So Who Should You Hire?
I've come to realize that most people still don't know the difference between the services of an Architect, Interior Designer and Decorator - and that's perfectly ok.
There are a lot of similarities, and a few differences, between the 3 groups so I made a pie chart (mmm pie) to show you where the fields overlap.
Of course this is very broad and doesn't include everything (and the terms sometimes vary by state), but as you can see, Architects mostly handle exterior elements like helping you pick the perfect site for a home and things like doors and windows. They also have the power to stamp drawings, which is useful to those of you who need to submit drawings for things like permits. Interior Designers can create drawings, however, in the state of Texas, they do not have the power to stamp a drawing (darn).
***TIP: A Designer can do the majority of drawings, then have them reviewed, contributed to and stamped by an Architect for things that need exterior work or permits***
Betchya you didn't see that coming. It's always good to have a second pair of eyes on a drawing too. Anyways, IDs handle more of the interior stuff. We ask in-depth questions like "Describe your morning routine step-by-step" and "What do you currently love about this space" to get an idea of who you are and how the home can be setup to be most functional for you. Architects have a lot to worry about like keeping pipes from leaking down the line - they are there for the building. Designers, on the other hand, are there for you and your day-to-day living.
***The most important difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator is that a Designer holds a degree from a design school and knows construction. Basically, we love taking down walls and sh*t.***
On the other side are Decorators. These are mostly people who have done work on their friends' home and have that special knack for making things look good. They work with surface decor and making you oooh and ahhh, however, you still may wonder why you don't have enough storage space or you keep bumping into the console table that's in the most functional place.
So while they're differences between all the groups, we are all skilled and knowledgable about what we do. Hopefully this makes things clearer and gives you an idea of who you need on your team to make your space everything you want it to be.