Do Interior Designers Work with Architects?

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Winthorpe has been a design and build company for decades. We’ve been asked many questions about architects, the design process, and the difference between architects and designers. One of the most common questions we get is whether or not designers (interior designers specifically) ever work with architects when planning a project. There’s a bit of a rivalry between designers and architects in general, but ultimately, the client’s good always comes first. 

Not all interior design teams are willing to work with an architect, even if the client is already doing so. This reluctance can lead to miscommunication, disagreements, and other setbacks in the project. We often see cases where a client had an idea they liked and took it to an architect, who then failed to communicate with the interior design team. This communication breakdown leads the interior design team to make plans before fully knowing what they’ll be working with. Both the architect and the interior design team promise the client something, and then the two ideas end up clashing in practice. 

The Difference Between Designers and Architects

Before we get into what a collaboration between the two looks like, it’s essential to understand the differences between an architect and a designer. While their jobs may seem similar, there’s a lot more to it. 

Architects typically specialize in the design of a building’s structure and exterior aspects. They take an empty lot or a pre-existing home, discuss the clients’ needs with them, and then make a mold that will shape what the client has given them into a shell that the designers can then use to craft the client’s dream home. Some designers, like the ones at Winthorpe Design and Build, are capable of doing this step themselves, eliminating the need for an architect. 

Whether an architect or a design team makes the bare bones of the design, it’s up to the designers to bring the project to life. Designers help ensure the build lives up to the clients’ dreams, from flooring to landscaping and the final accent pieces. 

When Should an Interior Design Team and an Architect Work Together?

At Winthorpe Design and Build, we’ve always made it our priority to satisfy our clients, no matter what it takes. Like many other design and build teams, we prefer to do the project without getting involved. So, we typically don’t work with architects due to having our own team of highly skilled designers. However, if the client or our team feels that working with an architect is better for the project, we try our best. After all, the client comes first, and our personal preferences don’t overrule that. 

When the client decides to employ an architect in addition to our services, we find it best to work together as much as possible. Not only does this prevent us from designing plans that conflict with each other, but it also provides us with the insight we need to find a way to complement each others’ skill sets. It also helps us ensure that both parties stay on track and keep the clients’ vision in mind. Working together also encourages exchanging ideas, leading to the architects or the interior designers considering a plan they otherwise wouldn’t have. 

When we end up working in tandem with an architect, we always communicate as clearly as possible. Nothing will destroy a project up more quickly than poor communication between those working on it. It’s unfair to the client to open up the opportunity for easily avoidable mistakes because we can’t communicate and work together correctly. 

Winthorpe Design and Build

Working with an architect may not be our first choice here at Winthorpe Design and Build, but, as we said, it’s our policy to put the client first. Our friendly designers and builders have what it takes to do a project themselves from start to finish, but they also have the experience and expertise to work with architects when needed. 

That being said, consider your options before you shell out the cash for an architect that you may not even need. Many people are wary of design-build firms because they don’t do designing exclusively, but it needn’t be so. Just because we do multiple things doesn’t mean we don’t have expertise in both fields, and many of our clients would agree that we are.

The Winthorpe Way

Architects can be expensive, over-confident, and unskilled at making sure their designs are practical. Instead of spending your money on an architect that may not get your design right, consider hiring Winthorpe Design and Build. It’s cheaper, and our first-hand construction experience means we can factor in the functionality you need for everyday life right from step one. That way, you won’t have to keep starting over with new designs every time we hit a snag. 

Contact us today to experience our new process for design and build, including remote consultation and design services!

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