Ever wondered why some things are just more visually appealing than others? It has to do with more than just taste, it actually stems from maths. This is where the Fibonacci sequence makes an entrance, and a grand one at that.

You probably remember hearing about it at school, but here’s the lowdown on its involvement with decor and design, and how you can use it to achieve great design.Fibonacci

What is it?

It is all to do with proportion and scale and the relationship between the two.  It was developed in the early 13th century by Fibonacci whose real name is Leonardo Pisaro. It  started with the question around how rabbits populate that brought him to the sequence that now bears his name.


The Fibonacci Sequence:
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc.
Every number is the sum of the two preceding it.
Eg. 1=1+2; 1+ 2 = 3; 2=3+ 5; 3=5+8 and on it goes.

The Fibonacci Shelf designed by Peng Wang. The mathematical sequence with 6 metal rectangles.

How is Fibonacci found in Nature? 

The Fibonacci numbers are also known as nature’s numbering system, and is seen in a plant’s leaf arrangements, scales on fruit or vegetables, patterns on flower florets and many more. Every living organism falls under this system. Plants simply grow in the most efficient way possible without realising they are part of the numbering system. Nikhat Parveen (UGA) from JWilson comments on the seed arrangement of sunflowers, how it maximises the amount of seeds;

Sunflowers have a Golden Spiral seed arrangement. This provides a biological advantage, because it maximises the number of seeds that can be packed into a seed head.

How does the Golden Ratio relate to the Fibonacci Sequence?

The Golden Ratio is a number that is equal to approximately 1.6818. It is also known as ‘phi’ which essentially translates to being the ‘golden number or rule as the name implies when it comes to the ‘perfect’ proportions. Although it sounds all very mathematical; it comes down to aesthetics and how we relate to them.

ELLE Deco SAThe Fibonacci Shelf designed by Peng Wang via Trendland.

The Fibonacci Shelf designed by Peng Wang.

Why is it important?

For anyone who has made anything, whether it is a bookrack, to a song etc; the Fibonacci Sequence is vital to make that design successful.

You know that feeling when you ‘just know’ that something does not make sense in a room arrangement or design… it is your mind trying to make sense of the proportions. It is imbedded in our DNA.

How to use it in interior design?

The Fibonacci sequence can be found in everything from a beehive to a sunflower. It is the best tool for designers and design enthusiasts to use when it comes to turning good design into great design.

The designer Peng Wang from Utopia Architecture and Design designed the Fibonacci inspired modular shelf made from anodised aluminium that can be used as a table, stool and storage.  It is the perfect multifunctional item to have in any contemporary setting.

The design is a perfect example of how maths, nature and design come together.

By using this sequence, we can harness this technique in our very homes for a better balanced and aesthetically appealing interior.

Freshome (Why You Should Use The Golden Ratio In Your Decor) shares a few examples of how to incorporate the sequence in your interiors.

  • Keep keep a ratio of 2:3 in mind when arranging a space.
    • Visually divide up the space into two sections – a larger one that takes up two thirds of the space and houses the furniture that defines the main use for the room and the final third, which accounts for a secondary function like a separate seating area or storage
  • Use the 10-30-60 Rule
    • A well-designed space should consist of three colors. First, a dominant colour, which should cover around 60% of the space and is usually used in areas like walls and flooring. This should be followed by a secondary colour, which takes up 30% of the space and is usually used for furniture. Finally, a bolder accent colour should take up the final 10% and is used in smaller decor items. [Source.]

Fibonacci Stone | Share Design

Enjoyed this? Click to learn more about architecture and design by South African LEON SAVEN DESIGN: TRAILBLAZER IN URBAN RENEWAL or look into the director of Christopher Farr Cloth, Michal Silver, on MICHAL SILVER TELLS US HOW IT’S DONE.

Janine Saal headshot

Deco guest writer Janine is a CPUT graduate and loves anything and everything to do with design and décor. Her passion lies in helping the everyday reader to understand the wide world of interior design. Currently she is working for Collaboration in Woodstock where her passion meets execution. She is a yogi in the morning, a designer by day and writer/avid series fanatic at night. You can follow her on Instagram too