Architecture vs interior design

What is the difference between architecture and interior design?

You want to update your home but you don’t know where to start or who to hire first. Do I hire an architect or a residential interior designer first? Do I hire both at the same time? Or does one help hire the other?

You are not alone, these are the same questions we hear daily. The best way to understand which path you need to venture down is to understand the difference between architecture and interior design first and see which fits better with your project. Below we will breakdown the key differences between the two to help you understand the difference.

If this still feels overwhelming, we don’t blame you. Feel free to reach out to us directly at (303) 783-9327 or email us at and one of our Denver Interior Designers will be glad to help you answer all your questions.


How do you want to transform your space? Does it require large structural modifications? For example, adding windows or moving walls? Then most likely you will need to hire an architect. 

Architects are responsible for the structure and façade of a building – the “big picture” pieces. They determine how it will look and where vital building systems will be located. 

The exact definition for architecture is; the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings. Typically the architect is hired first if you plan on changing the structure of your home or space.

If you don’t know an architect or would like a recommendation, we can help you. At Inside Stories our Denver based interior designers partner with the best in Colorado and depending on the scope of your project we can help introduce you to one.

To help you find an architect that will be perfect for your project, please send us an email to or call us directly at (303) 783-9327.

denver interior design

Interior Design

Interior designers bring things into a space to make it functional and appealing – typically the parts that create the “look” of a space. They choose things like fixed finishes, furniture, art and accessories.

Although architects and interior designers do different things, there are definitely areas that overlap (see diagram above). 

Here at Inside Stories, our Denver based luxury interior designers will meet you in-person and asses the scope of work for your project. If an architect is needed, they will help find the perfect fit for you during this meeting.

If your project only requires design, then your personal Inside Stories designer will work with you directly to bring your vision to life.

More Interior Design Questions?

Do you have a question about interior design or a project you'd like to talk about? We'd love to hear from you.

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