In 1935 the physicist Erwin Schrödinger came up with the idea for an experiment into alternative realities. His idea was to put a cat in a box with a small flask of poison and a radioactive element. If a Geiger counter detected radiation it would shatter the glass and the cat would die, if I didn’t the cat lived. As the radioactive source randomly emitted radiation, without opening the box it would be impossible to know if the cat was alive or not and therefore in theory the cat was both alive and dead at the same time.
The Schrödinger’s cat theory excited the public imagination so much that it is often used to describe any situation with multiple possibilities. This is especially true of interior design. Essentially, any room within a home could be described as a box. Before opening the door into the room, anyone visiting for the first time could easily imagine a whole range of looks for that room. The décor could be anything from stark white minimalism to rich brocade whilst the room itself could be a kitchen, a bathroom or any other room.
Unfortunately for many of us our rooms grow up and change with our fortunes and many finish up as a mishmash of conflicting concepts. Restoring a unifying concept is the basis of good interior design. So, whilst it is possible to use more than one style within a room, the styles have to compliment rather than clash.
One of the other basic premises of interior design is that the room should be designed to meet the lifestyle needs of the home owners. This means that whilst wall to wall deep white carpet might look great, it is best avoided for those with a lot of dogs who love to go on long muddy country walks. Similarly when designing for the elderly or disabled, ease of movement, usability and maintenance should be at the core of the design.
At the end of the day, whatever your interior designer suggests the most important consideration is that the people who live in the home should not only love the design and colour scheme but be able to see themselves living with it for some time to come. This means that even if bright fluorescent pink is the colour of the moment, if the home owners can’t see themselves waking up to a glowing pink room day after day then this is not the colour for them.
So, whilst the idea of endless possibilities of design is an exciting one, applying the principles of complimentary styles, lifestyle needs and taste will win out in the end.