I always ask clients to begin by choosing 3 words or phrases that describe how they want the room to look (or feel) when we're done. The number of words is not where the magic lies. It's the thought that goes into choosing them and then the active use of those words that brings the magic. Once we have those words to continually refer to when making choices about the room, we can easily see their value.
Over time, the homeowners begin to notice the cohesiveness in their decor that looks and feels so much better than when they were just buying pieces because they liked them in the store. Magic!