Architecture and Interior Designing fields have always been intersecting and interconnecting parts in every project. Lots of architects pursue architecture but then practice as Interior Designers and hence the number of Interior Designers has been emerging day-by-day. Both these fields while having some similarities, also have a lot of differences when it comes to the scope of work, scales of the projects, and materials applications. Hence, it becomes extremely important to learn and acquire knowledge for some Interior Design topics even after completing Architectural Education. Here are some tips for interior design for every Architect who wants to pursue Interior Design.

10 Tips for Architects who want to pursue Interior Design

1. Learning the Principles | Tips for interior design

One of the first things that every Interior Design aspirant should know is the Principles of Design. These principles are even a mandate when it comes to the foundation education of Interior Design in every academic curriculum. They are formed as the basic guidelines for design practice.

Balance, Rhythm, Harmony, Emphasis, Proportion, and Scale are the basic five principles that every Designer must know, get acquainted with, and practice them in their projects.

Other principles for Interior Design that are more relevant to the field are Space, Light, Form, Line, Colour, Texture, and Pattern. These principles are a go-to no matter what kind of a project an Interior Designer is working on. Their fundamentals are the best way to know what Interior Design is as a complete package!

2. Details matter!

One of the key things which stands out Interior Design from Architecture is the “Attention to Detail”. The Scale of Interior Design is comparatively smaller than Architecture where Architects work on the outer shell while Interior Designer works in the Inner Shell. This Inner shell becomes challenging when working on the details of each and every material, structures furniture, and joineries.

Working on the details should be well equipped as the prime requirement when one wants to pursue Interior design. This also includes working on smaller scales of projects, objects, and sometimes Art.

3. Smaller Scales, Bigger Scope | Tips for interior design

As it is already mentioned that the scale of Interior Design is comparatively smaller than Architecture, getting equipped on working with smaller scales should be ticked off from the list of things to learn to become an Interior Designer. This means that as Architects if one has designed a three-storey bungalow for example, as Interior designers they have a much larger scope of working on Design Concepts for each and every space of the bungalow, Color themes, material selections, texture combinations, ergonomic placements of Design Elements, and much more to design successful user-based spaces.

Working on smaller scales tends to open up to focusing on the functionality of every Living Space. User is the most important factor which drives every Interior Designed project and functionality in these smaller-scale projects is the one thing that should be focused upon the most.

4. Learning about a lot more Materials

Materials hold a very significant place in any Interior Design project. However, Architects are already well-equipped with the knowledge of materials, but those materials are different from the ones which are used at an Interior Level. Architecture materials generally consist of materials like Wood, Concrete, Stone, Glass, and Steel. These are the most common materials which are used in the outer shell of the building by architects. But when it comes to Interior Design, there is the whole list of different materials for the inner shell. These materials include Plywood, Paints, Granite, Marble, Glass, Veneer, Ceramics, Fabrics, Upholstery, Wallpapers, and a lot more.

5. Textile is a go-to! | Tips for interior design

When it comes to Fabrics and Textile, it can create wonders in any space. Textile materials have a factor of Versatility in them because they can work as many elements like Partitions, Ceiling, Carpets, Furniture, and even Staircase railings. Colors in these materials are a plus point which adds an interesting vibrancy to spaces. Hence, the use of Fabrics and Textile can be done with pretty much every spatial as well as a design element and becomes the go-tos in any Interior Design project to enhance their looks and ambiance.

6. Color is Crucial 

One more subject which is essential and included in every Interior Design curriculum is the know-how of Colors and Color theories. Architects tend to use these theories of Colors in the Architectural projects but when it comes to Interiors, the number of objects which are associated with colors increases. Wall Paintings and Finishes are the most important elements which are driven by the choices of Colors an Interior Designer makes. Where Architecture projects don’t have a wide spectrum of color choices because of the limited materials the field offers as compared to Interior design projects. Color becomes a design-driver in most of the projects as it allows all the five principles of Balance, Rhythm, Harmony, Emphasis, and Proportion, in a space. Hence, the correct choice of Colors in the correct way is one of the most crucial parts of any Interior Design project.

7. Working on Graphics and Visuals

Even though Graphic designers are sometimes affiliated with some Interior Design projects, Interior Designers should also have a knack and know-how of Graphics. Retail spaces, Hospitality, and Commercial spaces have a huge amount of Graphical incorporation in this modern world and the importance of Graphics in these spaces is certainly increasing. From just being a Brand identity in a Retail store to being a Guest attraction in Hospitality spaces, the role of Graphics in a spatial spectrum has evolved from time to time. Hence, every Interior Designer aspirant should be interested in designing or even incorporating Graphics and Visuals in an Interior space becomes they are surely an exigent aspect of every project.

8. Lighting and Other Services | Tips for interior design

Lighting is an important aspect of interior design as it enhances the aesthetic appeal and creates the mood and ambiance of living space. Lighting fixtures that illuminate a room creates a safe and comfortable environment besides adding style to the interior décor. Light is the main element that gives the room a special look and transforms it into a seamless combination of functionality and style. Besides playing a functional role it creates a visually dynamic space. Lighting can make or break the ambiance of a room. Hence, proper lighting is an important element of designing any living space.

Other services like HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) and Plumbing are interlinked with designing a living space. All these aspects should be taken care of while planning the spaces as an Interior Designer.

9. Local Laws and Codes

Learning about plumbing codes, electricity, and load-bearing walls may not be excited, but it is required. Staying abreast of such things gives interior designers an advantage and marketability. They are also necessary as per the Laws and Guidelines formed by the respective regions. Any denial of these Laws can result in further legal actions in case of damages like Fire disasters and Electric short circuits.

10. Knowing the Difference between Designer and Decorator | Tips for interior design

Many people who have a good knack for materials, textiles and colors tend to decorate living spaces on their own. But there is a very thin line between this debatable take on what is the difference between an Interior Decorator and an Interior Designer?

There is a reason why the practice of Interior design requires a degree. The sole difference between both a Decorator and a Designer is Education. Interior design degrees are typically two, three, or in some institutions Five-year long courses. Along these academic journeys, there is a learning of a lot of fundamentals like Space Planning, Materials, Structure, Proportions, Ergonomics, Scales, Detailing, Joineries, Colour, Textures, and Patterns. These aspects are the pieces of a complete art of Interior Design.

Hence, regardless of how acquainted a person is with Decorating, Designing is a lot more enhanced and detailed learning. Every Architect who wants to pursue Interior Designing should look back into whether to be a Decorator or a Designer.

In the increasing numbers of Interior Designers day-by-day, when Architects work as Interior Designers, it can be a magnificent amalgamation of insights from both the fields and such combination can work wonders on any project.


Shaily Parikh is a Final year Undergraduate Thesis student in School of Interior Design, CEPT University, India. Throughout her Five-year academic journey as a design student, she has developed her interest in the field of Research and Writing about the Subjects like Interior Designing, Architecture and History of Design.