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Interior design vs interior architecture

Interior design and interior architecture are two distinct yet interconnected disciplines, and the two terms can often be mixed up or mistaken for one another.

At Roselind Wilson Design, we offer expertise in both interior design and interior architecture, but a question we are often asked to explain the difference between the two.

We created this blog to demystify any confusion to help you embark on your next home interior project with the confidence and expertise you need.

What is the difference between interior design and interior architecture?

The analogy we find most useful when talking to our clients about this is to think of interior design as ‘everything that would fall out of your house if you turned it upside down’, and to think of interior architecture as  ‘everything that wouldn’t’. So, in essence interior architecture comprises the ‘fixed’ elements of your home interior like staircases, doors, and bathroom fittings, but not the original structure itself and interior design covers the ‘moveable’ items such as furniture, artwork, and soft furnishings.

Luxury curved staircase next to console table

What is the role of an interior architect? 

If your interior redesign includes changes to the internal structure, then you will require the expertise of an Interior Architect. From minor tweaks such as changing the size or location of a doorway to the reconfiguration of an existing floor plan, they will help you to fully optimise the space with a design that is innovative and sympathetic to the aesthetic of the property.

With a focus on the fixed elements of the home and how the internal space can be improved from a structural perspective, an Interior Architect with work with other construction specialists to ensure that the structural integrity of the building is maintained and work is completed in accordance with technical specifications and planning regulations.

In the case of our Carlton Hill project, our client wanted their open-plan living and dining space to work equally well with large or small groups. To meet this requirement, we reconfigured the existing floor plan by removing some internal walls to improve the connectivity and flow from one room to another. We then introduced elegant pocket doors to separate the dining room from the sitting room. This means that the space can either be enclosed or opened up, depending on the family’s needs.

sliding pocket doors between entertaining spaces

What is the role of an interior designer?

Interior designers create spaces that are not only aesthetically beautiful but also highly functional. They work to develop a deep understanding of their client’s lifestyles and aspirations to design living experiences that speak of personality, style and intimate connection.

The role of the Interior Designer is complex as it requires technical understanding and coordination with all levels of the industry, from structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, to furniture, textile, product designers and artists. They will do everything from drawing up the initial floor plans to placing the last decorative accent. With a focus on the finishes, furnishings and close-up details of the space, an Interior Designer will develop a coordinated and cohesive look for your home interior.

“My philosophy has always been about the importance of our homes as sanctuaries in which we can feel calm, comfortable and at ease.”

Interior design and architecture all in one place

At Roselind Wilson Design, our team offers expert direction in both interior architecture and interior design, so you won’t need to work with more than one designer. We can lead and manage the project for you so that you have peace of mind that your aesthetic and practical goals will be achieved with minimal hassle or inconvenience. Contact us to discuss your bespoke interior renovation project. Our experienced team look forward to helping bring your vision to life.


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