Are You an Architect Interested in Interior Design? Here’s What You Should Do
A cozy minimalist living room with an artistic touchAre You an Architect Interested in Interior Design? Here’s What You Should Do

Even though interior design and architecture share some common ground, there are some differences an architect should know before getting into designing interiors. The two fields have always been interconnected and intersected. They are essential elements of every project.

Many architects are pursuing interior design as part of their ever-growing portfolios. While the two are somewhat similar, the most significant differences are materials applications, scales of the project, and the scope of work.

If you’re an architect interested in interior design, it’s vital to understand some basic points, including environment needs, interior construction, materials, and professional practice. Here are some basic tips to help you get on the right track.

Understand the difference between decorators and designers

Anyone with a sense of colors, textiles, and materials can decorate a living space, but that doesn’t make them an interior designer. In fact, even though it might look and feel the same, there’s a difference between decorators and designers.

First of all, interior design requires a degree. Education is probably the most significant difference between the two. An interior designer is someone who took 2–5 years of education with some certified institution.

Their academic journey started with the basics of interior design. Then it broadened the scope of learning to fields like patterns, textures, color, joineries, detailing, scales, ergonomics, proportions, structure, materials, and space planning.

An interior designer can also be a decorator at the same time, but the decorator can hardly be a designer. While you may have lots of experience with decorating, interior design requires a more detailed, knowledgeable, and enhanced approach. However, learning a lot about decorating can help you to become a better interior designer.

Learn codes and laws

Learning about load-bearing, electricity, and plumbing codes may not seem necessary, but it is. As an interior designer, you’re required to know local codes and laws.

Aside from ensuring your project complies with the latest regulations, such knowledge improves your marketability and gives you an edge over your competitors.

Each region has its respective guidelines and laws, and not complying could lead to legal actions.

Understand interior design principles

The principles of interior design are crucial to getting ahead in your new occupation – they are essential guidelines for interior design practice.

There are five basic principles of interior design:

  • Balance
  • Rhythm
  • Harmony
  • Emphasis
  • Proportion and scale

Aside from the essentials, there are also other interior design principles that you should explore, such as pattern, texture, color, line, form, light, and space. These principles are the core of your future expertise and will give you a complete picture of what interior design truly is.

Use 3D visualizations

There are good reasons to use 3D visualization for interior design. First of all, 3D visuals are incredibly immersive and photorealistic. They provide realistic quality without wasting too much time and effort.

Since the latest 3D rendering tools are so powerful, they make it easier to depict any interior in a realistic setting, present the atmosphere, and get clients on board with your ideas. More importantly, 3D visualization makes editing projects easy.

You can change things and save hours, even days of work. On the other hand, your clients will love that you are so forthcoming and communicative. In addition, it’s much easier to find the right clients and sell your work with proper visualization by your side.

Details are important

Attention to detail is paramount in interior design. It’s what separates your work from the rest. While architects typically work on exteriors, interior designers are required to work on smaller scales.

Because of that, handling all the details of joineries, furniture, structure, material, etc., becomes increasingly challenging.

Clients hire architects to project entire buildings, while interior designers usually work on smaller scales of objects and are hired to design a room or an office in a building.

Use different materials

Materials are right next to details. In other words, they are critical for any project. Thankfully, you should be well acquainted with the importance of materials as an architect.

However, remember that materials used in interior design differ from the ones used in architecture.

Architecture relies on materials such as steel, glass, stone, concrete, and wood. Interior design materials include wallpapers, upholstery, fabrics, ceramics, veneer, glass, marble, granite, paints, etc.

Textile is in

Textiles and fabrics are quite popular in interior design. They are versatile and can make any space come alive.

Both work pretty well with staircase railings, furniture, carpets, ceiling, and partitions and can add a lot of vibrancy to any interior space by enhancing its ambiance and aesthetics.

Color arrangements

When it comes to interior design, the selection of colors, finishes, and wall paintings are crucial to completing a project successfully.

Unlike architects, interior designers are typically required to work with a wide spectrum of colors to complement the materials used.

Color allows interior designers to combine all five principles and create a vibrant living space.

Visuals and graphics

Both visuals and graphics are essential to designing immersive living spaces. Whether you’re working on commercial, hospitality, retail, or residential spaces, graphical incorporation gives you access to a wide spatial spectrum that you can apply to any interior design project.

Visuals and graphics give you multiple aspects of every project and allow you to address the unique needs of clients with different backgrounds.


No matter what you do, you should always aim to stay unique. Add your personal touch to your designs to make them unique. However, you’ll need a personalized method of approaching an interior design project as an architect.

The best direction is to take the best from both worlds and combine that immense knowledge into one unstoppable, omnipotent force capable of delivering an unparalleled design style.