The Custom Home Trifecta: Designer, Architect, & Builder

As you embark on the enormous and exciting task of creating a custom home you love, you need three key players on your team: an interior designer, an architect, and a home builder.
Interwoven in their mission but distinct in their roles, these three professionals are the people who take all the inputs you offer—from photos and descriptions of spaces you love to details about how you live and what you want from your home—and create a place tailored to you.

Here’s how they do it:


The architect, in consult with the interior designer, sites the home on the property and draws its spaces, ensuring function, flow, sight lines, and aesthetic style all align. He or she crafts a holistic design that considers materials, systems’ efficiency and function, daylighting, and cost. The builder constructs your home from the stamped drawings created by the architect.


Meanwhile, if you’re smart, you’ve invited your interior designer to participate in this early stage of design. The designer can delve into deeper questions about function and form in each space: how will you use a room, what kinds of work or entertaining will you do in that space, what storage needs to do you have? Designers even contribute to discussions about materials and the interior detailing for which the architect needs to plan. The more collaboration between your designer and your architect, the more cohesive a home’s design tends to be (and the more enjoyable the process for the owner!).


To bring these visions to life, you need a builder who has great understanding of the craftsmanship needed for luxury homes. The builder oversees the daily work of constructing the home while managing timelines and budgets and assembling a corps of the best subcontractors. You want a contractor who cares deeply about the wellbeing and the quality of the subs on the job, as a home is only as beautiful and functional as the subcontractors who work on it are talented.


The integration of your trio of design and building pros is invaluable: In a creative, collaborative work environment, each professional should call on the others to ask questions, brainstorm ideas, and solve problems. Design is, at its heart, the work of creative problem-solving, and when you have a clear-minded team with your goals at heart, the whole of what the design trifecta can produce is greater than the sum of its parts.

Sometimes clients get tripped up thinking they might only need two of these professionals: Maybe the builder could just whip up some basic blueprints? Maybe the architect could help with selections of fixtures and finishes? Our best advice is to save yourself heartache and frustration, and allow each team member to truly own his or her full scope of responsibility and expertise.

THE ANALOGIES ARE ENDLESS: To deliver a truly fine dining experience, the restaurant’s maître d’ shouldn’t craft the dark chocolate torte with crème anglaise, and the chef de cuisine shouldn’t

be guiding guests to their seats. Prefer a sports metaphor? No winning NFL coach is running the ball into the end zone, and no tight end is kicking the game-clinching field goal.

See what we mean? In all great pursuits—including football championships, exquisite dinners out, and beautifully crafted homes—a successful outcome relies on key players who excel in their respective “realms” coming together to achieve a shared mission.

We love collaborating with our architect and building colleagues in Denver and across Colorado mountain communities. The creative spirit and devotion to excellence we see in our design partners inspire our work on Colorado’s finest luxury homes.

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