Interior Design Tips Rule of Three

Interior Design Tips: Rule of Three

Three jars and a wooden board on a table

So, you’re about to finalize your new home purchase or just bought a house. Congratulations! Before you move into your new house, eventually you’ll start to think about the things that make it a home, such as furniture or decor.

Thinking about how to decorate and arrange your home can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you are starting from scratch. A design trick to consider when it comes to arranging furniture and decor in your home is The Rule of Three.

What is the rule of three? 

The rule of threes (or rule of three/thirds) is a simple design concept that is easy to implement and can make a big difference to our home spaces. Objects in groups of 3 create a more visually appealing arrangement to the eye, creating visual depth and compelling your eyes to move along a distinguishable pattern. It is also not limited to groups of 3. Objects can be arranged by 5, 7, 9, etc. The key is our brains find groupings in odd numbers more appealing than even numbers.

Putting the Rule Into Practice 

Size & Shape

Arranging objects in varying sizes is a simple way to implement the rule of threes. If you are decorating a tabletop or shelf, choose objects that vary in shape or height to group together to create that visual path for the eye to naturally follow. 

Objects arranged on top of a dresser


Another way to implement the rule of threes is to use it when choosing colors for a room. In this case, you would follow the 60/30/10 rule - a variation of the rule of three. 

  • 60% main color
  • 30% secondary color
  • 10% accent color

Following this calculation when choosing room colors is a great rule of thumb for balancing those colors throughout your space.

Living room with green accent wall, wood, & plants

Furniture & Artwork

Arranging your furniture in a space in a group of 3 (or odd numbers) can improve a space if the original arrangement feels off. Grouping furniture & artwork that fall at different heights can help make a space look more visually appealing. The same also goes for artwork grouped on a wall.

Furniture & Artwork arranged in a group

Time to get started!

The rule of three is a helpful guide to follow, not a firm rule. Arrange objects in your room based on the amount of space you have. For example, if you’ve got a small tabletop, it’s okay if only one or two items fit. Your home is your space! You decide what makes your house feel like home.

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