The importance of finishing touches

Architects and interior designers don’t always get along; the space where their responsibilities overlap can cause some friction. Both are intrinsically involved in how a given project will look once complete, but from different angles. Whilst the architect deals with broad strokes, the structure and overall concept, the interior designer is often more involved with the smaller details.

It is therefore sometimes said that, while the architect creates the space, the interior designer simply decorates it, but this really isn’t a fair statement. Architects who work closely with interior designers may realise that their work is deeply complementary – the right finishing touches can transform a building that’s merely good into one that’s truly great.

Getting a handle on things

Take something as simple, practical and frequently overlooked as the humble door handle; an item that may fall under the purview of either the architect or the designer.You may not think about it too much, but it can have a great impact on a room. Mismatched door handles can make a room look disjointed – just think how odd it would look to have old fashioned floral porcelain door knobs in an ultra-contemporary space, how strange you’d find it if each door in a room had a differently styled handle, or how impractical it would be to find all the handles in a building placed at different heights. The right handles, however, blend in and seamlessly add to the aesthetic created by both architect and interior designer.

It’s not simply a matter of appearances, either; with the wide variety of different designs available, the practical aspects of door handle choice must be tackled early. If, as the architect, you intend to leave the choice of door handle to the interior designer, then you must bear in mind that decisions you make in the placement of the doors could affect their choices. For example, if you place a door so that it will open flat against a wall, they will be forced to choose handles with a low profile or else risk the users making a large dent in the wall if the door is thrown open with a little too much force.

Shared influences

Of course, this doesn’t merely apply to door handles; almost everything that the architect does influences the interior designer in some way. The type of windows you choose will influence their choice of curtains or blinds; their placement may affect the colour scheme that they choose for the room as a whole through the way that they diffuse the light. The layout of the room and the placement of any built-in storage options will affect where they choose to place individual pieces of furniture, and how they dress that furniture.

With this in mind, it makes little sense to work in isolation. Doing so merely leaves the designer feeling that they’ve been constricted in their options by your decisions, and if their choices do not reflect your original vision of the property you could end up feeling that your work has been devalued.

Involving the interior designer at the early stages of architectural design, and taking these finishing touches into account long before they’re put into place, allows you to share your influences, and means that architect and interior designer can approach the property from the same angle and work collaboratively towards one vision. It is therefore well worth encouraging your client to engage an interior designer at the beginning of the project, so that you can work together to create a cohesive design that is both practical and attractive – and which leaves both of you satisfied that your vision has been fulfilled.


Hart Wholesale are premier suppliers to the hardware and manufacturing trade, supplying everything from a wide range of Blum hinges, to bathroom fixtures, lights and handles; allow the Hart Wholesale specialists to give your project the finishing touches it deserves.

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Peter 11/04/2017 11:32

It can be bizarre how small design features change things in a room dramatically; your example of door handles is one that we experience on a recent project on a smaller scale. The problem we found was that the handles for the kitchen units just looked wrong, once changed everything worked really well. The living space in a house is an area that small design features can make the World of difference as well. On the same project the living room didn’t feel right once we had finished and it didn’t matter what we tweaked we couldn’t get it right. Eventually we went to the lengths of changing the curtains to some bespoke made to measure curtains ( and they were the finishing touch the room needed to feel finished. We do our interior design ourselves so it did take time to put our finger on the problem and it was a textile designer that made the suggestion to get bespoke made to measure curtains to compliment the room and it worked wonders for the space.