Thursday, February 15, 2007

The First Thing You See In A Room

In the light of recent discussion on dolls, I thought I'd use this photograph, taken on one of the rare times when my girl's room was clean, to illustrate the idea of the Focal Point, a term used by designers. An easier way to illustrate the Focal Point is to say it's the first thing you see when you enter a normally-shaped room. Generally it's the largest piece of furniture - in a bedroom, it is usually the bed.

But sometimes it is the object that is directly opposite the door. For example, the tub is the largest object in our bathroom, but it is tucked into an alcove. Our bathroom's focal point is the window opposite the door.

Now, this is why we "house artists" with children should understand this: one easy way to keep a room "clean" is to make sure the Focal Point (the first thing you see in a room) is tidy. (This is one reason why you should always make your bed.) My bathroom tends to look presentable, so long as the curtains on the window are neat and straightened.

This picture below illustrates a failed focal point. I placed this pretty decorative shelf, salvaged from an old china hutch, opposite the door on a play table, and topped it with a picture to draw the eye away from my daughter's tumbled bed and open bureau drawers. But this shelf, containing toys used frequently by the children, was perennially empty or messy. It looked nice -- but only when tidy, and it was beyond the abilities of my small daughters to clean it every day. Plus the play table was constantly full of art projects, doll furniture, and books (as you can guess, noticing what was stored there.) So we rearranged the room a few months later. I'll show you what we did in the next post.
BTW the toys are: a bear my daughter made from a make-you-own-teddy kit, two Beanie Baby cats (I love these), the Little Blossom Doll made from a Magic Cabin doll kit, a dressed cat from a Plow and Hearth clearance, and a teddy bear which was found abandoned in a rental home, which my son Joshua immediately adopted as his own. The slices of logs are Magic Cabin Dolls' cherry tree blocks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great principle to ponder. It is a simple thing to help focus some of my tidying....