The magnetic pull of a focal point in a room can be anything you want it to be, changing the mood of the room in an instant.
I like focal points in rooms for a few reasons, one, it acts as an anchor in a space, unifying a room that may otherwise have an identity crisis. Two, it draws you in, it immerses and engages you in an otherwise unfamiliar space, creating an emotional experience/connection. Sometimes it can also set the stage for a theme, or add playfulness or contrast to an otherwise stale space. Forth, it can be an instant face lift, making the room feel fresh and new, giving it a sense of panache and gusto. And lastly, it can do double duty by highlighting other important architectural beauty that would otherwise go unnoticed by the amateur eye.
The purpose of the focal point, in my opinion is to lure you in, only to have you consider the rest of the space in a wandering fashion. They eye should never linger when there is so much to explore. -tM