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Making a focal point in your backyard design

Make a focal point in your yard using a few tips.

Design focal points create an interesting area in your home. They draw attention and define the space. But focal points don't have to be reserved for an indoor space – you can also put one in your yard! From adding a pop of color in your garden to constructing a stunning sculpture, focal points come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some ways you can add a point of interest to your landscaping and how to make it part of the overall look of your yard:

Pick something that pleases you
The design of your backyard should appeal to you – it's your space, so you should like it. That logic can be applied to your focal point. Simply choose an object that makes you happy. Do you like the look of a certain tree or shrub? Would an outdoor fireplace make you smile? Does a certain sculpture appeal to your sensibilities? Any design element that makes you happy can become your yard's focal point. Other than that, choosing an object doesn't have many other guidelines. Here's some inspiration:

Make sure it's large enough
Don't think like an interior designer when picking your outdoor focal point. Many objects that would make a statement in your living room are too small for your yard. Even small gardens are vast – there's no roof or walls, so your view extends far beyond your property line. Make sure that whatever the focal point ends up being, it's large enough to catch attention in your backyard. The examples we gave above are on the large side, so they'll grab your gaze.

Downplay other features
To really make your focal point stand out, fill your garden with more subtle features. For instance, if you have a big tree in your yard, pick shorter plants. If you have a colorful statue, fill your yard with earth tones rather than a rainbow of flowers. That way, your focal point won't be lost in a cacophony of other uninteresting design choices.

Aim eyeline 
The way you design your yard can draw your eyes to your focal point, or distract you from it. For instance, downplaying other features is one way to draw attention to your focal point. The way you arrange your outdoor furniture sets can also help. You can face your outdoor sofas and chairs toward a fireplace or arrange benches to face a fountain. The angle of your furniture will cause you to look toward whatever the chairs face.

Can I have two?
In most cases, you should stick to just one focal point for your yard. However, sometimes having two is acceptable. For instance, if you have two sculptures by the same artist, keeping them together only makes sense. Additionally, you can place focal points in different areas of your yard, like on the side of the house and in the back. 

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