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Where Does Interior Decorating End and Home Improvement Begin?

An interesting question that will keep think tanks and philosophers in discussion for years to come. There are many projects that can be defined as either interior decorating, such as buying a new lamp, or a home improvement project, such as adding a room to a home, there are a lot of areas that are difficult to define.

If you are repainting a room in your home, are you doing a home improvement or providing an update to the interior decoration? What about changing the interior doors of your home, or changing the electrical switches and receptacles from the standard versions to the decorator versions?

I have come up with a definition that will probably frustrate all interior designers, home improvement contractors, and homeowners.

An interior designer once told me, that interior decorating applies to anything that is visible. This means that interior decorating must be considered as a part of any home improvement project that has any affect on the interior of the home. Interior decoration is an area where many home improvement projects fail, because the home improvement is not planned to encompass the interior decoration on completion – it is an after thought.

There are many areas where the interior design must be taken into account during a home improvement project:

  • Valances for curtains and window blinds
  • Mechanical support for chandeliers
  • Outlets for television and telephones
  • Wiring for recessed, valance and highlight lighting
  • Framing around windows to accommodate shutters and blinds
  • Framing around doors to accommodate locksets
  • Position of electrical outlets to accommodate floor lamps, counter top appliances in kitchens and mirrors and cabinets in bathrooms.

These are only a few of the areas of interior design that should be considered before starting a home improvement project.