Design Rules and Using Books 

I love design and decor books. I have a bit of an eye for things but I have also learnt a lot of what I know about home decorating by reading. Plus decor books have pretty pictures to look at. It’s like Pinterest without having to search for anything.

I’m going to do a future post about my favourite decor books, but for now I will just share an important design rule I’ve learnt from them. It’s called the rule of three.


Basically any decor looks better in a grouping than alone and odd numbers are most pleasing to the eye (when the objects are different-more on this later in the post). There could additionally be a rule of five. And a rule of seven. Let’s not get too carried away though.


The two groupings in the above pictures work well because three items (all very different) are brought together to create a focal point. It is best to vary height of your three items and have at least one taller piece to draw the eye up.

You can see a few groupings of three on my kitchen open shelving below:


This works best on tables and shelves but can be applied pretty much anywhere. The exception to this rule is when the objects are the same as with the mason jars on the bottom right. These can stand as two because they are the same and are grouped on top of the cookbook.

Another thing decor books (or any books really) are good for is serving as decor themselves. I like to use books as a base (like a tray) to put a candle on as an anchor to create a more substantial piece of decor. Or to collect a group of three!

The magazines or the box alone on the shelf would not make as much of an impact. Putting a candle or other object on top of one book or a stack looks more purposeful.

If you have any questions on the rule of three or using books as decor don’t hesitate to ask!

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