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The Difference Between Interior Design and Interior Architecture

If you’re embarking on a renovation project, there’s a lot to think about, from colour and theme to layout and how you want to use each room. But where do interior architecture and interior design come into the equation?

Interior architecture is all about functionality, material construction, and creating spaces that work best for you and your requirements. It incorporates structural elements like lighting, window and door placement, ventilation, electrics and plumbing. Meanwhile, interior design centres around aesthetics and the principles of design, with a focus on décor – areas like finishes, flooring and furnishings.

The two terms are often used interchangeably, and although there are a number of similarities, there are also things that make each role distinct. Below, we delve into the difference between interior design and interior architecture, what each service involves, and the skills required.

What’s Interior Architecture?

The dictionary states that architecture is “the art or practice of designing and constructing buildings”. Interior architecture is a distinct discipline within that, where the primary focus is adapting and manipulating the internal footprint of existing buildings. It concentrates on delivering the ideal environment for clients, whether that’s a bedroom, a kitchen, an entire house, or commercial property.

Interior architecture takes a broad view, looking at the lifestyle you’re seeking to create, from first impressions to clever and practical ways to maximise space; it’s the practice of innovatively and sensitively redesigning an interior space.


What Do Interior Architects Do?

An interior architect comes up with concept designs, keeping functionality and structure in mind. If you’ve bought your forever home but it needs some work, an interior architect works with you to develop rooms that are accessible, suit your unique needs, and have the right look and atmosphere.

For example, let’s say you’re renovating a lower-ground garden flat, where one of your main concerns is keeping the space light and airy. An interior architect will consider:

· Changes to make the layout more open plan

· Skylights to optimise natural light levels

· External glazed doors to let natural light in

And if you’re looking to revamp your office, an interior architect will think about:

· Optimal location to place your desk in terms of windows and glare

· Number and position of plug points

· Can the space be multipurpose?

Ultimately, interior architects keep how you want to use each room at the forefront of their minds. They ensure building regulations are met, are conscious of your budget, and come up with inventive ideas, whether that’s around sustainability, preserving original features, or alternative heating and cooling systems.

Throughout a project, interior architects are involved with conceptual schemes, plus technical and material specifications. They regularly communicate with their clients and collaborate with other specialists, from structural engineers to contractors.


Interior Design Vs Interior Architecture

Although similar, the two terms often get mixed up. However, both areas are different and unique in offering specialised services depending on the clients’ needs.

Interior architecture is all about developing a high-functioning layout, whereas interior design focuses on the spaces within and their aesthetics. Interior architecture places greater emphasis on practical aspects and technical details, while interior design primarily centres around fixtures and furnishings.

Interior designers focus more on decorative and atmospheric aspects. However interior architects go above and beyond, working with clients at every stage of a build. From researching and creating mood boards to coordinating, planning and managing the full project timeline, interior architects push boundaries where they can, ensuring the result exceeds the client’s expectations.

What’s the Difference?

So, what’s the difference between interior design and interior architecture? If you enlist the help of an interior designer, they’ll suggest how to achieve your desired look and feel via tones, furnishings, finishes and light fixtures. On the other hand, interior architects are more involved with the project from start to finish, with a focus on layout and how to make the best and most practical use of your space.

The Benefits of Integrated Services

Using a practice that can offer both interior design and interior architecture services integrated, results in less expenditure for the client, and gives the design better continuity from architectural elements to finishing touches. Teamwork is beneficial for everyone, and the end result is elevated when a professional team is able to work together from the outset.


When would a project need Interior Architecture?

Interior architects' primary job is to ensure that improvements to building interiors will meet the clients’ needs. Whether you’re building your dream home from scratch, renovating your existing property or a property developer looking to embark on a new development project, interior architects support you helping to resource the right team, deliver your vision, navigate you through the design and the build process, and maximise the value of your investment.

Experienced interior architects understand the importance of making the right decisions to optimise the potential of your project whilst maintaining design integrity.

Award Winning Interior Architecture and Design Services

ASJ Design are passionate about delivering expert interior architecture services with a collective passion for innovative and authentic design. From helping to create your forever home, to undertaking a refurbishment project to commercial developer support we work closely with our clients to help build a home that exceeds expectations.

Get in Touch with ASJ Design

At ASJ Design we are passionate about bringing our clients’ vision to life. We can help you ensure the end result is even better than you imagined. Learn more about why interior architecture might be the service you need by getting in touch with ASJ Design today.


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