Centers are always central to your thinking.
At each and every stage of your design—remember that what you are doing is considering the "whole" (be it a room, a window, a piece of land to build on, or a floor plan) and choosing a center to intensify and then returning to the "whole" and doing it again.
Centers can be intensified in many ways. Some of them are:
For example, if you are designing a terrace, play around with the shape of it until the terrace has comfortable dimensions and shape and an outline that leaves no dead space with the footprint of the house and gives the adjoining garden a nice shape as well. Consider a flower bed or small wall at sitting height to serve as a border, with table and chairs or large plants or even a tree as a focal point in the middle. Imagine yourself there and what you would like to be doing. What smaller centers come to mind and what small ornamental touch would bring it best to life.
Each intensification preserves what went before and enhances it. Sometimes the final stage looks very different from the first one but there is no break from stage to stage. Consider this ornament at various stages.
When choosing the center to work on, consider the following:
It is the use of centers, and the knowledge of the fundamental role that emerging centers play in the evolution of a design, which gives the design process an orderly character, that can succeed, and allows you to keep a clear head while you are doing it, and a clear mind about the long term target, and the immediate action you must take, at each step, step by step, that will guide the design towards a successful end-state