Today, we’ll be discussing interior architecture, including what it is, and some of the greatest examples of it. Not to be confused with interior design, interior architecture is the design of the interior, or inside, of a building. An interior architect innovatively designs an interior space, while an interior designer focuses on the decoration and furnishing of the space. Interior architecture goes deeper than simply designing a space that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. If you are interested in learning more about interior architecture, you’re in the right place! Let’s get started.

What does an interior architect do?

As mentioned above, an interior architect oversees the design of an interior space. When brought into a project, they will work with the person or company to learn what they want the space to look like, or what ideas they are envisioning. The interior architect will gather necessary information, such as what the space will be used for, what aspects of functionality must be maintained, and how much space they have to work with. An interior architect effectively blends art and science to create building interiors that look great and are functional. They must understand how materials, colors, textures, and light play a role in interior spaces and how the building inhabitants will respond to these elements physically, psychologically, and socially.

While interior architects can be involved in the building process, they can also be called upon to reconstruct existing spaces. For example, they may be tasked with turning an old high school building into apartments or condos. This means that interior architects must take into account building codes and create their designs with things like proper plumbing in mind. An interior architect must have the skills to reimagine spaces to create something new. Generally, they will make decisions regarding doors and staircases, making sure that the inside of the building connects and flows. They must be able to pitch, model, and draw their design proposals, as well as have the skills to think critically and problem solve. 

How does architectural style come into play?

In most instances, an interior architect will work together with architects who design the exterior of a building. Although each project may differ, the exterior of a building can play a role in what the interior looks like. For example, let’s take a look at Gothic architecture. This is a European style of architecture that was prevalent from the late 12th to the 16th century. (We spoke more in-depth about Gothic architecture in one of our previous blogs, so be sure to check it out!) When you think of Gothic architecture, you most likely think of large cathedrals, such as Notre-Dame, located in Paris. While the exterior of Gothic architecture is certainly iconic, the interior has its own unique features, such as stained glass windows, decorative arches, and sculptures. When it comes to other styles, such as Victorian architecture, which began in the 1830s, interior architecture included layered drapery and carved furniture, as well as a lot of ornamentation. 

What are some examples of interior architecture?

Interior architecture can look like a variety of things– Whether it’s a 3-dimensional, eye-catching wall design, curvature, sculptures, or the repurposing of an existing structure to meet the needs of the new inhabitants. Let’s take a look at some interesting examples of interior architecture.

Glass Walls

Glass walls, sometimes called partitions, function as room dividers. These typically go from ceiling to floor and are mounted to the wall. Glass wall partitions not only divide a room, but they make spaces look more open, all while not sacrificing floor space. These are most commonly seen in office environments, but can be incorporated into virtually any type of space. Due to their opacity, glass walls allow natural light to pass through, reducing the need for additional artificial lighting. In areas where more privacy may be needed, you can opt for tinted or frosted glass.

Storage Walls

One interior architectural element that is trending these days are storage walls. These are essentially regular walls, but with spaces for storage such as built-in shelving. This is especially great for tight spaces, as it allows more storage space without taking up floor space with the addition of shelving or bookcases. At times, these walls are also used as partition walls– This both divides rooms and offers extra storage space. Storage walls are particularly good for dividing large, open spaces into rooms that are organized and neat. 


Slats are narrow pieces of wood, metal, or plastic, with spaces in between them. These can be incorporated into interior architecture in a variety of ways. For example, slat walls can be used as dividers or simply as decoration. They can be placed at the end of a room to signal the beginning of a different space, or they may not serve any functionality at all, simply being pleasing to the eye. In more creative instances, slat walls can even be turned into moving doors, allowing a bit more privacy to a room when needed, without enclosing the space completely– Similar to a screen. Slat walls are extremely versatile and can add a unique element to any space. 

As you can see, interior architecture and interior design differ in a few ways. Interior architecture plays an important role in the creation of any building. It is just as essential as the exterior! We hope you found this article informative and we hope to see you back on the blog soon as we continue to dive into various topics regarding architecture. Perhaps something might spark inspiration for your next project!

In our last post, we discussed the architecture of the Lowcountry. We have a variety of types of architecture in the Palmetto state, and that’s partially due to our area’s history. The Huguenots had an impact on the type of architecture that popped up in the state, as well as other cultural groups, including English immigrants, Barbadians, and African slaves. We took a look at different architectural styles that can be found in the Lowcountry, as well as residential home styles, such as the Charleston single house. If you are interested in learning more about Lowcountry architecture, we encourage you to check out our last post! For more information on architectural design and building, keep up-to-date with the Architecture Plus blog. If you’re ready to sit down with an experienced team of designers and hash out the elements of your next project, reach out to us! We’re eager to hear from you. Until next time, thank you for reading!