Remember how The Terminator and Terminator 2 are two of the best movies ever? If you don't you are most likely my mom or lived in a jail in outer Siberia in the 80's, so I will provide you with a few details. The Terminator is a machine/robot/man who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger and who is sent from the future to our present to destroy the mother of the unborn boy who would one day save everyone from the Terminators (in the future), or something like that. He looked like this (after he had a bad day).
See how he is a computer robot under that skin? This is what his view of the world looks like from those computer eyes:
To really see what I'm talking about you can watch this (unembeddable) video.
Okay! Get the picture? Everything is measurements and math, analysis and assessment. He has goals, he's evaluating all the visual information he can in real time, and then he's making judgements about what to do with it all.
This is exactly what I do when I look at a room. I have a goal, there are obvious problems, there are dangers and risks, there is potential. It feels like it's mostly math. Design math is not just scale and proportion but is color gradients and tones, textures, sheen - it's everywhere in interior design.
Much like the Terminator, I almost always feel like the answer is obvious and right. My design process is much less loosey-goosey, wishy-washy, flowey-creative then one might think. When my gut tells me something is working I think that's actually my eyes and brain doing design math.
Take this little corner in the A-Frame loft. I already painted the floor a bold color because I think small rooms are better at handling them. I choose to paint everything else white given the lack of natural light and I know Matthew is going to want a bar. So it was just a matter of trying out things I already had on hand (the benefit of being a quasi-hoarder) and doing the math to figure out how to fill that corner with booze.
I am, of course, a much friendlier Terminator than Mr. Schwatrzenegger's, being concerned primarily with making interiors work, feel, and look better than they did when I arrived. I should pitch a show to HGTV. How God-awful would that be? Super mega monster awful.