Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design?

Interior architecture vs interior design

Many people inquire, “Is interior architecture the same as interior design?” but only a few get a chance to see the real difference between the two.

And I admit, this was confusing to me as well before…

It wasn’t until I enrolled with Rhodec (An Online Interior design program with the aim to get my BA) back in the days that I realized quickly the difference between the two.


Interior designers usually do not work with the structure of a building as much as an interior architect, as they are more focused on the functional and aesthetic side. The interior architect needs to make sure that all building codes are followed.

There is a fine line between these fields as nowadays some interior designers are also working on more structural projects alongside architects and contractors. As well as Interiors architects are focused on structural implementations, function, and aesthetic design.

See below for a more in-depth view.

Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design
Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design
Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design

Credit: Design by Interior Architect Joanna Laajisto

What is Interior Design?

The outcome of an interior design is to create the most efficient layout to utilize the space of a room to its fullest potential and to aesthetically design the room according to the preferences of the clients.

An interior designer considers all the characteristics of a space and arranges it to optimize the areas of an existing house with a precise style that corresponds to the desires, personality, and taste of the client.

An interior designer is supposed to possess a creative mind and aesthetic sense to be able to plan a properly functional and beautiful space, incorporating the proper design elements and principles while keeping in mind the safety of the occupant. They are also supposed to choose the right combination of shades, decor items, furniture, rugs, and more.

Homeowners hire a professional interior designer to get an aesthetically appealing home appearance. An interior designer must be able to read the mind of the client and design their interior according to their ideas and perception.

Some Interior designers also focus on specific areas like feng shui rules or holistic interior design, so it is important to look for these specific credentials if this is interesting subjects to you.

Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design

Credit: Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design

Credit: Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

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What is Interior Architecture?

Interior architecture refers to ensuring the safety, functionality, and appearance of an existing / renovated – or a new building, while still keeping the space aesthetically pleasing.

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Interior architecture requires much expertise and conscious effort along the process of design. They also thoroughly evaluate a building and study the requirements. It is the responsibility of the interior architect to ensure that all building plans and building codes, as well as permits, are up to date. All to make sure that the safety of the occupant is there. An interior architect very often also plans out plumbing and electrical needs.

Interior architecture blends art and science to create, restore, or renovate the interior of different buildings, like homes, offices, or other interior spaces.

Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design

Credit: Photo by from Pexels

Interior Design VS Interior Architecture

Here you go with a bird view of major differences between interior design and interior architecture.

  • Interior architects work with structural renovations. The interior architect normally designs the entire structure of an interior and deal with a more technical level in their design process. The interior architects offer their services of rebuilding or renovation of an existing structure to contractors, builders and technicians.
  • Interior design is more about aesthetics. Interior design is a profession that focuses on space planning, creating cohesive and aesthetically pleasing designs for home interior and businesses within a built environment or existing structures.
Is Interior Architecture the Same as Interior Design

Credit: Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels

I hope you got the answers you were seeking for. Important to remember is that the interior design profession has evolved throughout the years as more designers have taken on more technical aspects of addressing architectural structures within their designs. This all depends of course on the area and if they have the license and power to do so.

When you are looking to get help for your interior design project, I would advise always making sure that you understand the accreditations your interior designer has. If they do not have the license to perform certain structural changes and recommendations always rely on an interior architect or an architect to get their professional viewpoint to keep your home safe and sound 🙂

Also if you are interested in comparing different titles within the design field, read my post on: home decor vs interior design.


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