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The Rule of Three

2016 Jul 12 By Hannah Goodfellow

When it comes to designing and decorating there is one main little trick that I always like to follow: THE RULE OF THREE!

The majority of the time using an odd number (a small odd number) of objects looks far more natural & accidentally placed than even numbers. Even numbers will often looked forced, with too much symmetry the natural vibe of the room is killed.

You can follow this rule in a few different ways:

1. Three Colours

The first colour should be used about 60% - this colour should be the base or foundation of the room, this could be a neutral colour.

30% being the secondary colour being a bold, vivid colour.

Lastly, 10% should be be subtle accentuating trims and edges.

Although this is a common combination to use, you can also choose slightly varying shades that are close to your base colour for variation.

Photo credit: Sophie Patterson Interiors

2. Three Textures

The key to knowing you have designed/decorated a home successful is when all the elements aren’t noticeable individually but together as a unit. The same that is true for colours is for textures, by utilising materials like wood, ratten & linen you create warmth & truth to a space that may be void of character.


3. Furniture & Homewares

When it comes to arranging furniture & homewares the best trick is to not take the rule of three too literally. Create groups of furniture or decor that mimic areas in the space as well as adjusting the height and scale of the objects you use.


Photo credit: Decor Pad

4. Lighting

As lighting is often a focal point of the room is important to get this one right with the rule of three. Again, don’t take this too literally - it doesn’t mean you can only have three lights. However, arrange your lights in groups of three: table/side lamps, floor lamps, pendants, track lighting, down lights etc.


Photo credit: Reno Addict

The rule of three is a great way to get your spaces to look effectively styled, however that is not to say that this rule can never be broken. A house full of tables full of decor arranged in three’s would look just as odd as a house full of symmetry so mix it up and relax because styling is supposed to be fun!



On The Decorative Fringe

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