Most homeowners aren't decorators. We simply know what we like, and what we don't like. The challenge we have is bringing home the ideas we get from magazines, the web and stores. Have you ever bought some of the items in a store display, tried to coordinate them with something you already owned and been disappointed in results?
When visiting Crate & Barrel, the store seemed to come alive with one of our signature colors, coral. While snapping a few photos I realized many of the displays included 3 of each item, what I'm calling the decorating “power of 3”. For example:
- Three (3) coral plates displayed vertically.
- Behind each plate, a clear glass bowl with 3 red ornaments.
You're probably not convinced yet but once I looked at all the store displays, I was amazed and you will be too.
Tall and Functional
We typically think of bookcases and mirrors as functional items. Why not include multiple, floor to ceiling items in your decorating strategy? Rather than use a single mirror and worry about how to decorate the walls next to it, try 3 mirrors and watch your room get larger as the mirrors reflect the furniture and decor in the room. Bookcases can sit side-by-side and be the same height or differing heights. Notice the 3 pillows on the sectional sofa, in colors with contrast – my decorator would recommend different textures too.
Mix and Match
Maybe you've got 2 of something, like 2 matching pictures on the wall. Collections of 3 don't all need to use the identical items as these photos illustrate. The 2 wall hangings are complimented by the table below … and similarly, the 3 pillows on the sofa provide another grouping of 3. The wall hanging over the bed is 3-dimensional, combining 3 smaller designs into one large piece of art, which then has the added feature of the 3 rectangular flags attached to the bed.
The wall candelabra is beautiful and the 2 vases with wicks share the same function of lighting the room, while the contrast between the wrought iron and the molded aluminum vases with a matte pewter texture.
Seating, Storage and Furniture
Think about the chairs, benches and storage boxes you have in the living room and/or family room. You might not like how you've got them arranged so here are some ideas to consider – 3 chairs lined up along a wall might look as interesting as the backs of these chairs? Crate & Barrel's storage ottomans offer 3 functions in one item – storage inside, a table or serving tray (center) or extra seating when you flip the top over (left and right sides).
Notice the sideboard too, with 3 glass doors … the power of 3 in furniture design.