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monix.denix 11-07-2008 06:45 PM

Remodeling home...consult architect or interior designer first?
I am planning on remodeling our very tiny galley kitchen and adjoining family room by expanding out about 8 feet. The problem is, neither one of us has an eye for what goes together. We both know what we like/don't like when we see it, but just aren't creative enough to coordinate things on our own.

So, are we better off getting an interior designer's perspective first, or hiring an architect? Are architects trained in any way to help people decide on things like what countertop color looks best with a particular cabinetry color? On the flip side, would an interior designer be aware of things like plumbing & electrical requirements/codes? This is the home we plan on staying in for at least the next 15 years, until our children finish school, so we'd like to make it very much "ours".

Can anyone help?

inspectorD 11-08-2008 05:47 AM

Either one can be of help in both areas. It all depends on what they know, their experience levels and creativity.

Another option is a really good builder design company. They have worked with both and cannot get what they want , so do it themselves.
The bottom line is, you need to interview each company and ask those questions. Ask freinds and neighbors first, someone has done something similar and you may benefit by listening to them.:)
Let us know what happens, and that may be another answer for someone else with the same type question.:)

Square Eye 11-09-2008 07:07 AM

The pros use an architect for the additional space then an interior designer uses the architects drawings to make the most of your new space.
So, I'd say both :)


InspectorD is dead on again. Many of the contractors around here have architects on staff and can have the cabinetry designed to suit. They also have access to the trustworthy interior designers in your area.

elnadx 11-10-2008 05:04 AM

I can tell you from years of experience that most architects and Interior designers get along like cats and dogs. Unless you get them both from the same firm (and even then there might be conflict) be prepared to have a bucket of cold water to separate them. Get the architect first. He/she will probably recommend someone for the colors etc.

Residential Landscaping Seattle

Mary Jo 11-10-2008 12:35 PM

Many options...
Agreed! We had a major project and realized atchitects and interior designers are like oil and water. They have separate areas of expertise and often do not cooperate if they are from different companies--and use one another to place blame:eek: . In MN there are several design/build companies who can share before/after photos. They are more apt to listen to your needs and anticipate technical conflicts;) . Avoid handy-man options unless they can give you years of experience and references! You can even visit your local do-it-yourself retailers for different layouts and options since you will need cabinets (and get computer printouts to compare options:D ). Good luck!

handyguys 11-11-2008 09:20 AM

I agree with all of this. Designers sometimes forget about the realities of things. (Cant put a sink there because of a drain issue) or (The cabinet door will hit stove handle (seen it). The architect will plan out the space and maybe even cabients utilities, etc. Use a designer for finishes.

jams003 12-08-2008 11:35 PM

maybe you may consult to an architect first before the interior designer,

ramcharger 02-13-2009 12:53 AM

You should get a general idea of what you want by answering some questions about your project. How much money will you want to spend, what are you trying to achieve (more counter space, more cooking space,etc.) Then talk to architect. They will know what the plumbing and electrical requirements for the project will be. The decorator can suggest style at this time.

jdougn 02-13-2009 07:10 AM

Hello Monix,
Around here many good contractors would be able to help you work through this process. Additionally, look around your neighborhood to see if others have extended this same area. Then, with some diplomacy, you may get permission to look inside to see if you like the layout.
hth, Doug

dave3717 02-17-2009 02:33 PM

Not sure if you've moved ahead with this yet, but if you haven't, I'd get a design/builder. This will be a contractor that does design work too. I believe that will bring everything together for you.

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