September 6, 2023

Architects vs. Interior Designers

In residential design and construction, the roles of architects and interior designers often overlap, leading to some confusion about who to hire for a particular project. While both professionals are known for creative design solutions tailored to your specific needs and preferences, there are critical differences.  Here are the pros and cons of each:

Boerum Hill House by Delson or Sherman Architects PC



  • Design Expertise: Architects are trained to create functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces while ensuring structural integrity and well-crafted details. This can be especially crucial for complex projects or renovations that alter an existing structure.
  • Project Coordination: Architects often take on project-management responsibilities, coordinating the work of contractors, engineers, and other specialists to ensure that the design is executed precisely as planned. This can save you time and the stress of managing multiple professionals.
  • Code Compliance: Navigating building codes, zoning laws, and permit requirements can be a daunting task. Architects have the expertise to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations, reducing the risk of costly delays or legal issues down the road.
  • Sustainability and Efficiency: As environmental concerns grow more prominent, architects integrate energy-efficient systems and sustainable materials into their designs. This helps you reduce your carbon footprint and improve your indoor and outdoor environments.
  • Problem Solving: Architects are skilled at adapting designs to address unexpected issues during construction.
  • Long-Term Property Value: A well-designed and well-constructed space is not only more enjoyable to live or work in but can also command higher resale or rental prices in the future.


  • Cost: Hiring an architect may be more expensive upfront due to their specialized skills and services.

  • Timeline: Architectural designs take time to complete due to the thorough planning and design phases.

Interior Designers


  • Aesthetics: Interior designers specialize in the selection of furnishings, color schemes, and decor elements to enhance the visual appeal of a space.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Interior designers may have lower fees than architects, making them more budget-friendly for smaller projects.

  • Limited Scope: Interior designers can take on projects with smaller scopes and smaller budgets than an architect can manage.


  • Lack of Regulatory Expertise: Interior designers aren’t trained to ensure projects comply with building codes and regulations.

  • Lack of Technical Expertise: Interior designers don’t address how building components are detailed or assembled and don’t address structural or waterproofing issues.

  • Potential for Incompatibility: Interior designers may not align with your home’s exterior design or its interior architectural features.

If you’re undertaking a significant renovation or building project, hiring an architect is typically the better choice. They offer comprehensive services, considering not only the interior aesthetics but also the entire structure, functionality, and external design of a building. This holistic approach ensures that your project aligns with your long-term goals. While architects may be more expensive upfront, their expertise can save you money in the long run by avoiding costly mistakes and enhancing the overall quality and value of your property.

Ultimately, deciding between hiring an architect or an interior designer will depend on your project’s specific requirements, but understanding the advantages of each can help you make an informed choice for your next design endeavor.