Interior Design 101

January 17, 2021
Interior Design 101
Our style here at Tom Blake House is casual & comfortable; functional & fun with a respectful nod to the architecture of the building. This project was very much about decorating for our own tastes and what we love and not about following trends or rules.
And yet, I have chosen to write about the design principle known as the ‘Rule of Three’. 


It is one of the most effective and powerful tools to transform a project big or small, moreover it is one of the easiest principles to apply and doesn’t have to cost anything at all. You can change up existing accessories, artwork or furniture to liven up your space or you can tackle a bigger project like choosing a colour scheme (will go into this subject in more depth next time) or investing in new furniture armed with some helpful knowledge.

It’s really simple: Odd is better

The rule of 3 works on the principle that things arranged in odd numbers are more visually appealing to the eye.

3 is the magic number, but 5, 7, or 9 work well also.

The science bit

Our brains love patterns & puzzle solving: 3 is the smallest number that can be used to form a distinguishable pattern in our head; and odd numbers challenge us mentally, the brain solves the puzzle, finds the centre point and balance.

Our eye is teased, forced to move around more, which makes for a more interesting visual experience; odd numbers look more natural, less staged and stale.

Additional support is provided by a Feng Shui theory that odd numbers expand and create more energy, while even numbers contract and condense. 

Throughout Tom Blake House the Rule of Three is evident

In the colour schemes e.g the main reception room which is 60:30:10, 60% white-classic white from Colourtrend, 30% blue-heathcliff from Colourtrend, and 10% mustard/brass accents.

In Accessories, vary the shapes or sizes; in Artwork, 3 items or more make it a collection; in Vignettes, 3 different objects together create interest; in furniture-placement, choose pieces that are similar in size and shape, but vary in colour or pattern; in textures & patterns...

So simple so why wouldn’t you apply this principle to infuse your space with energy, to add visual depth & interest and to create a well designed space. The principle is used in Interior design but can also be seen in architecture, photography, often goes unnoticed but now you will be able to identify it and appreciate it.

Note: Symmetry is not bad and of course can also play an important role in design. Essentially there is a balance to be found between symmetry & asymmetry; even & odd. 

And Scale overrides all other rules; balance the rule of 3, the scale of the room and the objects within, to ensure a well proportioned and interesting design.

Embrace the Odd, but also don’t be afraid to break the rules. 
Have fun with it!

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