This week we are going back to the basics – the basics of home decorating that is.

Decorating your home is deeply personal – what looks great and works well in someone elses home may look horrible in yours. Having said that though there are some elements of home décor that are pretty standard. So with that in mind we’ll start with some basic dos and don’ts of home decorating:

DON’T go nuts , or drive the rest of your family crazy seeking glossy magazine level perfection when it comes to home decor. You actually live in home rather than a well lit studio so a few pieces of your kids’ latest artwork or a few family snapshots are perfectly fine. In fact such things add character and a touch of you to the space, so without them the whole look could get up being one that is rather sterile and boring, however great the rest of the decor is.

DO remember that less really is more – You will hear and read it it again and again when it comes to home decor and as cliched as this piece of advice is it is also 100% true. A nice pair of matching table lamps in the living room makes a great addition – a gaggle of mismatched candles on the other hand does not.

The same is true for furniture. Even if you have nice big rooms to furnish and decorate you do not need to keep adding “stuff” just to fill the place up.

DO look for , and buy, furniture that has great lines and high quality construction. Even if you eventually get bored of the color of the fabric on that beautifully shaped sofa that is something that is easy to change with slipcovers, but the value of a piece of furniture that is structurally beautiful will be may be higher than its original price tag a few years down the line because it will last and stand the test of time rather than fall apart and need to be quickly replaced.

DON’T jump on every new trend that hits the home décor magazines. While some decor styles are classics there are lots of others that are certainly going to date very quickly. Just ask any homeowner who is still stuck with decor that someone thought was “hip and cool in the Seventies! Rather than becoming a dedicated follower of fashion just for the sake of being trendy decorate your home the way you actually want and can live comfortably with. That way even if it is not the “cool” look this year it will still be perfect for you.

DO think about the actual function of your decor as well as the form – When you are choosing what materials to incorporate into your home décor you need to be thinking about function as well as form. For example a marble tiled floor for the bathroom may look really stunning but have you given a thought to just how jarringly cold it is going to be stepping out of the shower every morning? Or just how much damage a few “doggie accidents” can potentially do to a hardwood floor? The best home decor schemes are as functional and sensible as they are beautiful.