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What’s the Difference between Architects and Interior Designers?

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What’s the Difference between Architects and Interior Designers?
The big question is: What’s the difference? You want a new home from top to bottom, so who do you hire— An architect? An interior designer? Or both?


In reality, many designers have some knowledge and training in architecture, similarly, many architects have knowledge and training in design. An architect and an interior designer are both professionals for private home and building design, but there are still some skills that necessitate the hiring of one over the other.

The best way to check the difference is to know what each professional does.


An architect works not only on the forms of a space, but also the big picture pieces, the structure after, such as life safety issues, it’s engineering, the exterior materials, and the big code questions. For a house, that means what the exterior looks like, how the house performs from an energy point of view, handling building permits, and often how the interior casework and cabinetry lays out.


What Do Architects Do?

Fresh Home outlined of the key tasks and job responsibilities of an architect (see below for Interior Designers):

  • Architects design ALL types of buildings—not just homes. Hospitals, hotels, churches, commuter stations etc. are commonly on an architects to-do list
  • After communication with all those involved, the architect(s) will draw up plans for your design, usually with a computer-aided model
  • They then closely supervise as a construction firm takes over to build said design
  • Their designs incorporate function, form, safety and needs of the future owners
  • Their designs incorporate both beauty and functionality
  • Architects have strong mathematical and logical thinking, ensuring a stable, sound structure


An interior designer typically going to handle the parts of a project that deals with how the interiors look. This means selecting interior finishes like wallpaper, carpets, hardwoods, and tiles, as well as selecting furniture and soft goods like pillows, accessories, etc. Ideally, an interior designer includes working with the architect on the layout out of the spaces, and how the furniture, cabinets and other considerations work within the layout. This ensures that windows are properly placed, the rooms are sized appropriately, and that the whole space feels harmonious.


What Do Interior Designers Do?

  • After consultation with the client(s), they create renderings/drawings of designs that are both functional and aesthetic for the interior space
  • Once design is approved by the client, the designer then creates the space.
  • Interior designers have strong spatial skills along with a myriad of aesthetic design skills.
  • Design the look/style of a home’s interiors (usually all rooms)
  • Include a lighting plan for each room
  • Design backsplashes, choose all tile, flooring and lighting (fixtures and placement)
  • Focus on selecting interior materials, finishes, hardware, furnishings, textiles, drapery/window treatments, paint color, wallpaper and accents
  • Sometimes the space can be created through simple allocation of fabrics, paints and furnishings while other times it may require a more intensive
    remodel whereby construction contractors are hired.


No matter what job you are hiring a professional to do, you should always interview them and ask for references before anything else.

As a general contractor, we greatly value both of these professions and hold each in high esteem. However, we’ve also witnessed friction when competing professionals that aren’t clear about steps/tasks that overlap within a project, which is often the case! You may have had a previous positive experience where everything worked out for you. Here in American Home Remodeling we have an in home design and team expert professional that can take care of your home renovation with ease.

Feel free to contact us at 425.416.0017! We understand you might have some questions before starting your Remodeling Project. That is why we chose to provide a No-Cost No-Obligation Consultation meeting where you will get a chance to ask away. When submitting your contact info please mention if you have desired time frames where you would like to be scheduled.

American Remodeling Experts
22525 SE 64th Pl, suit#2259, SE 64th Pl, Issaquah, WA 98027, United States