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Interior design and architecture are as different as chalk and cheese – or as necessary to each other as potatoes and gravy, depending on who you ask.  And while good architecture and interior design can work together beautifully, the best interior design can’t make a poorly-designed building structurally sound.

If you’re doing a renovation, should you hire an architect or an interior designer?  That depends on the type of reno you’re doing; it’s not uncommon for a designer to hire or consult with an architect or an engineer during the course of a reno.  (At Ottawa General Contractors LTD, we’ve got all that covered for you.)

The question becomes where does architecture end and interior design begin?  And that’s what we’ll discuss in this post.

Architecture vs. Interior Design:  Why Both Matter

Architecture is the building’s design, from the foundation to the roof.  Understandably, this takes more know-how than selecting paint colors and fabric types.  Architects create spaces, whether these spaces be indoors or out.

There are different architectural styles, and these often overlap with design terms.  And it’s not unusual for interior designers and architects to work on the same project.  To add to the confusion, some architects work for interior design firms, and other architects actively share in interior design.  But as a whole, the architect is responsible for the structural integrity and the form of a building.

If architects create forms, interior designers try to style and fill them.  Although designers may sometimes suggest cosmetic or functional alterations to a room – moving a wall, for example – they’re usually not the one who draw up the plans for making the renovations.  So it’s fair to say that architects and interior designers are actually different professions working in the same arena.

Should it really be a case of interior design versus architecture?  A good interior designer can mask the flaws of an awkward space, and a good architect can draw up plans to change the space entirely.  But when both designer and architect work together, their different skills and training can make a boring home beautiful.