When it comes to kitchen design, creating a focal point is essential to achieve a balanced and aesthetically pleasing space.

A focal point is a central element that draws the eye and sets the tone for the rest of the kitchen.

It can be anything from a dramatic backsplash to a statement light fixture, and it helps to create a sense of cohesion and harmony within the space.

In this post, we will discuss the importance of a focal point in kitchen design and offer tips on how to develop one that truly stands out.

Why a Focal Point Matters

A focal point is a critical component of any kitchen design for several reasons.

Firstly, it adds visual interest to the space and helps to break up large expanses of cabinetry or walls.

Secondly, it can help to tie together different design elements within the kitchen, creating a cohesive look that feels intentional and considered.

A well-designed focal point can also help to establish the tone and style of the space.

For example, a bold, colorful backsplash might suggest a playful, eclectic vibe, while a sleek, minimalist pendant light might signal a more contemporary aesthetic.

Furthermore, a focal point can also be used to highlight a particular feature or area of the kitchen, such as a cooking zone.

By drawing attention to these areas, a focal point can help to create a sense of hierarchy within the space, making it feel more functional and organized.

How to Develop a Focal Point

Here are some tips on how to create a focal point that truly stands out.

1. Consider the Layout
Cooking Hearth

Before you begin thinking about specific design elements, it’s essential to consider the layout of the kitchen.

The focal point should be positioned in a way that draws the eye naturally and feels integrated with the rest of the space.

One effective way to achieve this is to align the focal point with the kitchen’s natural traffic flow.

For example, if the primary entrance to the kitchen is through a particular door or hallway, consider placing the focal point on the opposite wall.

This will create a visual cue that draws people into the space and encourages them to explore further.

In the example above, the range and hearth were centered between two islands and the entrance to the kitchen, emphasizing this focal point.

2. Choose a Design Element
Kitchen backsplash focal point

Once you have identified the ideal location for the focal point, it’s time to start thinking about the specific design element that will serve as the centerpiece of the space.

This could be anything from a dramatic backsplash to a statement light fixture, a bold accent wall, or a unique piece of artwork.

In the example above a set of hand painted tiles evokes the Mediterranean vibe of this overall kitchen design.

When selecting a design element, it’s important to choose something that resonates with the overall aesthetic of the kitchen.

Consider the colors, textures, and materials and how they might be incorporated into the space.

3. Create Contrast
Focal point above range

Creating contrast is a key element in developing a successful focal point.

This means selecting a design element that stands out from the rest of the kitchen and draws the eye towards it.

One way to achieve this is to choose a design element that is a different color or texture from the surrounding cabinetry or walls.

You can really see that in the example above that features a high contrast piece of stained glass above the range.

Another effective technique is to play with scale and proportion.

Consider choosing a statement light fixture that is larger or more elaborate than the other fixtures in the space.

This will help to create a sense of drama and make the focal point truly stand out.

4. Keep it Simple
Subtle focal point in backsplash

While it’s important to create contrast and visual interest, it’s also important to avoid overwhelming the space with too many design elements.

When developing a focal point, it’s best to keep things simple and choose one or two key design elements.

Color is often an element that can provide a focal point, but consider texture as a subtle, simple focal point.

In this example the textural countertop and backsplash provide a subtle focal point in this kitchen.

Let’s look at some specific examples of kitchen focal points.

A Bold Backsplash

A bold backsplash is a great way to create a focal point in your kitchen designs.

A unique and colorful tile pattern can draw the eye and add interest to an otherwise plain kitchen.

When selecting a backsplash, consider a color or pattern that contrasts with the rest of the kitchen design.

For example, if you are specifying a neutral-colored kitchen, consider a colorful and bold pattern for the backsplash to add interest.

Show-Stopping Lighting

A unique light fixture can be the perfect focal point in a kitchen design.

Whether it’s a chandelier, pendant, or a series of small lights, the right fixture can add drama and elegance to a kitchen.

Consider the style and finish of the fixture, and how it will complement the other elements in your kitchen design.

An Eye-Catching Kitchen Island

An eye-catching kitchen island can be the perfect focal point in a kitchen design.

When designing an island, consider its shape, size, and color.

A curved island can add interest and break up the straight lines of your kitchen design.

A colorful island can add contrast and vibrancy to a neutral kitchen.

You can also add unique details like a waterfall edge, intricate woodwork, or glass doors to make your island stand out.

Specify Unique Countertops

Unique countertops can be a great way to add interest and create a focal point in a kitchen design.

While granite countertops have been popular for years, there are now many other options to choose from, including marble, quartz, and concrete.

Consider a unique pattern or color for your countertops to add interest to your kitchen design.

You can also mix and match countertop materials to create a bold and dynamic look.

Incorporate Unique Materials

Incorporating unique materials can also be a great way to create a focal point in a kitchen design.

Consider using reclaimed wood, textured tile, or a bold metal finish for your cabinets or countertops.

A unique material can add texture and interest to your kitchen design.

As you can see, a well-designed focal point can elevate the design of a kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary.

Whether it’s a bold backsplash, a show-stopping light fixture, or an eye-catching kitchen island, there are many ways to create a stunning focal point in your kitchen design.

It is something I always think about at the beginning of my design process.

Do you think about what the focal point will be in your kitchen designs at the beginning of your design process? Let me know in the comments below.

Jan Rutgers has been designing for over 25 years. Developing functional layouts for every area of the home is her passion. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens in her career, learning valuable skills with each one! Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.

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