Do you remember a song from the movie Flashdance , sung by Irene Cara? The song was called “What a feeling!” It was all about feeling, passion, and emotion. “Take your passion and make it happen! You can have it all! You can really have it all!” Go ahead and get on YouTube and listen to the soundtrack. I'll wait. OK. Do you have it now? … The Feeling!

In interior design, it's very important to have it all. Not just a look, but a look and a feeling! Your environment needs to “take a hold of your heart” and also “take your breath away.”

This feeling in interior design has a name. It's called Ambiance! Ambiance is that intangible aspect of an interior design that captures the mind, the heart, and the intellect of both the occupants and the guests.

But how do we move from just a look, to a look with ambience? How do you start when you do not even know where to start or where you'll end up? We start with words! Words are containers for thoughts, ideas, concepts, feelings, and emotions. Just think of Hallmark greeting cards. You may buy the card because you like the picture, but it's really the words inside it that you are after. You absolutely decide to purchase the perfect card in order to communicate the right feeling and emotions for you as a giver of the card, as well as for the joy and appreciation of the recipient.

See! The words have helped facilitate the envisioning of what is the essence and desire that you have and want to communicate. Without a goal or target, it is impossible to hit the bulls-eye with accuracy on a continuous basis … if at all! Without this approach, one can not hope to accomplish any degree of ambiance, and the whole room would stay at the level of “just a look.” The “magical element” would be nonexistent.

This portion of the design process is so critical ! Without it, there is such a waste of time, money, and energy. Without this step, it's hard to coordinate your resources to get the maximum return on your investment. Why settle for something less, when you can have so much more! As the song says, “You can really have it all!”

Take time to invest in this vital first step. That way, you will not be sorry later and end up wondering “Why is not it working?” It's all about the Magic Move! It will put you ahead of the rest, right from the very start. This is a great phrase that I like: “Slow down … to speed up.” The one who fails to plan; plans to fail without knowing it. Tips and tricks just will not work if you desire excellence in your environment. A good foundation plan is mandatory. It emerges from a dream and is actualized with my vision and your detailed description.

It does not matter what your budget is. The principles for success are the same! Ambiance is so vitally important, regardless of whether your environment is formal or informal. Now it's time to make … “What a feeling!” … happen for you! It's phenomenal when it all comes together in such an orchestrated way! So dream it, see it, and feel it!