How to use the ‘Rule of Three’ styling technique in your home

Posted: 2 September 2020

“Cushions want to be in groups of at least three. Never buy two of the same cushion; it’s like buying two of the same handbag”. Megan Morton - Stylist

 

Style like a professional

 

The rule of three is a much-loved design technique used by stylists and designers across the home and fashion industries. Studies have shown that people are more visually engaged when they see a group of three items and are more likely to remember the items within the group. We are drawn to the balance of a group of three, as there is something our brain finds more appealing about items arranged in odd numbers rather than even.

 

However, how can we use this method when creating our own interior style? There are several aspects of this ‘rule’ that we can use in our interiors to create harmony and balance.

 

Cushions for everyone

 

Cushions look fantastic in groups of three on your sofa. You can play with the size and shape for even more visual interest and dimension, layering from small to large. Having a group of two cushions on one side and one on the other is also a key styling trick that draws the eye across the lounge. Stylist Megan Morton suggests: “Cushions want to be in groups of at least three. Never buy two of the same cushion; it’s like buying two of the same handbag”.

 

Here at Weave, we subscribe to this theory and generally, we prefer to layer up cushions based on colour tone and texture rather than doubling up on the same cushion or creating a mirror image on each side of the sofa.

 

Image left to right: Weave Como European Linen range in Khaki, Blush and Linen. Ava Velvet cushions in Dusk, Jade and Austin Blossom and our Solano Throw.


Arranging your artwork

 

When you arrange three or more pieces of artwork on a wall, it becomes a collection rather than merely a single piece. This makes the grouping have more visual impact in your space and is commonly referred to as a triptych. The rule of three works very well when hanging the same or similar objects together – hanging just one basket in an arrangement would look sparse, but add two more and you have a display statement for your interior.

 

The rule of three also allows you to tell a visual story with your art collection or explore a visual theme. Apply this rule to a grid layout as shown below with two rows of three pieces of art, allowing for even more visual interest but still appearing balanced to the eye.

 

Images: @abstract.mag and ANTHROPOLOGIE.


Shelving

 

Creating the perfect ‘shelfie’ has taken over Instagram recently. It is a great way to display your collection of treasured objects and add personality to your space. The best way to highlight these treasures is to choose items that have different shapes and sizes to construct a three-dimensional grouping. This gives your items a sense of dimension on the shelf and invites the eye to explore further. You do not need to restrict your display to three objects, you can assemble several objects together and display in three groupings. Choosing a colour or material theme can also achieve cohesiveness in your display.

 

 

 
Images: Entrance and Studio Gabrielle.

Furniture & Lighting

 

Grouping larger interior pieces together in threes is a tried and tested styling trick. Not only is it visually appealing, but it’s also often practical in a space too. A side table next to a chair with a lamp for example, or a statement light feature over a dining table and chairs. Laying a rug under the group of three is a way to ground the grouping together. This trick is perfect to use in an awkward area of your home that you find is not working for you. Play with variation in height and size of objects grouped and you may find a solution to your problem.

 

 

Images: the new craftsman and domino.


Colour and Texture

 

The rule of three can also be applied to colour and texture within your home. Layer tonal variations of colour to create a cohesive space as seen below with ochre, sienna, and blush. These tonal variations on red all play off each other to create depth and dimension on this sofa. In a neutral space, layering different textural and patterned elements can transform potentially bland spaces into something far more interesting. As seen below with textural layering of materials: marble, printed pattern, and the sculptural ribbed lampshade.

 
 
Image left: Embla Onyx, Ava Ochre, Como Sienna, Como Blush. Image right: Ava Ecru, Malbec Onyx, Carillo Onyx, Prado Linen, Como Shadow.

 

The rule of three is a helpful little trick to employ around your home in all of your interior spaces from that lonely corner in your living area or a spot on your wall that needs some attention. We hope that our above suggestions can transform your interior and showcase your own personal style.

 


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