8 April 2022

What is the rule of three exactly? Well, it isn’t really a rule, but rather a creative guideline. It’s proven that odd numbers challenge our brains and are more interesting, as three is the easiest and smallest number that can form a pattern. Not only do you see it in interior design, but also photography, graphic art, etc. It helps you avoid too much symmetry – you need to balance both symmetry and asymmetry to achieve a great look.

Saratoga Hills New Build Master Bedroom Design AustinDesign by BANDD/DESIGN      Photography by Molly Culver


When selecting color, you can also think in threes. By breaking down your scheme into 3 parts you create a complimentary and soothing look to the eye. Here’s an example:

#1 (60%) is your main color – the white walls, countertops and backsplash

#2 (30%) is your secondary color – the navy blue cabinets and island

#3 (10%) is your accent color – the teal blue roman shade

111southDesign by BANDD/DESIGN      Photography by Molly Culver


When using a group of three accessories sometimes a pair or cluster of accessories acts as one. Clusters of things can be grouped or highlighted in odd numbers as well. In this case, this gallery of framed travel photos forms a group that works.

Bandd Bigbrown 14Design by BANDD/DESIGN      Photography by Molly Culver


If you have a little area that feels off, choose three items to fill the space. This settee, floor lamp, and artwork all fall at different heights and look great in this section of the room.

Bandd Whitemarsh 9Design by BANDD/DESIGN      Photography by Molly Culver

Other Ways to Apply the Rule of Three

  • Lighting – hang three pendent lights over your kitchen island
  • Fabrics – combine different patterns that have similar colors
  • Room textures – use across furniture, accessories or fabrics
  • Coffee table vignette – Create a grouping of three similar items whose scale and colors go well together

Play with this rule and don’t get too caught up in the details of it. Take a look at your current space, and see how you can apply the rule to make some minor (but significant) improvements. Just have fun with it!



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