Difference Between Interior Architect, Interior Designer & Interior Decorator

What is the difference between interior architect, interior designer, and interior decorator

You have heard all of these terms used at one time or another, but what do they really mean? And which one do you need? All you may know is that you need help creating a beautiful and functional interior space; but who should you get to help?

Once upon a time, these were all distinct professional titles, but with training and specialist interior education becoming more and more advanced, the distinction is becoming a little more blurred.

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Interior Designer

The term ‘Interior Designer’ you will probably be most familiar with and it’s the most common term used to define someone in this field.

Interior designers can work in a variety of ways on a building or renovating project. Different professionals will have a wide variety of ways of working. Interior designers are usually involved in all aspects of the planning and finishing of an internal space. They will usually be responsible for the art, aesthetics, function and flow of the spaces we inhabit.

This can include:

  • The colour palette of the room
  • The layout of structures and fittings within the space
  • Finishings on walls and floors
  • Window treatments
  • Choice of cabinetry
  • Taps and faucets
  • Design of wet areas
  • Rugs and furniture selection
  • Lighting design
  • Placement of artworks, plants, and items of décor

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Interior Architect

Architecture on the other hand is the design of the structural and technical aspects of a building. Interior architecture, is an arm of interior design which specialises in understanding the architectural side of the space.

Someone with skill in interior architecture (such as Interior Flow) would be involved very early on in a project before the building is even constructed, and will advise in the placement of the key structural requirements that will affect how the space is ultimately used.

This can include having a say in and understanding of:

  • Lighting, electrics, plumbing and data outlet placement
  • Materials and finishes used
  • Placement of windows
  • Ventilation
  • Building regulations
  • Doors, windows and walkways
  • Entrance design
  • Clever structural storage design
  • Designing for movement in a space
  • Intelligent use of space.

With interior spaces becoming ever smarter and more flexible, interior architecture becomes important from the beginning, to ensure the final product will do exactly what the client needs it to do.

You could say interior architecture is more about what a space can do, rather than purely how it looks.

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Interior Decorator / Stylist

Interior decoration is generally how a space looks rather than how it functions. At its basic level, interior decoration is the art and décor of the building. Interior decorators are not consulted on the structure of the space, and usually come into the project towards completion.

A professional interior decorator need not have any training or knowledge of the architecture of the space, and only
has to have an incredibly creative and imaginative eye for the surface level finishes and aesthetics.

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Why do you need all three?

The best interiors professional for your project is someone with all of the above skills because these days it is much more important to create a space that is both beautiful and functional.

With ever-expanding cities, interior design has had to become more intelligent in its use of space and its ability to adapt to different and changing requirements.Homes and offices are becoming smaller in much of the world, but our living requirements haven’t shrunk in comparison, and in fact, the demands that we put on our homes are bigger than ever.

Recent studies are also telling us that a space’s aesthetic has a direct impact on our mental and physical health, meaning that we need our inhabited spaces to make us happy. There is science behind the art of interior design, and we believe it is necessary to get it right.

The environmental impact of our homes and workspaces on the planet are more relevant than ever, so interior design can no longer be just about what is pretty. Homes and buildings need to be designed in such a way that they are sustainable, energy efficient and harmonious with the natural surroundings of the space.

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Interior Flow : The complete suite of interior architecture design, styling and project management

Interior Flow is a specialist service with skills, training, and experience in all three areas, so we can be consulted on all of the above from interior design and decorating, through to the architectural and drafting side of both residential renovations and commercial fit-out projects. Our interior design and drafting team have become more savvy and forward-thinking to meet the ever-growing needs of the client and modern living. Creative Director, Krystal Sagona, is also an accredited draftsman with the Victorian Building Authority and qualified Feng Shui consultant.

We absolutely love being able to create beautiful interior spaces that not only connect with their inhabitants, but that are smart, flexible, functional and environmentally friendly.

Connect with us here to get an obligation free project quote.

Krystal Sagona

With over 10 years experience as a residential & commercial Interior Designer, Krystal has built a strong reputation in the design industry. Award winning designer and highly intuitively creative, Krystal has the innate ability to understand and deliver your creative brief. Krystal is a registered Draftsperson with the Victorian Building Board and a qualified Feng Shui consultant with the AFSC (Association of Feng Shui Consultants) International.