Surely, you've heard this at some time. In essence it means, what are you, I or we talking about? Or what are we looking at? Or even, why? The phrase can also be applied in decorating; that is, what is the point (purpose in this case) of the room? What is its focal point?
The room below is clearly a media room to which I may add, a media room to die for--or at least, to daydream about and wish for. The screen is the focal point, complemented with a beautiful neutral decor. It's not boring because it's accented with black frames, tables, even the base of the lounges; the taupe decorative pillow; and the texture in the carpet against the smooth leather.
So what do you think is the point of the next room? Ok, that's an easy question. It's a multipurpose room and its focus is entertainment and social interaction:
Creating a focal point doesn't mean you have to have a lot of space. Sharing office space with a bedroom can easily blur the focal point but it's really not that hard to still have a focal point, such as a design style. Check out the next three examples, also from Houzz.com:
Here's a really small space but it's effective and inviting--all accomplished with a smart decorating style, contrasting neutral colors of black, white and gray. The violet warms the color scheme:
And if elegance and period pieces speak to you but square footage is a problem, creating a focal point for a bedroom/office is still achievable as illustrated here:
Yes, creating a focal point in a room can be a color or a specific decorating style. It can also be based in a theme-- an art gallery in a dining room.
In decorating, the point is to define the space. But in that space, a focal point gives cohesion to all surrounding objects in the room be it theme or a design style, even in dual purpose room.
What's the focal point of the room you sitting in right now? Please, do tell!