The rule of 3...

Interior designers love working in odd numbers. When grouping items in odd numbers, you create a dynamic and more natural look. Even numbers contract and condense while odd numbers expand and create more energy. This is better known as the theory of Feng Shui.

To create a more interesting visual experience, use items in odd numbers. This forces the eyes to move around more and focus on different items at once. Our brains love odd numbers because they challenge us mentally. By using a minimum of three items, you can create a distinguishable pattern in your head.

The Rule of Three is a design principle which dictates layout, shapes, sizes and even colour in your room. The idea is to create balance and a centre point for the eye to focus on. The best part is that it doesn't cost a lot of money to implement this principle in your home:


Grouping items in threes is a tried and true technique that designers use when arranging objects in a room.

Try this: Group three different items together. In the image below you have three very distinct items but each item also connects with the other:

  • The brown pot picks up the brown print on the magazine.

  • The white statue matches the white trim on the magazine.

  • The statue and pot have similar textures.


When arranging furniture according to the rule of three, try choosing pieces that are similar in height and shape.

Try this: When choosing your three pieces, look for pieces with similar colours or textures. In the image below, you can see the light wood which matches in all three pieces. This unifies the pieces without them matching exactly.


The general principle when adding colour to a room is to add one big area with your chosen colour and then look for 2 other ways to reintroduce the colour.

Try this: In the image below, you can clearly see that the feature colour is blue. The designer has chosen a blue fireplace as the main feature and chose to reintroduce this colour in the couch and side tables.

Notice how calming the blue and brown colour features are together. Read more about how colour affects the mood of a room here.

Other Ways to Apply the Rule of Three


Hang three pendant lights above your kitchen island.

Architectural Details:

Highlight a window by using three curtain drapes.


Create a grouping of different artworks with similar frames.

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