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Accessorizing in Threes

I love my McCoy pottery collection (better photos with my many new additions coming soon) because it is so easy to display it: I just collect it all into a nice, glass front curio that’s part of our entertainment unit.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I fuss with the arrangement and group by colour.  But, for the most part, it is easy-peasy because I just stick ’em all together.  

Accessorizing gets trickier when I start combining disparate pieces because I like to think about scale, colour, and balance.  Plus, I hate when an arrangement looks too matchy-matchy or too flea market messy.  To help, one of my tricks is to group objects in threes.  With this trick in mind, one of our side tables beside the sofa looked a little bare, but I was waiting for the right piece (I hate settling).  With my Mom, my thrifting lucky charm, at my side I found a pretty, paisley-shaped vintage dish – likely a planter – that picks up on the turquoise of my large McCoy planter and the warm, coppery hue of the vintage teak side table.  A small addition, but it really makes the arrangement “click” and adds some new texture to the space:

With just the McCoy planter and vintage Lotte lamp:

With my new thrifty find, a vintage dish with interesting colour and texture:

And yes, I’m kind of obsessed with it.  I’m not a person who always comes home with something new.  I try to spend carefully and buy things I will love for the long haul.  So when something meets the “come live in the townhouse” criteria, I get a little giddy.  Am I alone in this?  Hope not, because I snapped more photos!

You know I don’t believe in “rules” (put as many object d’art as makes you happy) but here are a few examples where the three item trick was employed by pros:

Laura Casey Interiors; DIY Network; Sarah Richardson; Sarah Richardson

What is your tip for making a small, but notable, change?



  1. Dora
    March 29, 2012 / 3:35 pm

    I love the new dish – it has such a pretty color 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 29, 2012 / 5:23 pm


  2. Lesley at Fabulously Flawed
    March 29, 2012 / 3:53 pm

    I agree. I usually work in 3s also. Pops of colours and textures work better than over saturation!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 29, 2012 / 5:23 pm

      Let's start a "groups in threes" club. We need another member . . .

  3. Dana@Mid2Mod
    March 29, 2012 / 6:03 pm

    Beautiful new bowl! I often group in threes too, although like you I believe that all rules are meant to be broken sometimes. I guess that makes me a club member, as well as a fellow design anarchist. 😉

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 29, 2012 / 10:33 pm

      Any club with you in it will be stellar!

  4. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    March 29, 2012 / 7:24 pm

    3 is always the perfect number- even is weird looking…. and one is a lonely number… 5 maybe too many….3= perfection! and love your grouping, too! 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 29, 2012 / 10:34 pm

      5 can be good, too – I love an odd number. But most of my surfaces in my teeny tiny home are too wee. If I ever have a grand home with large scale furniture I'll up the ante!

  5. Olga@Stardust-Decor&Style
    March 29, 2012 / 7:55 pm

    I could be the third member! LOL! I'm a huge fan of the "groups in threes"!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 29, 2012 / 10:34 pm

      Welcome to the group! LOL

  6. InteriorGroupie
    April 2, 2012 / 10:39 pm

    That is a gorgeous piece! Love all the detail.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 3, 2012 / 4:19 am

      Thanks! It's kinda mesmerizing up close.

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