A great home solution always requires a team of experts: from the construction group and the landscape planner to the interior designer, every person should adjust their work to your expectations.

This burden is especially big for the architect and the interior designer, since they have a leading role for the materialization of those expectations.

However, many people are not really sure which the difference between architect and interior designer actually is. Who are they supposed to hire when they want their entire home to be redesigned?

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer1 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Robert Granoff

The difficulty arises when clients realize that architects have significant design training, the same as designers have a particular architecture knowledge.

It means that both skills are interconnected, and a decision can only be made relying on small, apparently insignificant criteria.

Why hire an interior designer? Why hire an architect? The simplest way to decide is to consider their role in terms of design initiative.

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer2 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: FISHER ARCHitecture

While that will often depend on the nature of the project, people will also be forced to calculate responsibility, and number of areas where the one is better than the other.

Let us give you some basic information that could help you make this decision:

The role of an architect

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer3 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Cynthia Whitaker Studio

The best way to estimate whether a person should be hired is to know his exact line of work. For the purpose, we’ve summarized some of the most important tasks and responsibilities of an architect:

  • Architects are in charge of designing a building-besides homes, they work on commercial and public business, and have to deal with every challenging idea their clients may have.
  • Architects are planners-they communicate with each worker involved in the project, so that they could draw a computer-made plan of how the building should look.
  • They are the best observes and controllers of the construction process.
  • They establish the form, and deal with all safety and function issues of future homeowners.
  • They are the masters of balance between aesthetics and functionality.
  • They are educated in mathematics and logics, which guarantees you, that you’ll obtain a solid and stable building.

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Architects are the first people to be hired for the construction of a new home.

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer4 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Shannon Kaye

They meet the homeowners before contractors do, they listen to their needs and expectations, and suggest a detailed plan containing all outside renderings and construction issues.

That’s why extensive changes cannot be done without consulting the architect-he needs to be aware of every modification, and to redraw the plans and the structure.

The role of an interior designer

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer5 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Alex Maguire Photography

Many people believe that the skills of an interior designer are as simple as revolving around colors and shapes. This is a big misconception.

The role of an interior designer is complex and challenging, which makes it terribly difficult to find a good one. Why hire an interior designer? Let’s check:

  • He will be excessively trained to plan all types of space (residential buildings, hotels, offices, etc.
  • He can always make a drawing of the most functional and beautiful solution, once he familiarizes with your ideas.
  • Once you approve his design, he will lose no time to create an ideal place.
  • He could do simple allocation of elements, but also intensive remodeling.
  • He balances between functionality and beauty, while his rich knowledge of safety codes will spare you a lot of worries.
  • He knows how your space should look, and he always has an idea on how to make it even more beautiful.

Besides, a designer is a communicator. He will be a member both of the architecture and construction team, providing or receiving advice for the sake of your project.

What do architects and interior designers have in common?

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer6 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Beth Dotolo, ASID, RID, NCIDQ

Great architects and interior designers are not simply decorators-they are professionals who design your space according to your needs, and they solve each homeowner’s project.

That’s why their work relies on both science and art: they plan the space to be a safe and functional haven, but they put extra efforts to ensure it will look amazing.

Both planning and design can get really tough, which gives the two disciplines a lot of issues to address in their work.

Let’s summarize the differences:

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer7 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: The Lykos Group, Inc.

If we had to define a crucial difference, it would be this one: Architects plan and design our space (both internally and externally), and they create the physical divisions and relationships in the building.

Interior designers, on the other side, use this already created spatial platform to add aesthetic and functional value.

Therefore, the job of a designer encompasses more important tasks than playing with shapes, colors, and sizes. An interior designer can also do a lot for you building’s external shell.

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer8 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Stonewood, LLC

Most of the time, there will be no risk of making a wrong choice. Both architects and designers are professionally trained, and have an insight of all essential concepts and principles.

Their education may be significantly different (architecture is more strict and regulated in terms of personal choices), but they follow trends and pile experiences in order to deal with every task.

Designers, however, are freer to interfere with the structure in accordance with their individual perceptions.

How to make a decision?

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer9 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: William T Baker

The best option would be to hire them both: complex projects make them completely interdependent, and they rely largely on each other’s expertise to obtain the desired result.

Besides, we are talking about two creative people that have no problem to deliver fresh ideas.

What if you have to hire one of them? Who would it be? To be honest, it is an individual decision, and it depends on what you expect.

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer10 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Becki Peckham

If your building is already constructed and structured, you would need an interior designer to help you furnish it. Building a home from scratch, on the other hand, would certainly demand an experienced architect. As we suggested above, the best idea is to hire both of them.

The scenarios we mentioned, however, are generalized and clear-cut situations. What would happen with interior remodeling or rebuilding?

Both cases require a serious change of structure, which immediately implies hiring an architect and an interior designer. The architect would be in charge of planning a new structure, while the designer would aesthetically adjust that structure to your needs.

Sometimes, the designer will have such skills and experience that he will become a part of the remodeling team, providing lots of good and creative tips.

Who comes first?

The-Difference-Between-An-Architect-And-An-Interior-Designer11 The Difference Between An Architect And An Interior DesignerImage source: Lauren Nicole Designs

The one who is always hired first is your constructor. He needs to warn you on prospective risks and changes, to prevent a too ambitious project from going too far.

The contractor will most probably indicate what type of professionals you need, or better yet, the ones that he would need to hire in his team.

The purpose is always the same: your project needs to turn into a beautiful and functional design. Architects and designers are there to ensure that your vision will be efficiently executed.