Where Architects Stop & Interior Design Steps In

If you’ve ever embarked on a renovation or a new build project, you know what an immense undertaking it can be. Navigating the world of architects, contractors, and interior designers can be daunting, to say the least, especially when your project requires hiring all of the above. Knowing where to start and who to hire is understandably confusing, but we’re going to guide you through the process.

Today on the blog, we’re talking all about when it’s necessary to work with both an architect and interior designer plus the essential role each professional plays. We’re covering how to select the right team for your project, some areas of designer-architect overlap, and why we believe creative collaboration is always the way to go.

Architect & Interior Designer Roles: The Basics

One of the most common questions we receive from our inquiries revolves around when to hire an interior designer, when to hire an architect, and when to utilize both. First, let’s quickly highlight the roles of each profession and then talk about some specifics.

Simply put, architects are necessary when dealing with the structural elements of your space. For clients starting on a new build project, architects are going to be developing site plans, determining exterior materials, adhering to building codes, and much more. Some architects prefer to design only the exterior and don’t get involved in the interior finishes, cabinetry, or fixtures; however, other architects do both. Whenever you’re adding or removing walls, changing staircases, installing a new kitchen or bath, or impacting the footprint, height, or grade of the home, you’ll need to have an architect, architectural designer, or structural engineer involved in the process.

While architects and related professionals are necessary for complex functional solutions, interior designers specialize in creating a beautiful aesthetic customized to your lifestyle. Interior designers work with clients on a comprehensive design process (more on that here!) to ensure everything from the furniture to lighting fixtures to window treatments come together seamlessly. Along with aesthetics, many interior designers also have a wealth of technical knowledge. They may overlap with architects in areas like the floor plans, door, window, and floor selections, materials, and finishes.

When it comes to hiring an architect and interior designer, it’s important to note that it’s not an either-or decision. Each professional is an important part of your project, and while interior designers aren’t trained in structural components, architects aren’t trained in the key nuances of design. We believe the most well-rounded teams often involve both architects and interior designers working together and exchanging ideas to create a space that combines the very best in form and function.

The Mackenzie + Co. Collaborative Approach

At Mackenzie + Company, we integrate both design and build services by offering our clients a strategically partnered team of architectural designers, structural engineers, and interior designers — all of which simplifies the collaboration process. We know how overwhelming it can be to independently source hires, which is why our clients have access to a curated team of talented professionals who we’ve come to know and deeply trust. Our collective approach means we already have an established team in place from the starting point of each project.

Whether or not an interior designer and architect collaborate can hugely impact the final outcome of your space. Before any work is officially underway, we provide guidance with the architect or builder on how space can work within our clients’ desired lifestyle. Whether we’re collaborating on a kitchen or bathroom renovation, or a new build project, our team regularly works alongside builders in key areas like plumbing, lighting, tile, and flooring. As designers, we believe it’s so important to have a hand in the building process to ensure each competent comes together for our clients’ overall vision and aesthetic.

Rather than operate as separate entities, we’ve come to find that architects and interior designers are even better when we work together — guiding clients with our combined specialties for a truly phenomenal experience.