Decorating in 3’s

In thinking back, I realized that I first became interested in home decor and design when I was in elementary school. I was a member of the local 4H Club and one year I joined the “Home Design” unit. I am not sure what you know about 4H, but if my memory serves me correctly (which would actually be surprising), members got to pick which group they wanted to join based on their own personal interests. You would study that unit for the entire year. I can’t remember all of the cool things we did and learned through 4H, but it was really fun. The groups were usually small and focused on a specific set of skills, lessons and activities that fit with the theme of the unit. I really don’t remember all of the choices, but it was based on volunteers from the community offering to lead particular units. It was great! You don’t really hear much about 4H in the city, perhaps it’s more of a small town thing?? Anyway, I think this particular unit was called “Home Design” (or something like that). Over the course of the year, your group would meet regularly to complete your unit of study. At the end of the year,  you would create a final project that would be displayed at the culminating event called Achievement Day. I chose to create a flower arrangement for my final project (remember, this is back in the 70’s). Of course, this decorating tip is based on a childhood memory and is most likely skewed to some extent, but somewhere during the course of this unit, I learned about the power of odd numbers in design and specifically how to decorate in 3’s. It is just something that stuck with me.

Decorating in 3’s:

So, when preparing for this post, I thought I might just Google “decorating in 3’s” and sure enough, its an actual design principle. Did you ever wonder how to pull a room or space together? Why not consider the Rule of 3’s?

If you want to add a pop of colour to a room, but don’t want it to look out of place, the key is embedding it in 3’s. You might have one more dramatic piece and the others just added subtly to the background through a painting or fabric print. Check-out this post on Mr. Kate to see how colour is used in 3’s. This image is an example taken from the post.

Colour pop in 3's

Mr. Kate’s example of how the light green can be seen in the bench, chair and bowl of apples on the table.

Rule of 3 in architectureThe Rule of 3 is often evident in the architectural design of homes and buildings. Here is an example of how this was applied in the design of our 1921 home.  Notice the architectural design of the windows in sets of 3 on either side of the front entrance. 

The Rule of 3 can be seen in lighting as well. How often have you seen 3 wick candles or 3 tiered candelabra?  How about pictures that are mounted in 3’s? I did a quick tour of our house this morning and included a collection of pictures that reflect the Rule of 3.

When you are thinking about decorating a space regardless of whether its big or small, consider the Rule of 3’s. By applying this rule, you can create a visually appealing look that flows and appears balanced. For more great tips on the Rule of 3, check-out houzz or 21 Rosemary Lane. Happy decorating!