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Do you need an Interior Designer if you already have a contractor & architect?


The question of, “Do I need an interior designer if I have a contractor or architect?” is one I often hear from prospective clients and the answer is yes, an interior designer is a necessity. With large-scale renovations and design-build projects, you’ll likely need an architect, a general contractor (a builder), and an interior designer.

There’s a common assumption that when people think of construction, they believe architects draw the plans and contractors execute them.

However, there’s a pivotal player who is frequently misunderstood, and that’s us, the Interior Designer

Architect / Contractor / Interior Designer – the key differences…

An architect will focus on the structural integrity and external aesthetics of a build, a contractor will build from a plan and bring the vision to life, and the interior designer ties together function and style within the space to ensure the outcome is not only beautiful, but practical and in line with the clients brief and vision.  

Essentially, we bridge the gap between the client’s vision and the projects execution. 

As a full-service interior design studio, led by myself as lead designer, and supported by my two in house RIBA Architects, we specialise in luxury new-build construction and large-scale renovations.

Many clients come to us not knowing if they need to work with an interior designer when they have already engaged with an architect and have a contractor to build. I’m going to break down why an interior designer is also essential to your new build or renovation project. 

At a glance:

  1. We can make recommendations for contractors & architects 
  2. We ensure your plans are optimised for function 
  3. We take on the project management to save you time and relieve any pain points
  4. We save you money and help you avoid costly mistakes
  5. We always have your vision and the agreed design intent as our key objective, ensuring the project is delivered as expected 

01 | We can make recommendations for contractors & architects

Before you commit to a contractor who doesn’t align to your preferences, we can make recommendations for contractors who we have worked with before, and who have proven quality, finish on time, and take pride in the quality of their workmanship.

02 | We ensure your plans are optimised for function 

If your architects plans are simply passed straight to a contractor, they will execute as they are on paper. Working with us as your interior designers means we ensure your designs are cohesive and optimised for function. We spend time understanding your vision, capsulising this and your functional needs, to then provide essential drawing sets that communicate for the build team to bring to fruition.

At Styled Home Design we offer a standalone service for clients who have already hired an architect, but would like their plans reviewed by us, to make sure they are optimised and ensure there are no missed opportunities to elevate the designs. We consider how you will live in the space, how your furniture will be laid out, and revise the blueprints to ensure you get the best outcome. We consider things like door openings, built-in joinery locations, electrical locations, kitchen and bathroom layouts, flow of traffic and more.  

03 | We take on the project management to save you time and to relieve any pain points

Project management is critical to ensure the proposed design is delivered as intended, on time, and in budget. There is nothing more frustrating, in both time delays and additional expenses, than having your design plans ready to go and finding out there are issues preventing the construction from starting. We save our clients time by ensuring all parties are aligned and have all documentation required.  

We also have a different view in terms of the finished design to that of an architect or contractor. For example, we think about where and how art will be showcased, which way doors will swing, how joinery should be configured, and how locations for light switches and electrical sockets work for your everyday living. Adjusting these, what may seem, small details is very time-consuming after construction commences. You can avoid the possibility of delays and cost overruns by allowing the experts to work together from the start.

04 | We save you money and help you avoid costly mistakes

Having us involved in the early stages means the critical collaboration with your build team and architect is established during key phases of the project.   Our clients also benefit from our insight. This reduces the number of change requests they submit to the builder, and ultimately reduces any costly changes that can come up once construction is underway. 

We know how to work with our clients’ budgets and recommend where to splurge and where to save. We also make selections that are timeless and of great quality, saving our clients’ money and protecting their investment years down the line. 

We know how to coordinate and optimise furniture placement, we communicate critical details of electrical and plumbing layouts, and how customised details, such as custom joinery, mouldings, and trim work should be built. 

We refine all details of how the home should function specifically for you. Having this input early on prevents any regrets later down the line after its too late to change. 

05 | We always have your vision and the agreed design intent as our key objectives ensuring the project is delivered as expected 

Construction projects are a huge undertaking with many moving parts, this often means overwhelm for anyone who isn’t experienced with this type of work day to day. Having us involved means we act as the main point of contact, and save you from handling the coordinating headaches. 

During the design phase, we work to provide the build team with all the fine details about items we are specifying, we handle any issues on site once construction is underway, by making alternate suggestions or troubleshooting with the builder to find a solution. 

Overall, when you work with us for your construction project, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re making the best decisions possible to achieve an outcome you will love forever. 

Building a home is not something people do often, and it is always our goal to protect the best interests of our clients as well as the investment of their time, money, and trust. 

If you need help with your upcoming construction project, we’d love to be your first choice.

Get in touch to arrange a call so we can discuss your project in more detail. 

Projects

Our projects range from full-service interior design for new build homes & renovations to curated furniture & styling projects.

Greenlands Cambridge

The Anchor Burwell

Swaffham Road Burwell

Duxford Church Cambridge

Moor House Newmarket

Hall Barn Bury St Edmunds

Get in touch
"A lovely person, and the best in the business, it really is that simple!"
Ollie Drake, Drake Property & Developments
"Tash elevates properties to the next level. She has a wonderful style and eye for design"
Alex Babouris, Babouris Property Management
"Tash is so organised, it's been a very easy journey and a pleasure to work with her in my home."
Daisy Dowler, Private Client
"Tash is a lovely, warm, & thoughtful person to work with. She takes time to get under the skin of what her clients want, learning about who they are to help guide the design process."
Louise Border, Private Client
"Tash worked within my budget, so that I had the option of several products to work with that would all compliment each other. On top of this, Natasha has such a warm presence which made her so easy to work with and so comfortable to talk to"
Sophie Van leeuwen, Private Client
Tash completed a redesign across our home, working with some existing furniture we wanted to keep. The house feels so cosy & warm now, & I have some lovely pieces of furniture!
Natalie Saunders, Private Client
We can't thank Tash enough. Her eye for design, combined with her understanding of our needs and limitations was key. The first stage of our renovations have been received so well and we look forward to working with Tash again to complete phase two
John Rowell, The Anchor
I would highly recommend working with SHD, Tash has a fantastic eye for detail and creates stunning spaces with her unique designs to make your property stand out from the crowd. Tash's communication is brilliant, keeping you informed at every stage of the process!
Sam Carter, SJC Property Developments
We are a short term rental management company based in Cambridge, we needed fast property staging and room planning. Styled Home Design exceeded our expectations, the photography has resulted in a very profitable launch. Our guests love the design. Natasha was so easy to work with, she translated my ideas into amazing room designs. We will continue to work together
Nicky Brewin, Brewin Properties
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