Interior Architecture is essentially the design of a space for the purpose of a predetermined function. It integrates the layout of a house to ensure the maximum efficiency for those using the house. There are several ways to gain the knowledge and qualifications required to work as an Interior Architect. At a University level you must complete a degree in Architecture. This can take up to 5 years to complete. Following the completion of this degree you will be required to complete a one to three year internship. At the completion of this you will be invited to apply for a license. Some countries require all Interior Architects to be licensed before they can gain employment. When qualified Interior Architects can work for architectural firms that design hospitals, offices, homes or schools.
Interior architecture is the designing and building of interiors to ensure that they are safe, functional and aesthetically pleasing. An Interior Architect often works closely with clients to ensure that the architecture of a building meets the specific needs and requirements of the client. They must have knowledge of the durability and strength of the materials they are using, as well as the right placement, to ensure the correct arrangement of light, colour and textures in a space. Interior Architects work closely with the entire building team; architects, designer, construction teams and inspectors. For this reason, Interior Architects are often one of the first contractors attached to a build and one of the last to finish.
To best understand the vocabulary of each environment it is important to understand the principles of design in Interior Architecture. The design elements of Interior Architecture are based on seven principles. It is the understanding the application of these principles that can help an Interior Architect better understand the language of each environment. These principles include; unity and harmony, balance, focal points, rhythm, details, scale and proportion and colour. Unity and harmony relates to the way each space in a building work together. A focal point is one or two areas in a space that draws the attention of the guest, who moves closer to find out more. The rhythm of a space means the repetition, progression or transition of themes within a space. Scale has to do with the ratio of one design compared to another. This room is a good example of balance. The two sides of the room are balanced along the central axis.
Colours have a significant impact on the atmosphere you want to create in an interior design. Certain colours create an immediate effect on people. For this reason it is important to consider the colour palate of a design carefully. Colour has the ability to change the shape and size of furnishings and the shape and size of a room, based on relativity. Red is an intense colour, often raising the energy level of a room. Yellow is the colour of joy and sunshine. It is expansive and welcoming. Blue is calming, relaxing and serene. Green is restful and a cooling colour. Purple is rich, dramatic and sophisticated. Orange represents excitement and enthusiasm. The neutral palate of black, white, grey and brown are flexible and are a great base to match with brighter colours. Consider the mood you are wanting to create in a space and then choose the colour combination that best represents it. Be brave with the combination of colours. This red kitchen is a great example of how red can create warmth and energy in a space. This kitchen is designed by Simona Garufi.
Proportion in Interior Architecture refers to the balance between design elements such as shape, colour and texture. It is the relative judgement of the correctness of a design. This can be achieved by repeating a pattern, shape, colour or texture. For example this may be done by repeating a shade of blue found in a painting hung over the bed with the same shade of blue used on the quilt cover and bed sheets. Balance refers to the distribution of the visual weight of objects within a space to achieve the sense of equilibrium. This can be achieved by using symmetrical balance, asymmetrical balance or radial balance techniques. Symmetrical balance means repeating items along a central axis. Asymmetrical balance uses similar elements with the same weight to balance on the opposite axis. Radial balance distributes items around a central point. This image illustrates this well. The chair has an increased weight due to its colour, although it balances with the light on the right.
Whether you are planning a design of a room, an entire house or a worksite, it is important to use all spaces effectively and efficiently. When assessing a space consider how the space is being used. Consider the processes and workflows that are being used in the space, and what are the needs and requirements of those living in the house? When these considerations have been made it will be easier to access how to streamline these process to use each space more effectively. Consider adding an extra function to an under-utilised space. The attic, for example could be converted into a home office. This bathroom shows how a small space can be altered to improve functionality. The bath has been converted to be used as a shower as well. This is a great use of space. This smart bathroom was designed by Rajiv Saini & Associates.
Interior Architects that have been working for some time have developed a combination of learned knowledge and acquired secrets. These are sometimes techniques that have been tried, tested and have succeeded. We have found some of these to share with you. Interior Architects advice never to push furniture up against walls. By leaving the smallest gap between furniture and the wall can create a sense of warmth in a room and create a better flow of energy. Never forget the ceiling in a design. They are often a neglected area of a design. One creative and surprising way to bring attention to the ceiling is to apply wallpaper to it. This is a great way to bring a sense of fun to a space. Don’t forget the details. Add a carefully placed accessory in each design to create an area of interest. The mirror in this room is a great example, it creates an area of interest in a neutral space.
Interior Architects not only deal with the aesthetic aspects of the design and plan of a space they are also concerned with the practical aspects of its construction. This gives the Interior Architect the role of overseeing the entire design of the interior spaces from construction to completion. There are many more aspects of this job than merely choosing furniture and objects for a house. It involves choosing the safest, most efficient and practical aspect of the house. It often involves planning and designing a space with clients to ensure it is the most effective and efficient design. For more information on the work of Interior Architects see Designer Galaxy.