about being safe in your decorating style, let yourself go for the WOW factor every now and then!  Your home will thank you for it.

What would you consider one of your focal or signature pieces?

red hutch via Tradtional Home


  1. lylah ledner

    I do have a focal point…a large black wardrobe in the family room that houses the tv stuff….what I’m loving about this post…is the color of the piece you displayed….

    Love it….:-)

  2. nel

    It’s still a couple of weeks away but I’m hoping my new kitchen will be my ‘wow’ factor :)

  3. Becky K.

    Warren’s Grandmother’s hutch/corner cupboard is, without a doubt, my WOW piece. It is extraordinary and I am so blessed to have it.

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  4. Terri

    I love your site! I just came across it and added your button to my blog. Great job!

  5. Sheri

    I just painted my hutch a turquoise color, it really pops! (I’m still getting used to it!)

  6. Rana

    Ours is our fireplace and mantel. I’m just having trouble finding ideas for decorating it. If anyone has a good idea pleas feel free to share.

    • Louise

      Go to Rate My Space on HGTV site & take photos & submit them for all to see & they will leave comments/suggestions for you that you might like. Good luck!

    • Emma

      I have an amazing mantle also that I thought I could easily decorate but now I am at a bit of a loss as well???!!

  7. Kristen

    A focal piece, a wow factor – intersting food for thought. Hubby and I just moved into a new, rented space. In our previous home (which was rented as well), we painted and that helped since our furniture wasn’t very eye catching. But it made moving out and returning the home to it’s original look a disaster. So probably no paint in this place – but a focal piece…that would work. Guess it’s time to start bargin hunting.

  8. Astrid

    Still working on getting the Wow! Factor into my home. I have a few ho-hum pieces but nothing that screams WOW! Some day I’ll get there.

  9. Gayla King

    I recently ordered a green cabinet (with sliding glass paned doors) from JC Penney (it looks like a cabinet I saw in Pottery Barn, but it was A LOT cheaper). I filled the cabinet with my collection of bowls. I was going to use white bowls only; but after I got all my bowls together, I have a lot more color than I realized. My bowl cabinet makes my heart “sing” every time I pass it. I love it!

  10. cathy

    I aim to have a “wow” focal point in every room…even the bath!!! I have found by incorporating that factor into every room, it distracts the eye from the imperfections in other places of the room. Plus, the eye always wants to “rest” somewhere!! Love your blog:))

    • Melissa

      Yes, that is SO TRUE!
      Thanks Cathy!

  11. Peggy

    One special piece is the old post office cubbyhole filled with 20 of my favorite things like flowblue cups and saucers, Scottie dogs, bird’s nests and china veggies sitting on the fireplace mantel. Makes me smile to view these collected treasures.

  12. The Bella Girls

    I’m still in the process of pulling all the pieces in my house together. Recently, I purchased a teak mid-century modern kitchen table. I had to put a little bit of love into it, but it was well worth it. It is definately a focal point in my kitchen. Whenever we have friends over, it seems like all of the males comment on how they love our table. I’ll take this to be a good thing ;-)


  13. Debbie

    Hi Melissa! The biggest wow factor in our kitchen is when my hubby cooks and leaves a big blob of spaghetti sauce on the wall or floor, then I walk in it (of course) and say “wow #$$%)
    Hahahaha, big smile. Hope your day is lovely.
    Come see my post…I redid our farmhouse chairs in my dining room/kitchen!

  14. teresa

    I’m not sure if I have one- maybe the view out the windows- I need to work on this- great post-

  15. black eyed susans kitchen

    Hi Melissa, I think each room in our house has a bit of a focal point, but the one that really brings on the wow factor is the large Welsh dresser style hutch in our dining room filled with vintage hammered aluminum. I have a picture of it here from a 2008 post. It is a fairly unique collection, and most people are not aware of its history in our culture. I love the red hutch that you is so dramatic.
    ♥, Susan

  16. Suzann

    I have one piece of furniture in my house that I LOVE. It’s the armoire for the television. But, I have been trying to put one “wow” piece in each room and look to it for the inspiration for the rest of the room.

  17. Claudia

    I am with Cathy– I really like a wow or focal point for each room.

    Whether its a color palette or a Picture or a mantle — too many focal points looses its punch.

    Like in a kitchen i love a creative backsplash — or simply the beatiful granite that was natures creation.

    Great post as usual :)

    TTFN~~Claudia ♥

  18. Pinky

    I DO have a wow piece in my living room. I am fortunate enough to have inherited my in laws GORGEOUS Oriental screen that my FIL (who was a pilot) brought back from Japan!!!! It is just magnificent and it is a treasure of mine! Love your blog, Melissa! Pinky

  19. Diane Costanza

    Oh that red hutch is sooo WOW to me! I adore red. I used to have lipstick red walls throughout my house, but after 15 years of it I finally went with a golden and very tuscan faux finish. I do use alot of red accents though.
    I don’t really have a focal point in my main room anymore because I moved the wall unit to another out of the way wall, but I am working on it. Maybe I can re-paint the wall unit just like that red hutch???

  20. Lindy

    My “wow” piece is a mahogany lowboy that was part of my parents dining room set. Everyone who comes to my home comments on it, even workmen. (I followed a Martha Stewart suggestion and had the brass hardware professionally polished and protected – looks great) It has made me realize how one nice piece can make a room.

  21. Kim

    I just laughed my bajeebees off after I read your comment! I have a dog with the same issue! Hence the reason there is not a floor mat in the middle row! I have to admit, I feel so much better knowing that it’s not just me – thanks!!! – kim!

  22. Angela

    That is a beautiful RED piece. What a focal point! This is definitely something I love talking about.

  23. kelsey

    Melissa, I just love your site. You choose the perfect shots to illustrate your points, which are all inspirational. You have such an eye for design and I appreciate that the goal you communicate is to be true to what you love, not trying to live up to other people’s expectations. Thank you!

  24. Jillian

    I agree there should be resting places in each room, and a focal point, some rooms have quieter features than others, and I think there should be a degree of cohesiveness with focal points in various rooms as well. Too many flashy focal points in too many different rooms may be overkill.

  25. Why S?

    Over my mantel I have a handmade, wooden plow yoke that I brought back from Mexico. It actually belonged to my uncle who used it to plow his fields. It’s a bit cracked and he had it just lying on the side of his house, discarded. My husband and I thought the smooth, weathered wood was beautiful and he let us have it. He must have thought we were crazy. The Customs officers must have thought us crazy too.

  26. Richella

    What a good question! You’ve inspired me–I’m going to look around my house with new eyes and see if there are enough–but not too many!–signature pieces. Hmmm. I suppose the first thing that comes to my mind is the deacon’s bench in my dining room that I wrote about today. It’s not at all big or colorful, but it does seem to be the first thing that people notice about my dining room. And that makes me happy because it’s one of my very favorite pieces of furniture.

    As always, thanks for the inspiration. Your blog is so well-named. I always feel inspired after I visit here.

  27. Victoria

    That piece is to live for!!! I heart it so much that it caused me to leave this comment on your blog even though I rarely have time to comment. And it gave me an idea for something new to put on the honey-do list for our dining room. Just gorgeous! So glad I follow your extraordinary blog as it is always chock full of wonderfulness!

  28. jodi

    such a great point…I have a beautiful painted pie safe that I would consider to be a WOW piece in one room, but other than that…hmmm…I would love a large black piece or even a red one like the hutch you showed…thanks for the idea!

  29. Melissa

    I absolutely am in love with that red. What issue of Traditional Home is that from? Do you happen to know the red color?

  30. janice

    Mine is the white painted cabinet displaying all of my cherished jugs, crockery and plates – all of them used.

    I agree that every room benefits from having something that draws the eye, but sometimes it can be something that subtly pulls the whole room together. In my kitchen, it’s the folk inspired tiles and the primary coloured curtains. I love them so much, they feature in the header of my blog!

  31. Franki Parde

    Where CAN I FIND the red hutch?? I have been looking for this piece all my life!!! Please can you supply me the name of the manufacturer?!?!? I saw this when you posted it originally and filed it but I cannot locate it. Sob! [email protected] SO MANY THANKS!


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