Styling your Surfaces: Why Three is the Magic Number

While some rules are meant for breaking, this is not one of them! It’s a fundamental rule of styling that objects look best arranged in odd numbers. But why is this so? Groups of three allow the eye to rest on a central object which creates a sense of balance and harmony. The same applies to groups of five, where one focal piece is framed by an even number of other pieces – it is more difficult for the eye to settle on an even number of items.

Groups of three or five are more visually appealing and stimulating than a simple pair and while symmetry undoubtedly has its place in property styling, when it comes to curating vignettes for your surfaces, a perfectly placed pair can appear contrived. Uneven compositions can feel more natural and effortless.

While more appealing on the eye, odd numbers are said to challenge our brains, so this tried and trusted piece of styling wisdom will ensure your schemes are thought provoking and interesting.

In Kabbala philosophy the number three signifies harmony. To the Chinese, the number three is considered lucky. And in Christian lore the number three represents divine wholeness, completeness, and perfection, hence the Latin phrase ‘Omne Trium Perfectum’: everything that is three is perfect.


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