I design rooms that are easy to talk to and have worthwhile things to say. When I start with a house, I begin with the homeowner. That sounds simple, but trust me on this; it's never simple. Sometimes the house gets in the way, or the budget, or some preconceptions about "beauty" or "function," and all those things deserve their place, to be sure.
Go back to the beginning, I say: break some rules, turn some tables upside down, smash a floor lamp. Everything worthwhile started in a state of chaos, anyhow. I'm just foolish enough to say it.