I can’t say enough about observation and participation. Recently I was helping a friend organize their living room just after moving in. I had an idea for the arrangement of furniture. It seemed GREAT on so many levels until sitting down on the couch - the view toward the TV was completely distracted by a backdrop of the kitchen. It was busy, not relaxing, and awkward. But this wasn’t clear until sitting right at that level, in that seat!
When trying to put your space together, or in helping someone with theirs, make sure you put yourself everywhere, in all parts of the room! Sit on the couch. Sit on the floor. Lie down on the floor. Open all the blinds. Turn on the TV. Look for a book to read. Check out the bathroom. Sit on the toilet. Wash your hands. Look out the window. And ask yourself how you feel in each space, and if you have what you need.
Imagine walking in (what is your first view? is there enough space to walk inside and get out of the elements with your bags, or the kids, or the dog?), and taking off your shoes (where would you put them? are they in the way? are they leaving the entryway beautiful?).
Consider making food (can you reach everything you need easily? do you have enough space for creating that delicious meal?), and sitting down with the other inhabitants of the space (does everyone have a place? does everyone have a beautiful view?).
Do what you need to do, like you live there. Then, when all your work is done and the place is ringing with comfort, functionality and beauty, recognize with satisfaction that the space you put together is serving the people who live there, rather than the other way around.
Then, ask someone to give you a foot rub.