Have you ever wondered whether there is some magical chemistry at work when you look around you? How come you have naturally chosen candlesticks either side of a centrepiece on your dining table? Did you mean to have two sconces either side of your decorative mirror? What made you go for three hanging pendants over your breakfast bar? Why not two or four?
Well! Pssst! I will let you into a little secret, for some reason, we all veer towards the harmonious symmetry of three in our lives….it comforts us, but above all it pleases us both mentally and visually. Next time you are pouring over the pages of Elle Deco, Living Etc or Ideal Home or any of your other favourite interiors magazines – check out the decorating pages – open your eyes and you will see the Power of Three trick being used to great effect throughout!
When I first started styling, the first and most important lesson I was taught was the importance of the power of three. So, if you are styling a coffee table, let’s say, or a dressing table, you would group together three items.
So, for a coffee table it might be a vase, a scented candle and a stack of books and on a dressing table possibly a lamp, a picture frame and a trinket box…the trick works in multiples, so you may use a couple of groupings of three across a wide surface. Having given this some thought, I asked my good friend Sarita Sharma what she thought about this number chemistry and we both agreed it’s almost an unwritten rule!
“I am always drawn towards this simple, numbers chemistry – In the styling world, symmetry is a natural, fool proof way to create a great look and using 3 seems to always work”. -Sarita Sharma, Stylist, Ideal Home Magazine.
The number three has been making waves since the very early days, in every aspect of the world’s culture, from religion (don’t forget the Holy Trinity) to design itself. It’s no accident that florists always choose three blooms in an arrangement rather than two or four, in kitchens around the world you will find proof of the power or three throughout recipes….it’s called a ‘tricolore salad’ for a reason!
So when you come to organise, makeover or simply restyle your home – give the power of 3 a thought. Let’s start in your bedroom: it could be that you need a focal point to create some symmetry and drama – think about putting up three lovely canvases above the bed. If your sitting room is looking disjointed, why not strip out some of the occasional furniture and stick to three main pieces, maybe it’s your sofa, with a coffee table and a lounge chair to give your room a clean grouping of three?
Moving into your dining room, perhaps move away from convention and see if your chairs look better with three chairs either side of the table rather than having two chairs stuck on each end:
Follow the rule and give your home a sprinkling of the powerful three! You will be fascinated how your groupings will start to work wonders with your interior decor, by creating harmony and well being.
So, why does this number work so well? It is proven that information and objects that appear in threes are more appealing, effective and memorable than other numbers of objects. Here are some examples, religious triptychs, three act plays, the Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, (we three Kings!), Beginning, Middle and End, Trilogy, Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite – and so on.
The number three just works! Using three in a room can totally change the dynamic and aesthetic appeal, determining the focal point and balancing it beautifully.
Follow my five top tips to help you on your way and make it work at home.
1. To build up confidence, start with grouping your picture frames… groups of three can either be all the same size or use a collage effect with three different sized frames placed artistically together.
2. Look around at your surfaces, start with your dressing table, coffee table or your sideboard. Group a table lamp with a vase and maybe a scented candle…vary the sizes so the combination is pleasing size and height wise.
3. Depending on how you are using the symmetry, it’s good to think carefully first. I usually recommend using a larger object in the middle of two smaller objects (two candlesticks either side of a larger centrepiece for example) if you are looking at dressing your walls or table top but in some situations two larger items either side will work well (for example the cushions on your bed) this is usually due to being able to layer the cushions.
4. Creating a designer look is all about style and impact. If you are thinking of dressing your bed with scatter cushions, make a bold statement with two large matching cushions with one smaller one in the middle – you can try this on your sofa as well!
5. Be careful when you are grouping three different objects – you must always consider the dimensions so that they sit harmoniously together.
So there you have it, all you could ever need to know about using ‘The Power of Three’. Have we inspired you to try this look yourself? Let us know in the comments!