An Interior Designer's Perspective on The Impact of an Architect

Many times our clients work with an architect prior to working with us. We have the unique opportunity to bring an architect's work to fruition. A client's vision for what they want in their home can sometimes be very clear and other times it needs some refining. This is where a good architect can really help a client love their finished space or be slightly underwhelmed. 

interior designer with a good architect

If you are just starting down the road of researching a home remodel or new construction, there is a good chance you will need an architect. Moving load bearing walls or working with exterior walls requires an architect who can give you technical guidance that is necessary for doing it right and will meet code requirements. With that said, there is much more that goes into the value an architect brings to the table.  

Clearly communicating the size of each space and how the client will actually use it is an important component. 

Many people do not possess the ability to visualize what a space will look like when it is finished. An architect's role is to cast that vision. They are able to look ahead and create a space that will meet the client's needs. For example, if a client is asking for a kitchen that is 20' x 10', the architect is able to make sure it will suit the client's needs. Asking how they will use it and how it will best function to meet the demands of their daily activities and those big parties they throw during the holidays is of primary concern. Then they will get down to the details of which way certain doors will open and the relationship between certain pieces of furniture. Understanding the client as they will live and function in their space is one way an architect help a client achieve their end goal.

But don't just take it from us. Look what a professional says about this.

“We have to keep in mind the dynamics of the people using the spaces.”
— Steve Wiesenthal, Senior Assoicate VP of Facilities at The University of Chicago

We can't agree more with Wiesenthal. Your architect will not only make sure that the structure of your home will meet the code standards in your city, but will also make sure that the flow of the spaces within your house will meet the needs of your family. 

Here is one of our client's story when working with an architect. 

interior designer's take on an architect

Within the last two years we worked with a client who was building a new home. We met them through an established and trusted architect and got right to work on their project. As we do with all new construction projects, we met with the client to look over the plans drawn up from the architect. After spending some time talking through it, the client expressed some concerns about the size of their kitchen. We assured them that the way the architect factored the space would suit what they wanted just perfectly. At first it was hard for them to see how it was going to all come together but as we got further along, the cabinets and appliances were installed and it started to make more sense. Once we reached a certain point in the project, they were finally able to see that the space was perfectly laid out and at that moment it became theirs. They were very excited and thankful to the vision their architect had given them for the space. 

Our advice for the client when looking for an architect: Interview architects before selecting one for your project. Have them talk to you about their ability to bring your vision to reality and talk to them specifically about functionality. 

The best way to describe how an interior designer works with an architect is through an artistic analogy. An interior designer is best seen as the one who is putting the paint on the architect's canvas. The proper structure has to be there to give shape to the final elements of design. Without time and thought going into exactly how the client will use their space, an interior designer's ability to help the client achieve their end goal becomes much more difficult.

Posted on March 10, 2015 and filed under Functionality, Home Renovation.