What is an interior architect / designer?
So Sound Design’s design director is an interior architect; specialising in designing and building interiors for safety, functionality and aesthetics. A qualified interior architect requires an understanding on durability, practicality and strength of building materials, knowledgeable in the nature and use of light, with a strong understanding of building construction.

Interior architects draft plans to create or refinish spaces in private homes or commercial buildings, with their clients' tastes in mind. Each job may require interaction with different clients, additional architects or designers, construction teams and inspectors. In creating plans for a space, they take into account interior construction, lighting and furnishings. Interior architects must also be aware of local authority planning law and building regulations.

An interior architect is usually involved in a project from start to completion; initially meeting with the client in order to determine the expectation of the project, creating concept schemes and developing ideas with the client in order to create a final design. An interior architect will communicate their ideas on space planning, through sketches, mood boards, technical drawings and 3D models. A final design package may also include electrical, ventilation and lighting layouts with structural details (if required) and furnishings schemes.
I have a remodeling project but I’m not sure if I need an interior architect / designer or an architect?
This is a common question. Typically, an interior architect / designer has the skills and professional education to design and draft new space plans — whether reconfiguring an existing interior space or adding an extension to a home — as well as develop lighting and electrical plans, selecting all interior finishes such as flooring, countertops, tile, paint colours, wall and window treatments, specify plumbing, appliances, cabinetry and furnishings, (to name a few).

If a project involves changing structural load bearing walls or adding square footage, an architect or architectural designer and/or structural engineer will need to be part of the design team. They’ll provide the necessary drawings and structural calculations required by your local building department, to ensure your safety and welfare, as well as passing the necessary building control inspections. The benefits of choosing So Sound Design are that we are able to provide our clients with both architectural and interior design services.
My project only involves re-decorating my space, how does a professional interior designer’s skills differ from an in-store decorator at a local furniture, tile, or kitchen and bath showroom?
Many times retail in-store decorators are primarily sales people. They’ve had only a limited education in interior design and space planning, unlike professional interior architects / designers who attend comprehensive, accredited 4 year interior architecture programs at university.

Typically, in-store decorators are not as well versed in scale, proportion, space planning, colour theory and health and safety issues. Also, they’ll only offer you product selections from their featured lines. Professional interior architects have access to hundreds of trade-only vendors and manufacturer’s worldwide. If you decide to use an in-store designer make sure you ask about their qualifications in order to determine if they are the right man for your job.
I would like to re-design my home or office but I don’t have a lot of time to devote to the process, should I still hire a designer?
Yes, most definitely, we’ll handle the shopping, ordering and delivery of finish materials, furnishings and fixtures, as well as coordinate and oversee the labour, so you can spend more time enjoying family, friends, loved ones and outside activities.

We’ll bring selections to your home or office if you prefer not to go to design showrooms with us and try to make it as convenient as possible. All we ask in return is that communicate with us in a timely fashion so that we can help you create your vision.
What happens at the first consultation?
Our initial consultation brings you a highly qualified interior architect to your home or office for an in-depth interview, to identify your design objectives and outline the steps needed to accomplish them. This first meeting usually lasts about one to two hours.

At the first meeting we will measure and photograph areas to be designed, create a room by room list of necessary construction, furniture, colours and accessories required. We will also go through a client questionnaire which allows us to gather specific information to help us understand you and your requirements.
What should I do before I contact an interior architect / designer?
Collect a few pictures from magazines or the internet that capture the look, style or colours that you like. Present the pictures to your designer during your initial consultation. Images are a great way to communicate and will help an interior designer to clearly understand your ideas.
What information will the interior architect / designer ask me for?
Your interior architect / designer will ask you a few core questions as part of your initial brief:

How big is the project?

What is the purpose of your project? For residential scheme this could include style update, remodelling or an extension. For commercial and hospitality scheme it could be office relocation, updating a restaurant or bar or rebranding of a retail store.

Are there elements of your current interior you are planning to keep?

Is there a particular atmosphere you would like to create?

Have you worked with an interior designer before? What did you like/dislike about that experience?

What is your budget and estimated timeframe for completion?
What if the Designer imposes their ideas instead of getting my personal taste?
Consulting with an interior architect / designer is not about imposing ideas or personal taste onto our clients but rather how a client and designer come together, to create a unique interior just for you. It's about helping the client develop their vision, while analysing their design requirements, and in the end, creating a space that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.

Delivering architecture, interior design and project management across the UK