The rule is 1, 3 or 5. That is the number of decorative things you should use when designing. I find myself counting and analyzing spaces all the time: store displays, magazine photos, my client's mantles, book shelves and side tables, and even hotel lobbies.
This past weekend I stayed at a Hampton Inn and Suites in Burlington, NC. I was impressed by the updated decor and comfortable areas throughout the lobby and lounge spaces. When I say comfortable I mean both physically and visually. They are two different kinds of comfort. You can have comfy furniture and have a space that does not feel comforting. I go back to"the room just doesn't feel right" thing I talk about often.
I find I am always counting things, counting groupings, making a sense of the balance, relativity and flow through a space. My take away is that the Hampton Inn and Suites is following the rules. I found these photos on their website. They are much better than if I took them myself.
Front Desk Area
- three framed photos (1-3-5)
- different subject matter, but all black and white (relatable)
- different size frames (flow)
- silver metal stripe and "Welcome to Burlington" makes sense of the different sizes (balance)
- 3 shelves
- 3 frames
- 5 things on bottom shelf
- 1 thing on each upper shelf
- 3 things are round
- 3 things are golden yellow
- 3 things are black & white
Different size frames of similar photos, multiple ceramic things of the same yellow color of similar shape on multiple levels of view, strong single things on the top shelves and a series of similar things on the bottom creates flow and balance out of things that are different, but relatable.
Just to add another layer, notice the matching pair of creamy yellow rounded chairs pulling your eye away from the wall and into the room creating flow and now five rounded yellow things,... but let's save that concept for another day.
Wait, a pair of chairs is two things? Right. There is always an exception to every rule! In design it is when there is a matching pair like two chairs, two lamps, two pieces of artwork the same size that are part of a series, two candlesticks and so on.
Need helping making your space feel better for real estate staging and photos or for simply feeling better while living in your home? Get in touch. Go Room By Room can help.
All photos from Hampton Inn & Suites website