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Friendly Reminder: Interior Designers Are Not Decorators

Browse the Architizer Jobs Board and apply for architecture and design positions at some of the world’s best firms. Click here to sign up for our Jobs Newsletter. 

At one point or another, we’ve all guiltily binge-watched reality TV renovation shows, be it staples like ‘Love it or List it’ and ‘Fixer Upper’ or newcomers like Netflix’s ‘Instant Dream Home’. The storyline is always cozily familiar: a celebrity designer walks into an old house and with the snap of a finger, revamps an outdated kitchen with the season’s most fashionable granite countertops or reveals beautiful hardwood underneath drab tile floors, all under the amazed eyes of the couple soon moving in.

Yet, what we see on TV only tells part of the story. Interior design isn’t so much about decorating as it is about problem-solving. How do you divide space according to the needs and tastes of the clients? How do you ensure an easy flow between different spaces? How can you maintain adequate sunlight and ventilation? These are all questions that tend to be glossed over in reality tv shows because they’re not as flashy as the final product.

Unlike full-scale architecture projects, where an additional window can be added to the model or a floor plan can be enlarged, interior design is inherently limited to the spatial dimensions of the existing structure. However, this can become an ideal incubator for creative designer minds. Interior design is less about creating the prettiest house than it is about tailoring a home to best fit the demands of the people living in it.

De la Cime by APPAREIL Architecture, Montreal, Canada. The project earned a special mention at the 2022 A+Awards in the interior design category.

Take for instance APPAREIL Architecture’s De la Cime renovation project in Montreal, which received a Special Mention at the 2022 A+Awards. The firm was hired by a couple with three children who wanted to convert their two small duplexes into one large single. To achieve this, the designers needed to include a four-level staircase to connect the two former apartments. The firm designed a sleek, double stringer staircase to ensure a more even distribution of light from the top floor skylight and a greater sense of spaciousness in the kitchen and living room.

Moreover, to aesthetically accommodate the needs of the young family, the firm chose furniture that would be seamlessly integrated within the architecture. Notably, their design includes wood walls that serve both to partition the entrance and the kitchen and to conceal the pantry – all the while displaying pleasant red oak surfaces that are echoed in other design details throughout the house.

Palo Alto Eichler by Henrybuilt. Founded in 2001, Henrybuilt has won over 20 international design awards for their kitchen designs and furniture.


Interested in continuing a career with some of the best interior design firms out there? Consider applying to these firms through Architizer’s jobs board.

Bill Peterson Architect is an award-winning New York City–based architecture, interiors and creative services firm focused on a wide range of interior design projects, from full-scope building projects to design concept and strategy. For founder Bill Peterson, the aim of the firm is to conceive timeless and quality designs that inspire and capture the imagination of clients — a philosophy they have successfully showcased countless times. The firm is currently looking to hire an Intermediate Architect for their New York office.

Form4 Architecture is also looking to hire an Interior Designer for their office in San Fransisco as they rapidly expand their practice. The firm has won over 200 national and international design awards and the winner of the 2017 American Price of Architecture. Their studio culture focuses on well-executed design in a boutique-studio environment.

Henrybuilt is an interior design firm with offices in New York, Mill Valley and Seattle mainly focusing on innovative, high-quality kitchen designs. The firm also has an international reputation for their product design, which extends beyond the kitchen to furniture and wardrobes for the entire house. They are currently hiring for a Senior Designer for their San Francisco office and a Design Engineer for their office in New York.

ODA-Architecture, P.C., another architectural firm based in New York, is seeking an Interior Architect | Interior Designer. The firm has worked on dozens of larger scale interior design projects, including lobbies and individual units for hotels and condos.

Snøhetta is an integrated architecture, landscape, interior, product design and graphic design firm with offices in Oslo, New York, Innsbruck, Paris, Adelaide, Hong Kong and San Francisco. The firm is currently looking to hire a Designer and Project Architect, both positions specializing in Interior Architecture, for their New York office.

Browse the Architizer Jobs Board and apply for architecture and design positions at some of the world’s best firms. Click here to sign up for our Jobs Newsletter. 

The post Friendly Reminder: Interior Designers Are Not Decorators appeared first on Journal.

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