Let’s talk about the Rule of Threes. This is a “rule of thumb” that I have learned while in school and I have found it very beneficial while in the process of designing spaces for (at this point) hypothetical clients. You can use this rule for your own home, while critiquing what you like and dislike about interiors you find on Pinterest, or if you are designing a space for someone else to enjoy. The Rule of Threes means…
…Repeating a dominant color or pattern on a vertical plane, a seating plane, and a floor plane…
It really is that simple. Let’s take a look at some pretty examples.
This is a great representation of what I’m talking about. Do you see how the magenta color of the draperies is repeated in the sofa and then thrown into the lines between the purple geometric pattern on the area rug? This application allows your eyes to move around the space and is generally more pleasing to look at than a space where colors and patterns are randomly dispersed.
Can you find the Rule of Threes in this photograph? I bet you can! Isn’t this just really pleasant to look at? I wouldn’t say that it’s “expected,” — it’s still a really interesting and unique space. But it just makes us feel better to be grounded in an interior. The Rule of Threes helps us to accomplish that overall goal.
This example has more to do with repeating colors within different patterns. Look at the window treatment to the left, then the two striped pillows on the bed, and then the sweater for the floor. See the similarities? It doesn’t have to be boring!
With this example, I’m going to refer to rhythm. Rhythm in the wallpaper, the houndstooth pillows, and the plaid ottoman. Consistent rhythm that makes for a punctuated space on all three planes of vision.
All photos from Lonny.