Understanding Interior Architecture

Interior architecture is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. It's one of the areas in which we specialise, however, we've found that not many people know what it is or understand why it is important. We spoke to our founder and creative director, Emma Sims Hilditch, to find out more.


What exactly is interior architecture?

Basically, if you turned a house upside down, everything that stayed behind and didn’t fall out would be considered part of interior architecture. Mainly this means fixed decorative items like joinery, decorative plasterwork and ironmongery but it can also extend to more “architectural” elements like staircases or window reveals.


Why is interior architecture important?

A big part of interior architecture is the layout and flow of internal space, which is really important to ensure your home works for your lifestyle. There is no point spending money on decorating rooms if they don’t truly fulfil their function, such as a tiny hidden away kitchen if you love entertaining. The interior designer should work with the client to figure out the best use of space for their particular needs.


Would you consider lighting to be a part of interior architecture?

Absolutely! Interior architecture involves key decisions about power supply and lighting. The use of a room greatly influences the type of lighting required but conversely, lighting can influence the use of space. For example, once we know where the sofa and arm chairs will go in a living room, we know where to place sockets for lamps but we could also introduce architectural lighting to highlight details, such as fitted joinery. Features like this can greatly enhance the mood of a room and make it more attractive to be in.


How much can an interior designer do before I need to get an architect involved?

There is a lot an interior designer can offer without having to get an architect involved. The important thing is to think about the space, question the floor plan and consider the flow. An interior designer may be able to make a few simple suggestions that would greatly improve all these things. Providing all the necessary permissions and planning procedures are followed an interior designer may suggest simple alterations like taking down or adding a wall. Obviously, when it comes to building a house from scratch or doing extensive renovations to an existing property, we would always recommend our clients use an architect. The point is that both the interior designer and the architect should work together to ensure the best result for the client.

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