Architecture and Interior Design intersect more often today on many levels and in many ways than ever, but it is not always definitive where that line is drawn. In years past, clients have relied solely on their architect to design the space and to select all the interior elements and finishes of the project.
Historically, architects have held responsibility for completing the architectural design and interior design of a building, although artisans, craftsmen, furniture makers, decorators, and interior designers also have played a role. Architects are by their very nature exceptional at space allocation and selecting interior materials, finishes, and furnishings and already have a preconceived idea or what the interior is going to look like based on their design. They inherently understand the art and science of people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building.
The interior aesthetics of funeral homes have changed a lot in the last few decades. Long gone are the dark and closed off areas of a funeral home. Funeral services today are focused on helping families celebrate life, and the spaces reflect that with more welcoming, bright, and open spaces. The interior colors, materials, and furnishings are chosen to convey a more naturally relaxed environment, with the purpose of putting the people who enter the space at ease. The decisions made about the interior design of the space and finishes chosen are more important than ever to stay relevant now and for years to come.
Hiring an interior designer is a discussion you should have with your design team. It is important that you are a part of the process, and should be encouraged to participate in those decisions, whether remodeling or building new. Many owners want to help make decisions on the look and feel of the exterior and interior of their facility. They want it to be a reflection of their design aesthetic and style. Hiring a designer offers an extra set of eyes, and those eyes are trained to see and notice things that you may not. You should also have a frank discussion about the merits and cost to hire a professional interior designer—is it worth the investment. Budget usually determines those decisions. Additional costs to hire an interior designer for interiors are sometimes a burden on the budget, and those costs are very real.
If your decision is to go ahead and hire a professional designer to enhance your architectural design team, you should be aware of the differences between a decorator and interior designer. Typically, a designer has a degree in interior design backed by years of experience working in the field. A designer is expected to be more familiar with the practical and technical aspects of design, in addition to being accomplished in the decorative aspects including color, materials, and finishes. Designers are skilled in space planning while still providing furnishings, artwork and accessories. Designers can help give the “wow” factor you’ve been looking for—they are educated to see and think differently, including spatially, and to see an overall picture that clients often cannot.
A decorator, on the other hand, does not share the same formal education in design, and while they may have years of experience, tend to be more familiar with the decorative aspects of the project, fabrics, finishes and such. We see many clients who know someone or who may have a family member that is good at decorating whom they choose to use to help them make those interior design decisions.
While it is a personal preference whether you decide to hire a decorator or interior designer, it is important to know the difference and how those services intertwine with your architectural design team. Your architectural design team and your interior designer work in tandem. The interior designer works closely with the owner and with the architect—decisions being made by the interior designer are reviewed with the architect for code requirements and budgetary implications as well as design esthetics.
Interior design is becoming more mainstream and not just for the high-end project. Clients want to work with professional interior designers for lighting, color, furniture, wall art and beyond. FBA
Dave TeBrake is the Executive Vice President/Co-Owner of Miller Architects & Builders. Dave is passionate about turning client dreams for facilities into reality. He has helped develop successful building projects for 26 years. He serves the funeral home, worship and senior health care divisions, and oversees daily sales and marketing efforts of Miller Architects & Builders. Dave considers his profession of building facilities “a lifestyle” dedicated to client and community service. He can be reached by phone at 800-772-1758 or by email at [email protected], or visit their website at www.millerab.com.