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Do Architecture Firms Do Interior Design?

Potential clients often ask us if our architecture firm provides custom interior design. The answer: some do. Including us! 

Our firm is, after all, filled with professionals who have studied the science of spaces. Why wouldn’t we include interior design?

But architecture and custom interiors don’t always go hand-in-hand. Not all architecture firms provide work on interiors. Conversely, there are a lot of interior design firms that focus entirely on interior aesthetics, without much — or any — collaboration with architects on the project.

If you’re hiring someone to design your home, should you look for a firm that includes interior design or not?

We think you should. Here’s why.

You can’t separate the structure from its interior

Before thinking about interior colors and materials, we make sure the space has the flow, drama, and views that complement the architecture. In other words, we take the interior feeling of the space into consideration first. 

To us, not integrating the interior design with the architectural design feels a lot like serving up just the turkey for Thanksgiving. It’s good. It just leaves you kind of looking around for side dishes, wondering if there’s something you missed.

In our minds, your finished home should be an experience. This means we look not only at the integrity of the walls, floors, roof but at the ways the space inside will function for its occupants. 

A space may have vaulted ceilings in a key location to capitalize on the light streaming in from a bay window. Or it may have a lowered ceiling in a cozy corner to encourage introspection, reading, and napping by the fire. It may have thoughtfully placed interior soffits to soften the transition from one space and another or to house lighting fixtures that will bring a room to life.

We also pay attention to the way people move through the space by creating a flow that works for you. Does one room lead to the next in a way that makes sense? Is the kitchen separated from the living space in a way that differentiates it without cutting it off from the rest of the house? Is the interior completely open or can you just barely spy part of one room when you’re settled in another? All of those decisions go into our full interior designs. 

Your interior reflects (and affects) your lifestyle

Before we even talk about a design, we find out what your home is for, beyond sleeping, bathing, and eating. If you plan to entertain or feel most comfortable in bright open spaces, we’ll design something very different than if you love to get cozy and only like to have a few people over at a time. If you have young children, we’ll design a very different home than we will if your home will be for a pair of siblings.

In other words, you get to dream up the space that will feel most right for you and we get to dream up ways to make it materially possible, beautifully functional, and aesthetically rich — all in a way that complements the architecture. 

Interior choices affect your health and well-being

We specialize in healthy structures, including buildings that have high-quality indoor air. 

Designing interiors is another way for us to integrate healthy building principles into your project. By choosing materials that are less toxic or non-hazardous, we can improve air quality over the life of the building. 

And even if you don’t have space in your budget for 100% green materials, we can help you prioritize certain aspects of your interior to make it as healthy as possible.

The interior design process is smoother and less stressful

Because we design with an architect’s eye and attention to detail, every aspect of your custom interior will be organized and planned out — down to the millimeter.

We’ve heard unfortunate stories about beautifully designed spaces that went awry because the installers didn’t have tile diagrams available or didn’t have lighting elevations spelled out clearly. These kinds of omissions can lead to costly re-dos or disappointing final products. 

We conceive of interiors that create a harmonious environment and avoid nonsensical decisions. We start with product research and a detailed database and communicate our plans using 3D interior models, just as we do for the exterior of your project. By designing and documenting everything, there’s less stress for installers and for you. 

The outcome is more beautiful

Not only is the process smoother, the final product is absolutely captivating.

Have you ever thought about how the tile forming the backsplash in your kitchen will transition to the drywall at the corner? We have. And we take it seriously because when details like this are done well, it results in a resolved aesthetic.

We’ve heard of many disappointed clients who spent hours choosing perfect (and, perhaps, expensive) tile only to be disappointed because it was installed off-center or cut off at a strange place. Thoughtful installation is a big part of making the space feel right.

Your vision gets to shine

Even though we have strong, informed opinions about the way our projects are designed and carried out, we never cramp your style. We know how personal interiors are and take extra time to understand your vision so you can live just how you want to.

We’ve designed all-wood interiors inside an octagonal house, a steampunk ‘80s castle, and minimalist cottages, just to name a few. 

At the end of any project, we want to make sure you feel like yourself in your new, incredible space. You deserve to live in a sculpture for the rest of your life.