Interior Ideas

August 06, 2018

Three Tips for The Rule of Three

2 min. read on:

Visual balance. Interest. Harmony. Turns out there’s a reason items arranged in odd numbers don’t cause eye twitches.

From setting up your shelf to snapping a photograph – the trusty design trick known as ‘the rule of threes’ reigns supreme. We’re looking at three easy ways to integrate this styling staple into your space.

So what is it? The rule, which isn’t really a set-in-stone rule, really, suggests that grouping items into threes makes for a more pleasing visual balance. It’s just satisfying. While three is the magic number, oddly-numbered groupings also work just as well. Why? It’s just how our brains work; they’re trained to seek out patterns, and three is the lowest number at which patterns can begin to emerge. It also forces our eye to move around what we’re looking at, which means the brain is enjoying a visual adventure. Brains are neat.

Here are three easy ways to integrate the rule of threes into your space:

Objects and Decor

Vignette, display, tableau – whatever you call it, arranging three objects of varying height together is a design win. Vases, plants, books, candles, figurines, ceramics, tchotkes – anything! Arranging them in a pleasing triangle that causes the eye to wander is a way to add visual excitement to your space.


Two’s a couple, three’s a crowd is old news. Grouping furniture into threes also works! If you have a space that feels off, try bringing in three pieces of furniture with different heights to see if that doesn’t solve the sitch. A Tylko shelf at one height, a statement chair at another, and a third piece (a stool, a small cabinet or a comfy pouffe, for example) as well? That’s a menage-a-trois that’s never a bad idea.


Three of anything is officially a collection, and the same goes for artwork. Hanging your prints, posters, or paintings in groups of three (or another odd number – don’t forget, they all work!) is a way to curate your own mini gallery and create a fully-dimensional feeling from flat objects.

Again, the rule of threes is really just a suggestion, but try integrating it into your spaces to see how it can level up your home’s look. After all, every space – and person- is unique. Try it and see if it works for you – you might be surprised!