Architecture and interior design are two very different skill sets that synergistically bring together the best possible outcome for a new building, particularly when working collaboratively from the outset. If an architect is a specialist in the construction design of buildings, an interior designer is a specialist for designing and finishing the inside of those buildings. For refurbishments in particular, an interior designer can often manage the complete internal design and works and may be a more relevant option.
In basic terms, an architect designs and builds the structure of the building whilst the interior designer creates the beauty and practicality of the internal finishes, layout and feeling. An interior designer may make suggestions around some architectural items of a project such as relocating or removing a wall (particularly during a renovation) but will need to receive confirmation that such a suggestion is possible from an architect, engineer or builder.
An interior designer focuses on the aesthetics and human aspects of the building – the internal space, how it will be used and how the space will look and feel. They will always design for the purpose of the space. They should provide creative direction, detailed design drawings (plans, internal elevations and sections) and take care of scheduling including: fixtures and fittings; finishes; furniture; lighting; custom joinery (kitchens, bathrooms, bookcases etc) and decor - to meet the client’s brief. In some cases, an interior designer will also provide styling services.
It goes without saying that interior designers, as with architects, tend to have a style that they bring to a project. Some designers create a more modern aesthetic, some are more elegant, some are traditional whist others are following trends. It is important to choose an interior designer that will create interiors that match your target market and brand. This is when the sales magic of a commercial project really happens.