When we undertake a new home construction or major renovation project, our clients often ask who should be on their team, and, more specifically, whether they need to hire both an architect and interior designer.
We understand that starting such a major project as building a new house can be overwhelming and even confusing for our clients. Sometimes they don’t know where to start or whom to call first. That’s why we are addressing this important issue in this blog. You can start by taking a look at the steps to follow on a new construction or renovation project.
The simple answer is that when you are building from the ground up or undertaking a complete renovation, you need to hire both an architecture and interior design firm. Especially if you get both teams involved from the very start of the project, this collaboration is the key to your project’s success.
Having a grasp of the role each professional plays is essential to understanding why you need both an architect and an interior designer from the beginning.
THE ROLE OF ARCHITECTS
Architects focus on the “shell” or structure of the home: its exterior elements and interior floor plans. Architects are hired to propose the best structure and plan based on the land the house will be sited on, the residential zoning requirements, the overall budget, and what the client hopes to achieve.
THE ROLE OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS
Residential interior designers not only address the look and feel of the home’s interiors, but also make sure that they meet the requirements for day-to-day functionality. Their goal is to create functional environments that translate into beautiful spaces that meet each client’s lifestyle, personality and habits.
Interior designers are responsible for bringing together the elements of the home’s design features, taking into consideration its physical structure. They choose interior finishes, furniture, accents and accessories.
While you might think that an interior designer is not needed at the beginning phases of a new construction, it is absolutely essential for a good outcome. Involving the interior design team at the beginning of the project will ultimately save you time and reduce costs.
What is the benefit of having both teams working on your new construction or remodel project? Architects and interior designers team up to create a whole home design that is cohesive and takes into consideration the key details before anything is built, yielding the best results and avoiding unnecessary extra costs later on in the process.
They coordinate and combine their experience, skill sets and efforts in order for the project to be successful. While the architecture team will be looking at the big picture, the interior designers will review the plans and design from a different perspective to ensure the structure will accommodate the client’s desired features while allowing for functionality. When we have the chance to review the plans early on in the process, we are able to spot opportunities to improve the whole home design. As a result, teams can modify the plans accordingly before construction begins.
TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATION
We are currently working on various new construction homes that require an effective collaboration with architects. We love to work hand-in-hand with different teams, because we learn from them while combining creative forces in the best interest of our clients.
We asked our interior design team for their top ten tips for achieving good communication among all the parties. Here is their response:
1. DEFINE GOALS AND ASSIGNS TASKS
This is important so that each party is clear about its responsibilities, without duplicating the other’s tasks.
2. KEEP THE CLIENT’S GOALS IN MIND
Keep the client’s goals in mind: Work as a team in the best interests of the client.
3. UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER’S PROCESS AND METHODS
Have a meeting with the architecture team to understand the best format in which to share documents, then adapt to its standards.
4. REALISTIC TIMELINES AND EXPECTATIONS
Share with architects, clients and engineers a realistic timeline of when each set of documents will be submitted to them.
5. BE OPEN TO NEW IDEAS
Listen and be open to the other party’s ideas, perspectives and possibilities. Each project has its specific needs, requiring specific solutions.
6. OPEN COMMUNICATION
Keep an open line of communication with the architects. As the design evolves and clients are meeting with each team individually, it is important to keep everyone in the loop.
7. LISTEN TO THE CLIENT BUT WORK AS A TEAM
Make sure to review all changes requested by the client with the architect to confirm you are not making any structural or exterior / facade changes..
8. FREQUENT MEETINGS
Schedule meetings to check progress together so you can move forward more quickly and efficiently.
9. PREPARE BEFORE MEETINGS
Review internally ideas to share with the architecture team before your meeting so you have a clear vision of what will be reviewed and what the specific goals are.
10. ALWAYS TAKE ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS INTO CONSIDERATION
As work proceeds on design features such as walls and windows, adjustments may need to be made. Share your thoughts with the architect to find the best solution.
ARCHITECT AND INTERIOR DESIGNER COLLABORATIONS
We invite you to check out a few of the beautiful newly constructed homes we have created in collaboration with various architecture teams, including Edge of Modernism in Canada with architect Rohit Shah, Design Options, Inc.; Woven Architecture with architecture firm, BE Design Associates, Inc. ; Fort Lauderdale Oceanfront Retreat with David Olson Architects; and Contemporary Waterfront Elegance Fort Lauderdale with architect Carlos A. Martin.
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