How to Choose a Statement Piece

Choosing a statement piece

Darren Palmer has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.


Without a jewel at its heart, a crown would be just a piece of metal. Interiors are just the same.

Every room needs a jewel, something that draws the eye and creates some magic, a sense of wonder or excitement, something that elevates the space from drab to fab.

But just like noisy toddlers in a day-care, you can’t have too many points of interest or you risk becoming overwhelmed and unable to appreciate any of the elements. So how do you create that perfect balance?

A hierarchy of interest

Your eye needs to be told what to take in and you need to also give it opportunities to rest and regroup to be able to appreciate what it is seeing without overwhelm. You need to lead it around a space taking in one considered article at a time, even if your eye isn’t aware that it’s being led.

Start with something large and central to the room, such as a blank wall. Blank walls are brilliant opportunities to house art of course, but they can be canvases of their own accord, by creating an artwork with them using a dramatic wallcovering that’s lit for effect. By having something interesting for the eye to look at and by focusing the gaze on a single area through spot lighting it, you start to train the eye in where to look and what it’s looking for.

Artworks are another great focal point

Perhaps you have a beautiful fireplace with a blank space above it. It could be calling for a picture that garners attention, or it could just as effectively be brought to life by the placement of a sculptural and beautiful mirror.

Maybe your ceilings are dramatic or could become so. You might want to first draw the eye upward to take in a central chandelier or bold pendant light. The shadows and shapes it creates and the form of the light itself can be a tremendous focal point giving you an opportunity to cascade the interest in your room from the top down.

Perhaps instead of starting at the ceiling, you want to start at the floor. A rug can be like an artwork on the ground, with colour, texture, pattern and form all adding to its lustre and beauty. This gives your room something brilliant to unite the furniture pieces in the space and gives you a central element from which to draw further decorating inspiration in terms of colour, pattern or material.

Your furniture itself could be the star

A bold design, a classic form or an interest colour or pattern could draw your eye straight to it. It might be from here you want to start your visual journey around the space.

It is important though to think about which of these or any other element you can consider will become your focal point and statement piece. It’s ok to have beautiful wallpaper, a great artwork, an amazing light and bold statement furniture all in the same room but you need to decide which the biggest statement is, and what comes next, and next. You might need to tone down the sofa to let the artwork truly shine. You may want to get a slightly less dramatic pendant to let the light on your artwork do its job. Consider what it is you think is the biggest start and support it, toning down the other elements to allow it to shine if need be.

If you treat your room as a pyramid of interest, the most amazing thing at the top, the other things falling into place in a hierarchy of interest underneath, you will be able to create interesting and balanced rooms for yourself in your own home, in your own way.