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Why beauty moves us to buy


In this article Tracey McLeod, founder of Presentation Sells, uncovers why home presentation is so critical to your home’s performance at sale. Here she looks at the golden key that is at the heart of all design. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re mathematical or musical, arty or agricultural, we all perceive beauty at home in a fairly universal way… nature’s way.

This is attributed to the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence.  

” ‘It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it Binds the Galaxy Together…’ (Obi-Wan Kenobi, Star Wars).  The Golden Ratio and affiliated Fibonacci Sequence is the Pattern of Life, harmony, connection and unity…”

Watch this quick video as Matthew Cross shows you what this means… to everything:

How do we apply it in our homes for sale?

The mathematics behind the Golden Ratio explains how we define clutter, balance and sparseness in a room. The Fibonacci Sequence explains when we have one cushion too many on the lounge and why four ornaments on a table is just wrong.

Together, they explain beauty and why some homes are more aesthetically pleasing than others. The ratio and sequence describe the natural order of things – the universal appeal. We feel the Golden Ratio instinctively and feel better for having seen it.

The Golden Ratio

It’s believed that the Golden Ratio has been used by humans for at least four thousand years in art, music and design.  In nature it’s been used forever.  It is literally buried within our DNA.  So it stands to reason that our ancestors were getting their sense of proportion and balance not only from the natural environment, but from within.  They had an innate understanding of beauty and safety and the natural order of things.

The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio in a Seashell

In a Golden Ratio (1:1.618), the balance is 62% and 38% equalling 100%.

This means that sixty two percent of the floor space of a room should be covered with furniture.  In design we have adapted it into the 60: 30: 10 rule.  Too little furniture and the room looks bare, too much and it is cluttered or ‘too busy’.

The Golden Ratio Floor Plan

Floor plan out of balance – a little too sparse

The same rule applies with colour, suggesting that a well-designed space consists of three colours. The dominant colour, seen in walls and flooring makes up around sixty percent. The furniture may host the secondary colour and represents around thirty percent of the space. A bolder accent colour is applied to the remaining ten percent and is used in smaller items.

The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence in Design

The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence in Design

Adding additional decorator items and a seating nook, the room becomes more balanced when viewed as part of the bigger picture.

The Fibonacci Sequence

In the Fibonacci Sequence, numbers grow in a series 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, … etc. Each number is the sum of the two numbers before it. As the numbers increase, the space between them equals the golden ratio 1:1.618.

You don’t need to know the exact dimensions to present your home for sale.  But, you do need to know that it is naturally occuring and it affects us all.  

Nature reflects the Fibonacci Sequence

Flower petals reflects the Fibonacci Sequence

The sequence occurs in the number of petals in a plant.  You can also use it to decide something as easy as the number of flower stems to put in a vase – six or seven would never do, but five or eight is perfect!

The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence are in the shape of a sleeping cat as well as your home’s construction and design. The proportions are in the sideboard and shutters.  The scale is in the balance of colours.  The result is aesthetically pleasing. 

Balance - The Golden Ration and Fibonacci Sequence in home decor

Balance – The Golden Ratio and Fibonacci Sequence in home decor

How do you know when the balance is right?

You can approximate the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence in your home.  

The Golden Ratio is an irrational number – you cannot turn it into a fraction.  You can use 60:40 or 2/3 as a rule of thumb representing the ratio, but it’s a little off.  You don’t need to exactly measure everything either. That’s a little off too, for different reasons.

In design we use the 60: 30: 10 rule and the Rule of Three: where groupings of three object or furniture items will add visual interest to an area.

Beauty At Home Rule Of Three

Rule Of Three

I often work with a colleague who owns her own decorating and design company.  Working together is fun, but we are different generations, and sometimes we have very different tastes.  I might love something and she might hate it.  We have come to learn, after experiencing it over and over again, that we always know when we’ve got it right!  We both feel it.

You have your own inner guidance on what is right in your home’s decor.

You feel it too.  You know it when you love, rather than like, your surroundings.  Some rational people will hate that explanation, but I can’t change it.  This discussion, after all, is about irrational numbers and the evidence that supports using the 1:1.618 mathematical scale to help you decide on the best proportion of colour, furniture and accessories in your home for sale.

I’ll leave the last word to Obi-Wan Kenobe of Star Wars fame, “Your eyes can deceive you, don’t trust them.” Use the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence to guide you, and then trust the force within you.


Light Art Media
Pro Vision Image
Caco Photography


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