3 Benefits of Interior Designer Integrated with Architect’s Design-Build Team

The renovated Glam Interior living room features a wood slatwall and new large windows with views to the backyard.

In the realm of architectural design, an Interior Designer integrated into the design-build team from the outset offers unparalleled benefits. By ensuring a holistic approach, clients maximize the potential of their spaces, elevating living experiences. Interior designers optimize functionality and comfort, crafting environments that deeply resonate with inhabitants. This collaborative synergy streamlines decision-making and ensures a cohesive vision throughout every phase of the project, resulting in visually stunning, highly functional, and deeply personalized spaces.

In this article, we”ll discuss the 3 reasons an Interior Designer is a crucial part of your building team – Architect, Construction Manager, and INTERIOR DESIGNER – from the very beginning through to the very end.

#1. Unified Vision

Working with an Interior Designer who is an expert member of the Architect’s design-build team ensures a unified design vision shared by all stakeholders.

An Interior Designer will help marry the architecture with how you live and use each space. And with an integrated team, that interiors expertise is able to engage at the front-end of the design process, both in-studio and in design charrette meetings with Owner and team.

Rendering - Section View - Primary Bedroom Suite - Midcentury Modern Addition, Tippecanoe Lake, Leesburg, IN - HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles, Christopher Short, Indianapolis Architect
Side view of custom architectural stair includes vertical cable rail guardrail system, open risers with custom steel detailing, vaulted ceiling, exposed beams, steel handrail, IKEA white cabinetry, black track lighting, white modern ceiling fan, uplighting, upright piano niche, refitted historical windows, and refinished wood floors - Indianapolis, Indiana, Christopher Short, Architect, HAUS Architecture + WERK | Building Modern

An Interior Designer engaged at the front-end is going to be able to offer another relevant perspective on the development of design concepts, and not wait to engage when it’s too late to offer impactful ideas. For instance, what if we need to include an unusual interior element or furnishing? How important is this element? Is it possible that we should be considering the design from the inside-out, outside-in, or both? What are the agreed most-important elements in the design solution?

An Interior Designer on the Architect’s team will collaborate directly and fluidly challenge the layouts while proposing pieces for the spaces. This extra layer of synthesis ensures that layouts and specifications are optimized for how you live and use each space. And the actual building design takes into account those suggestions up-front, instead of engaging when it may be too late or painful to make a change later.

#2. Consistent Point-of-Contact

Having an Interior Designer fully integrated with the Architect (and Construction Manager) simplifies the the design + construction process for the Client (Owner) by having one point-of-contact.

A common workflow (in a builder-led residential process) includes hiring an Architect first, getting a plan to a good place, starting construction with a Builder, and then bringing-in an Interior Designer later. This flow often results in the Client having to spend a lot-of-time coordinating various parties. The Architect is emailing with plan updates. The Interior Designer is asking your thoughts on moving a wall. The Builder needs to know who to ask about design + construction questions (does he ask the Owner, the Architect, or the Interior Designer?).

When you work with one cohesive in-house team that combines these services, they will coordinate amongst themselves in-house and will not rely on the Owner to be the point-person. As the Owner, you can reduce your coordination time exponentially; spend less time and achieve more results.

Front vaulted ceilings with clerestory windows will bring natural light from the south exposure over covered porch into living spaces - Lakeside Modern Cottage - Unionville, Indiana, Lake Lemon - Christopher Short, Derek Mills, Paul Reynolds, Architects, HAUS Architecture + WERK | Building Modern - Construction Managers - Architect Custom Builders

#3. Efficiency

Working with an Interior Designer on the Architect’s design-build team increases overall project efficiency by enabling daily in-person coordination, shared standard operating procedures, and earlier-collaboration.

When you work with a team that has all parts of the design + build process under one roof, that qualified team is more able to organize and prioritize all aspects of a project with daily in-person coordination. They’ll have a level of rapport, complimentary skillsets, and a working history with one another which will result in more efficient communications and less redundancy. For a qualified team of professionals, the whole is most certainly greater than the sum of its parts (paraphrasing Aristotle).

Original Mid Mod Fireplace, modern furniture, large red area rugs, custom artwork, retro furnishings, inside out brick wall, exposed brick, leather side chairs, linen sofa, wide plank oak flooring, Walnut kitchen cabinets, Quartz tops grey, ceramic artwork, orange teapot, stainless steel range hood, kitchen skylight, Saarinen bench, Saarinen wine cart, pendant dining lights, custom Walnut live edge dining table, Eames shell chairs, floor to ceiling window wall, wooded site - Midcentury Modern Renovation - 81st Street - Indianapolis, Christopher Short, Architect, HAUS Architecture
Visitors are welcomed with thoughtful modern furnishings and art - Industrial Farm Modern - Back40House - Pendleton, IN

With one cohesive design team, the design coordination is more streamlined. Everyone is working off the same office standards, sharing calendars, and even sharing core values. Everyone is using the same software and working off of the most current design files. The design vision is shared, and the design-to-construction transition is seamless.

Having the Interior Designer as part of the bigger team allows earlier, more consistent involvement. It means the conversations are happening earlier when it is cheaper/easier to implement big-ideas. An in-house team can flush-out issues together before bringing them to the Owner. Working with one team who has all relevant design disciplines allows for more streamlined process beginning-to-end.

In conclusion, the integration of interior design services within an Architect design-build team offers clients a comprehensive solution that maximizes the potential of their spaces. This integrative team gives the Client a unified vision for design, efficiency, as well as one point-of-contact. By prioritizing interior design from the outset and embracing a collaborative approach, clients elevate their living experiences and create environments that are not only visually stunning, but also highly functional and deeply personalized.

Written by Colleen Freiburger.