Hello, design world!
I will be adding a new series of posts to the blog, Design Secrets, to help answer some questions I've been e-mailed about basic design. I love the questions, I have been there (recently) myself, so keep them coming! I hope you enjoy it!
The Power of T.H.R.E.E.
When decorating with knick-knacks, there are some basic, yet effective rules to follow:
#1: Display similar items in groups of odd numbers. Groups of even numbers look too patterned and organized, which can make you feel uptight or uncomfortable. By contrast, odd numbers are more easily interpreted by the eye, so sets of odd numbers can be very calming and balance a space. Nature is the general rule of thumb: nothing is ever even in nature, so try to keep your house as "natural" and balanced as possible... without looking forced.
In our house, we have a wall that is covered from side to side with built-in bookshelves. The wall is separated into three sections of shelves-- an basic architectural element. These bookshelves were one of the reasons I put my foot down that this was the house for us: I love to read, and had almost enough books to fill the end two sides of the bookshelves with books. But what to do with the center shelving unit? I decided that would be the perfect spot to display some sets of the beautiful china we received as a wedding gift from my new parents-in-law.
I put the china in sets of three on each shelf, with cups and saucers in-between each setting to create the most appealing look: Three (3) china plates stand out, but there are five (5) pieces when you step back.
This grouping and display of our china does calm and please me, and add balance to the wall and our Dining Room.
So remember, always decorate in groupings of odd numbers!