What are Destination Points and their Role in Interior Design
Written for Art, Antiques and Design (By Gail Green)
What are destination points?
They are a location spots, in effect, the first visual areas one sees upon entering a space. It is where the eye naturally falls and is drawn into when looking directly ahead into a room. Spacial circumstances form these natural focal points and, as such, create strong visual draws.
In thinking about how and where in the home these most important location points are created, several come to mind. The first space is the entry foyer, the visitor’s initial point of contact when opening the front door and entering their apartment. For the second most important area, one looks to the wall or area directly ahead and upon which the viewer’s sight first alights upon having entered a specific room.
And, finally, the last significant destination point may be considered the area that is directly to the right or left of the visitor’s perspective once they are comfortably positioned in a space. Each destination point creates an aura, a feeling of what is to come. In other words, these specific location points have the subconscious and visual ability to create “Wow” impressions, thus making or defining the spacial elements of a room. Destination points are important in creating a well balanced room, one that feels good because it displays proper scale, proportion and ratio.
THE FINAL FRONTIER
In designing the entry foyer, the architect / designer considers the point of initial visual impact. What is the first thing one sees upon entering the home? Does an entry foyer exist? Is the entry foyer prominent? Does the foyer feel welcoming? Does it create excellent circulation? Does the foyer flow?
Perhaps the most overlooked yet important space of the home is the Entry Foyer. This oftentimes ignored area sets the feel and flow of one’s home. In effect, the foyer creates the first and last visual and visceral impression. And, it is here where one is made to feel either welcomed or disoriented. By carving out a distinct entry area, one that helps create proper flow, the initial destination point is created. This important transition locale express a largesse of space from which the other rooms radiate. Therefore, the entry foyer becomes both the initial and most important destination point of the home.
Perhaps, there isn’t an existing well-defined foyer? Or, you choose not to construct one….How can a strong destination point be created in the entry without a formalized foyer space? Basically, the eye will go where you direct it…..So, if a pre-existing entry doesn’t already exist, create one! Here, the designer performs magic by simply changing what is before our eyes. How? By refocusing the eye with strong optical draws, it is possible to actually alter natural destination areas, thus creating your own focal points. In creating stronger visual axis’, the eye’s natural destination point is distracted and repositioned elsewhere. Simply make the area upon which the eye falls something bold, bold enough to capture the eye. Should it be a plain wall, try painting that surface a different, perhaps arresting color. If paint is not your metier, create a strong visual vignette by positioning a console on that wall over which you may place a mirror or work of art. You have now created a strong visual foyer.
Looking directly ahead from the entry is the next encountered destination point. It is what the observer sees at eye level at the furthest point of sight. Oftentimes, that vista is a hallway, long and narrow. Alternatively, it is an amorphously shaped room with unadorned windows ahead. Either way, this point needs to look and feel important. If there is a long hallway down which you face, create a niche or beautiful floral arrangement at its end. Should you be in a nondescript room with the eye facing a pair of windows with a beautiful view or a block wall, make those windows serve as framing devices in which to create a strong visual pull. Framing the windows with beautiful window treatments will enhance a view, making it even stronger. Similarly, placing an elegant window treatment over windows with unattractive views will camouflage and subtly lead the viewer into the room, expecting the best. Flipping out boring and dull for attractive and bold, the windows will now become strong destination points.
NATURAL FOCUS POINTS
Without the physical presence of strong destination points such as windows, one can create visual balance and harmony in a room, again, by tricking the eye. This can be accomplished through an especially strong visual element in the room, such as a fireplace. Function as a drawing, the fireplace pulls the eye towards it, thus creating a faux point. One’s perspective will immediately be drawn in that direction because it will hold the eye’s attention. Once selected as such, the fireplace will be enhanced by positioning furniture beside it, with a mirror or painting above it….in other words, create a composition using the fireplace at the initial starting point.
The final frontier, the end destination point, is that which one perceives when looking, at eye level, directly to the right or left at the furthest point. Facing in either direction, one should see something of importance for the room to maintain it’s focus and balance. Again, should nothing architectural exist, destination points are created by placing objet d’arts at the end of either axis. A brightly colored piece of furniture, sculpture, or strong visual element at the end of the eye’s axis will accomplish the draw.
Location, location, location are indices of destination points. By parlaying the eye to specifically enhanced areas, strong visual axis’ order and balance space. Whether naturally or magically created, these focus points create harmony while enhancing the overall appearance of a home.
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