How to Use Interior Design's Rule of 3

Ever wondered how interior designers do it? How do they create spaces that just seem to ''work''? Well, we've got some good news. Designers have a few tricks up their sleeves, and they can be learned. One of the best and easiest to grasp is the Rule of 3. This simple technique can be applied across your home to elevate your designs and help you create a home that works for you. Read on to find out more. 

Choose your colors

The first task is to choose a color pallet. A good place to start is to take inspiration from nature. Take a walk. What colors seem to work together in wildlife? Are there plant colors that complement one another? What about rocks on the beach? Or on animal fur?

Focus on three colors. Two which contrast and one neutral shade. The neutral color can be used as the base, while the bolder hues can accent various items and accessories. Doing this creates a visually pleasing effect in any room. In fact, it doesn't just stop at three colors. Choosing an odd number of colors always works better than even. So you could opt for 5 or even 7!

A reliable color combination, rooted in nature, is green and blue. They're often used by interior designers as a neutral base as they're closely related on the color wheel and can create a feeling of more space without becoming too ''busy''.

With your earthy tones as a base, you can choose to tone up or down by carefully choosing the accent colors. For example, if you'd like a calming effect, pick lighter colors to offset your natural finish. If you want something more exciting, pick the darker shades. Darker colors create more interesting shadows and varied tones in reaction to light hitting them.

Top tip: Try adding Sky Blue to your room. It's an adaptable color that can easily be added to a room with two neutral base colors to add a splash of vibrancy. Use Sky Blue cushions and throws to add intrigue to the space.

How to incorporate into your home?

So how can you use the Rule of Three at home? Here's a simple way of doing so.

There are some design situations where Rule of Three can be helpful...

  • Pillows. When it comes to making a space more interesting, pillows are a cheap and effective way of instantly adding character. But remember, always go for sets of odd numbers according to the Rule.
  • Shelving. It can be tricky to strike the right balance with shelving, but arranging in groups of three can help here. On the shelf, try grouping sets of objects like books, candles, and ornaments, for example.
  • Artwork. Gallery walls are a great opportunity to use the Rule of 3. Hanging pieces in odd numbers, like three in a row horizontally or vertically, or seven in a row.
  • Lighting. Create a balanced and well-lit space by lining up 3, 5, or 7 lights in a row.
  • Vignettes. In interior design, this term refers to three pieces of furniture in a set, so it could be a bench, side table, and lamp, or two chairs and a sofa. As you can see, this term is all about the Rule of 3! It can help you create little areas of interest in a larger space.

Have fun with it!

We're huge fans of the Rule of Three. We might even say it rules (sorry.) Now that you've got some serious interior design know-how under your belt, you can put it to use in your home and create a space that delivers exactly what you want it to.

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