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Which is Best for Your Project: an Interior Designer or an Architect?

Confused about whether to hire an interior architectural designer or an architect for your home renovation or new home construction project? Learn the key differences between the two, and why working with a designer from the beginning of the project is the best way to create the home of your dreams. Get the help you need with our guide to choosing the right people for your project!

Sarah Paschall Interior Design Del Mar House
Sarah Paschall Interior Design Del Mar House

So you've decided to build your dream home or want to spruce up your existing home. You probably have numerous Houzz and Pinterest boards filled with your ideas. But before you start picking appliances at Pirch, the design needs to come first. The question is always, “Who should I hire to design my home, an architect or an interior designer?” Here, we’ll help you determine who to hire according to your needs.

Both professionals are interchangeable, but there are key differences between the two and skill levels vary significantly across both trades. If you're looking to design modern and beautiful spaces, architectural interior designers have strong design and spatial skills. They have a holistic aesthetic of how buildings and interiors flow together with functional, and psychological purpose of a home or building. While architects focus on the structural integrity, engineering and project coordination.


Architects design buildings, while interior designers are best suited to achieve your desired look and function of the interiors of the building, which also includes outdoor living areas, finishes, cabinetry, furniture, and fixtures.


If you have the means to do it, the very best approach is to work in sync with an interior designer from the beginning and the engineer or architect to make both the building and it’s indoor spaces functional, pleasant and appealing. Architects are great at designing empty buildings built to perfection. However, working with a designer at the beginning of the design project allows you to see how the space functions with furniture layouts, and your home will be designed to perfection from the inside out.

A professional interior designer's skills go way beyond aesthetics—most have a bachelor's degree in design and interior architecture and have received extensive training in the field of design, construction, and sustainability. Ask these questions upfront to determine if they are qualified for the scope of work.

Here’s what to expect when hiring our firm to design and build your home:

  • We will start by meeting our clients to understand their vision and needs.

  • And then, with the use of computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), and other 3D design tools, we create floor plans to create a flow and influence style and material selection to help make this vision into reality.

  • Then we create elevations of all the interior-built elements such as kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, fireplaces, and walk-in closets built to perfection.

  • A structural engineer reviews the plans to ensure the structure is safe and that the design can be implemented properly and built to last.

  • We obtain permits when necessary.

  • Oversee the build and installation of our design.

  • We complete the design with furnishings, window coverings, light fixtures, and artwork and stylize it with decor to have it ready for the final reveal.

  • We often work remotely and have the technology to create accurate as-built drawings and 3D models before we start the project.


Example of a floor plan created by Paschall Design
Example of a floor plan created by Paschall Design


Hiring the right team for your project can be a daunting task - but it doesn't have to be. Get the help you need from a professional design firm with experience, connections, and proven abilities to uncover all the possibilities, guild you in design decision-making, and help make the construction process go smoothly for the best possible results. Schedule a consultation today and let me provide you with the valuable you need for a successful project.


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