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Whether you’re building, extending, refurbishing, remodelling, decorating, styling or furnishing your home, the key to getting it right is getting the right professionals in to do the job. Rik Smith of Design Emporium gives an overview of the process involved and the complete turnkey services they provide to create a single approach to all their projects.

“Architect, Interior Architect or Interior Designer – who do I need?”

It’s a question Design Emporium are often asked when helping clients redesign their homes and one that if correctly addressed early on, can save you a huge headache and financial outlay.

When considering the redesign of the interior or exterior of the home – often no single designer will have the answer. Although initially it may appear obvious which profession you need, it could be worthwhile considering who does what, how they do it and the crossover between them.

An architect is often the first contact a client will make when considering the building or reconfiguration of a house, while an interior designer may be the first contact for a client wishing to restyle the inside of their home.

Architects can offer a multitude of services, but these can vary significantly depending on the company, what skillsets they have and what they are appointed to do. For example, it may be solely to provide a design for planning or alternatively take the project all the way through to completion. You may be surprised that a competent interior architect and designer can steer the entire process from start to finish even if significant reconfiguration is needed internally.

Over the past 18 years Design Emporium have combined the creative skills of architects, interior architects and interior designers by adopting a single cohesive approach to all their projects and they have become renowned for creating imaginative homes and interiors.

The foundation of any good design is understanding the client, their aspirations and being considerate of the inherent characteristics of the property and in many cases gaining a detailed understanding of these factors can effortlessly steer the design.

Talking about the process Rik said: “We find that the initial brief or client aspirations are often to enlarge a house but once we ask the question “why?” the client can sometimes find their existing space is already adequate and a simple reconfiguration could achieve their brief.

“At Design Emporium, having the various design disciplines under one roof allows us to fully visualise all aspects of the design proposal and consider how to adapt, extend, style or finish the external and internal elements of a home”.

The initial design of any project should focus on the function, flow and circulation through the house between each room. A well-designed house shouldn’t need an instruction manual, it is the layout and positioning of spaces that freely directs its use. Design Emporium takes great pride in utilising the three components of their business to create a link between the interior and exteriors spaces and the wider context within their designs.

A good architect, interior architect and designer will spot any potential obstacles or challenges in your project – possibly ones that you never imagined. Combining the perspective of architects and interior designers from the outset helps produce a truly cohesive design that has been thoroughly detailed to ensure the clients aspirations are met whilst controlling quality and budget. They will couple their artistic and creative imagination, with practical and technical knowledge to create a great end product. 

Rik added: “It is this collaborative design ethos that has ensured we as a company are able to help clients unravel the complexities of who they need and so save them the stress and financial strain that comes from seeking different professionals to do what we can do from start to finish in-house.”

Having been recognised as the ‘Best Northern Residential Interior Design Practice in 2021’ and having achieved international recognition for their projects, Design Emporium are well placed to fully understand what, and more importantly who, you need to achieve your dream home.



Architects are creative problem solvers at heart and their creative input can elevate your design from average to something extraordinary. Traditionally your architect will assist you in the building form, aesthetics, size and function. A skilled architect will interrogate your brief and requirements, consider the constraints of the building and locality to advise on the best approach to development.

Interior Architect

An interior architect gives greater consideration to the internal spaces within a building including the flow, the layouts of fixed and freestanding furniture. They will consider the detail of how you live and use each room within the building, and it is their skill that will ensure the flow and functionality of the space, including the planning of kitchens, bathrooms and lighting works for you and the building.

Interior Designer

An interior designer will focus on the finish and furnishings within a building. Their skill and ability to prepare a palette of materials, colours and products will bring a house together. A good interior designer should have a thorough understanding of the building and its history, the spaces and light that flows through the house.

For more information please visit or call 01274 925001

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