Hey, don’t feel bad. Not everyone was born with Scott McGillivray’s reno know-how and Martha Stewart’s decorating prowess. For some of us, it takes a little help to tackle even the most simple DIY projects and home décor challenges.

There are a few simple rules to follow to ensure that you don’t make a decorating faux pas in your home:

Keep the clutter to a minimum. It’s perfectly fine to display your collection of ceramic frogs or highlight your love for gingham. But choose just one theme or pattern for each room in your home and avoid going overboard. To prevent yourself from overdoing it with dust-catching knick-knacks, follow the ‘one out, one in’ rule. Before you bring in something new, make yourself get rid of something old first.

Work with your room size. Even if your living room is a good size, choosing a monstrous sectional couch just because it fits within inches might not be the best plan. You don’t want your furniture to dominate the space and proportion is a tricky concept to master. Measure a room’s dimensions and each of the furniture pieces that you plan to have occupy it. If it looks crowded or alternatively, too sparse, on paper, chances are your sizes are off kilter.

Let there be light! Nothing creates a warm, homey ambiance better than lighting. Consider dimming switches, particularly for dining and living spaces. Think of all that you will be doing in the space and how lighting can help create a mood, illuminate the task or help you see where you are going.

Don’t get backed into a wall. It’s a natural tendency to push all the furniture in a room against the walls, leaving one big, open space in the middle. According to decorating pros, you should instead start with one wall as your focal point and work from there.  If you have a large living room, consider breaking it up by placing your couch in the middle of the room with a functional sofa table behind it. By doing this, you have created another living space where you can set up a desk, comfy reading nook or play area for your kids.

By avoiding some of these common mistakes in decorating, you can create spaces in your home that are magazine worthy!