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Design Advice for Homeowners: The “Rule of Three”

As the owner of a home watch service in Fort Myers, I get the chance to keep watch over a lot of beautiful homes throughout the area. Many of these homes are stunning, but even the best homes can use a bit of design advice to make the home stand out even more.

One of my favorite bits of design advice is the “Rule of Three”. The “Rule of Three” is a powerful, yet simple, device that many designers use in their projects to make a home more aesthetically pleasing.

How it works is deceptively simple: the human eye prefers items in odd-numbered groups, with three being the most aesthetic number. In other words, items arranged in threes are naturally more attractive and appealing than other arrangements.

If you’ve ever seen a bookcase that had a shelf with two objects on it, you’ve probably subconsciously noticed it and weren’t pleased by the arrangement. Add a third to it, though, and it probably looked a lot better to your mind.

That’s the “Rule of Three”, and it’s something you can use to make your home more beautiful.

One way to visualize how this works is to picture an open space on your bookcase. You need something to go there. One suggestion is to take three objects that are similar – say, three glass bottles or vases that can be of different sizes and colors – and arrange them in a row on the bookcase.

You can also take books and put them in stacks of three. Try three stacks of three.

Also, you can create a nice vignette by taking three different objects and arranging them.

This isn’t just for your bookcase, mind you; it’s a principle you can use throughout your home. On your bed, use three layers of pillows in three different sizes. On your wall, stagger three paintings or décor on three different levels. Outside, create an arrangement of one statute or fountain flanked on either side by two smaller ones.

It doesn’t just work for three, either; five or seven (or any odd number other than one) works just as well.

The rule also applies to dividing up space. Working in thirds is often better than working in halves. A long wall, for example, can be decorated in thirds instead of halves. Dividing up a kitchen countertop with accessories is better when there are three sections than two, and so on.

Consider the “Rule of Three” for your home, and contact your home watch service provider for more information!

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