Five can refer to the following:

  • the number of Justices on the Supreme Court of the United States needed to render a majority decision
  • the number of babies in a quintuplet
  • the amendment to the Constitution absolving a defendant from self-incrimination
  • the number of ingredients in 5 Alive
  • the iconic fragrance created by Coco Chanel
  • the design element using the “rule of odds”

For today, we are going to chat about the using odd numbers in design.  Our brain and eye connection seems to prefer looking at items grouped in odd numbers-especially if within that grouping of odd numbers, there is a variety of texture, height and shape.  Here is a great example using those ideas:

5 of something
Each poppy in this painting is a different shape, varying from bud to full bloom at varying heights taking our eye on a little tour of the painting.  The use of color on the larger poppies takes us further into the painting.  If, however, the artist had painted 5 poppies exactly the same size and color all in a row, we probably would have yawned and said, “Next.”  I love this painting and it has a prominent spot on our grey bedroom.

The Rule of Odds is touted as the designer’s secret, but it really comes down to what is pleasing to the eye – and usually that is an odd number.  Here is a great example for using 5 totally different sizes and shapes to create balance and harmony by collecting 5 items with the same color and/or theme.  In this case, LEMONS!

5 of something zoom

This little platter is a souvenir from the island of Capri, so I felt compelled to display it. The lemon measuring spoons found me. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 lemons

The last thing I noticed in my home when I was thinking about the Rule of Odds and the number 5 is this grouping in my sort of country guest bathroom.  As you know from previous posts, my Granny was a quilter and, while I am not, I have a deep and abiding love and respect for the art of quilting.  When I saw these prints showing different quilt patterns, I knew exactly where I could use them; but there were only 4 styles and I am a fan of the Rule of Odds.  I had another souvenir that needed a home and the little tin wall art fit perfectly letting everyone know that they were in the “toilette” perfectly balancing the four prints.  While it is not the classic Rule of Odds in every way, it worked for me in creating a little collage that is interesting and pleasing to the eye.

5 0f somethng zoom

I love creating little vignettes with the things in my home that I treasure and want to display.  Do you have some groupings that follow the Rule of Odd?  OR do you break the rules and have found a great way to create something beautiful with even numbers?  Would love to see/hear about your design successes, and maybe since we are sissies and climb often into the trust tree, you can share some design fails, too.  🙂