What is Rule of Three in Decor & How to Use it?

pot lamp and a planter kept in a room

What Is The Rule Of Three?

The Rule of Three is a design principle used in interior decoration, graphic design, photography and even architecture. The rule states that to make your living space look more appealing, effective and memorable, you need to group items in odd numbers instead of even numbers. I know it sounds really weird, but once you try it out, you will understand exactly why this rule came into being. It is not like a rule that must compulsorily be followed, but more like a guideline that you can use if you wish to.

Apparently, when you group things in threes (fives and sevens work too, but three is more appealing), it forms a distinguishable pattern in our heads that provides a fascinating visual experience. Things grouped in threes maintain balance and compliment each other. They say that odd numbers create energy while even numbers contract energy. The rule of three is used when decorating the interiors of every room in a house- the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom.

Besides objects being grouped in threes, there are several other things that you can group in threes to make your home look extra attractive and captivating. Keep scrolling to see how you can decorate your home using the rule of threes.

pot lamp and a planter kept in a room


  1. SOFA SETS: Have you ever noticed that Sofa sets usually come in three pieces? One longer sofa and the other two are smaller. It looks neater that way.
  2. PILLOWS: Having many pillows around feels super comfy. On beds and sofas, keep a bunch of pillows, but make sure they are in an odd number. Do not have two pillows on your sofa or four pillows on your bed, keep in mind the ‘rule of three’.
  3. CANDLES: Place three candles of different heights together on a glass tray. They will look beautiful when you light them up!
  4. VASES: If you have vases lying around and want to make them look even better, keep 3 together. Let them each be in a different colour and height.
  5. BOOKS: If you are a book-worm and have books around your house, keep 3 books on each other. They can be placed together on a sideboard, shelf, or center table.
  6. LIGHTING: Having lights in sets of three also looks really good. You can have three lights hanging up above your kitchen island, three light bulbs (like the ones on vanity mirrors) above your bathroom mirror or a floor lamp with three lights.
  7. FABRICS: When picking fabrics to decorate your home with, choose three fabrics in similar colors with different patterns- like flowers, stripes, and checks. Use these three different fabrics in your bedroom- for curtains, bedsheets and pillow covers, living room- for the wallpaper, a rug and cushion covers, and dining room- for a table cloth, dining chair cushion covers, and curtains.
  8. ARTWORK: If you like having art on display and would like to dedicate one wall to art in your house, group together three similar pieces of framed art to display on your walls.
  9. A COLLECTION: When you keep things in twos, it is just a couple, but when you keep things in threes, it makes it a collection. For your wall, you can hang up something like cowboy hats above the entryway table that you have at the entrance to your house.
  10. VIGNETTES: Take any three objects lying in your house, each varying in size, shape, and height and keep them together on any tabletop, bookshelf, or nightstand.
  11. COLOURS: The rule of three does not apply only to objects and items, it can also be applied to colours used when decorating. Choosing only two colours or shades in a room can make it look and feel flat. A third colour will make any room feel fuller and complete. They say that when you choose colors to decorate your room, you should have the main color, a secondary color, and an accent color. You can choose colours that are calming and neutral or just any colours that you like and that go together.

The best thing about this rule is that it does not require you to go shopping to find new things, you can always use the stuff you have at home. You just need to arrange it in a way that looks appealing to the eyes.

To be honest, there is nothing wrong with having things in twos or fours. Things look more symmetrical that way. But things in odd numbers do look more interesting and balanced. They make sure to capture your attention.

Other Home Decor Ideas You Might Like:

Have fun rearranging things in your home to try out this trend. You will not regret the end result. You just need to be a little creative.