An important collaboration that is often overlooked in real estate development is the work between interior designers and architects. Together, they create the completed version of the building, rather than just two separate parts. Though they may seem independent, these two processes intermingle in more ways than one to create a beautiful and functioning final product.
Differences Between an Interior Designer and an Architect
While there is some overlap between the two, the skills and training for architects and interior designers are completely different. These two specialists have different backgrounds and can benefit your project in distinct ways. It is essential to know the difference between the two and understand how they can contribute to your projects.
Architects' expertise is with structural components of a project, both interior and exterior. They handle the foundation of a building, including the load-bearing walls, the exterior, and the safety of the building. They also research how buildings work together in a space and study the land's topography to understand the specifics of building a safe, secure facility.
Some architects prefer to design the outside of the building and leave the inside blank, whereas others may have more design experience. Their background in design varies because they are not explicitly trained in interior design. A strong knowledge of structure and building safety sets architects apart from interior designers. While architects may have experience or training in design, it is not their specialization.
Interior designers specialize in layout, scale, and finishes. They take the space that the architect builds and make it functional and comfortable for the client. Interior designers can improve the overall interior space and draw up technical documents for projects like moving walls and changing floor plans. They do not have a background in constructing a building, but they have experience creating a functional space for the owner.
The interior designer of a building is responsible for various layers of design. They have to consider furniture placement, color schemes, and functional space, as well as if the builders should add or remove walls. With their training, interior designers can better understand how the spaces will be used.
How Designers and Architects Work Together
When building a new structure or addition, designers and architects work together to ensure that the final project is sound and functional. The designer is responsible for making sure that they meet the client's needs, and they can work with the architect to plan for specific requests like lighting for wiring or designing for furniture placement. The two communicate throughout the process and work through any challenges. You can consult either party for advice on how to improve the project.
Designers and architects do not have to work together on every aspect of the project, which can help the process run smoothly. The designer can handle less intrusive tasks during construction, which saves time and prevents any reconstruction work like removing pipes or drilling holes. Communication between the interior designer and the architect during the construction process is vital to the project's efficiency.
The interior designer and architect combine their skills to create a well-designed structure. While your architect will cover the form, the designer will look after the building's flow and feel. If they are in sync, there will be minimal clashes that impede the space's usability. Having both experts on your team helps the area be designed as a whole, rather than in sections. This holistic approach can save you time on future renovations and ensure that there are no gaps between the form and function.
When you create a new building or addition, be mindful of the finished project. A lot goes into making the final version, and having a variety of skillsets can help you consider more than one perspective. You should hire both an architect and a designer to ensure your project runs smoothly.
When You Should Hire an Interior Designer
Ideally, your interior designer should be a part of the project from start to finish. This way, they can work with the architect to bring together a beautifully designed space that is architecturally sound. If you know what design elements you want to incorporate into your building, such as the material of the beams or specific lighting, the designer can ensure that factors like correct wiring and ceiling heights will not interfere with your plans.
If the architect has no design experience, they may miss some critical points during the building phase. For example, a closet may be too small for the owners' needs, or they might not consider furniture placement after construction is complete. An interior designer can work with the architect from the very beginning to ensure everything is in its right place.
If you have already started your project, there is still time to hire a designer. An interior designer can help at any stage of the process. You should hire one as soon as possible so they can begin working with you and the architect on the final result.