Interior architect

Interior architect


Interior architects create plans for the interior of a home, building, or other structure. They determine the specifications and distribution of the space. Interior architects combine an understanding of space with a sense of aesthetics to create a harmonious interior design. They draw architectural drawings using computer-aided equipment and software or using conventional methods like paper and pen.

Interior architects typically do the following:

  • Collaborate with clients to understand their design preferences, functional requirements, and budget constraints.
  • Develop efficient and creative layouts for interior spaces, considering the flow of movement, spatial relationships, and functionality.
  • Create design concepts and mood boards, presenting visual representations of proposed interior aesthetics.
  • Choose appropriate materials, colors, and finishes, considering durability, aesthetics, and the intended atmosphere.
  • Design and select furniture, fixtures, and equipment that complement the overall design scheme and meet ergonomic standards.
  • Produce detailed technical drawings and specifications for construction and installation, including floor plans, elevations, and 3D renderings.
  • Work closely with architects, contractors, and other professionals to ensure cohesive design integration with the overall building structure.
  • Ensure compliance with building codes, safety standards, and accessibility requirements.
  • Develop and manage project budgets, providing cost estimates and sourcing materials within budgetary constraints.
  • Oversee the implementation of interior designs, coordinating with contractors, craftsmen, and suppliers to ensure timely and accurate execution.
  • Integrate sustainable design principles, incorporating energy-efficient solutions and eco-friendly materials when possible.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to interior architect:

project architect
junior interior designer
interior remodeler
senior interior designer
building designer
space planning interior designer
interior designer
interior design project manager
construction manager
design architect

Working conditions

Interior architects may work in design firms, architectural offices, or as independent consultants. The role involves a combination of office work, client meetings, site visits, and collaboration with various professionals in the construction and design industry. Interior architects may work on projects ranging from residential spaces to commercial interiors, such as offices, retail stores, and hospitality venues.

Minimum qualifications

To become an interior architect, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in interior architecture or a related field is typically required. Practical experience gained through internships, entry-level positions, or apprenticeships contributes to the development of interior architects. Some regions may require licensure or certification for professionals practicing as interior architects. Continuous learning, staying updated on design trends and technologies, and maintaining a portfolio showcasing a range of design projects contribute to the ongoing success of interior architects.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Interior architect is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Interior architect career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to interior architect.

construction engineer
urban planner
landscape architect
architecture lecturer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of interior architect.

  • Furniture trends: The latest trends and manufacturers in the furniture industry.
  • Design principles: The elements used in design include unity, scale, proportion, balance, symmetry, space, form, texture, colour, light, shade and congruence and their application into practice.
  • Technical drawings: Drawing software and the various symbols, perspectives, units of measurement, notation systems, visual styles and page layouts used in technical drawings.
  • Aesthetics: Set of principles based on which something is appealing and beautiful.
  • Project management: Understand project management and the activities that comprise this area. Know the variables implied in project management such as time, resources, requirements, deadlines, and responding to unexpected events.
  • Architectural design: The branch of architecture that strives for balance and harmony in the elements of a construction or architectural project.
  • Architecture regulations: The regulations, statutes, and legal agreements existing in the European Union in the field of architecture.
  • Furniture wood types: Types of wood used in the manufacturing of wooden furniture and their characteristics.
  • Architectural theory: The principles underlying the various theories about architecture. The relationship between buildings and society, and the relationship between art and architecture. The theories surrounding the architect’s position in culture and society.
  • Materials for interior design: Varieties and functionalities of interior materials and pieces of furniture, equipment and fixtures.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of interior architect.

  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services or any other help they may require.
  • Use a computer: Utilise computer equipment or digital devices to facilitate quality control, data management, and communication. Follow instructions given by a computer programme, create computer files or documents.
  • Satisfy aesthetic requirements: Satisfy aesthetic requirements and create a design that is in line with what is expected of you in terms of visuals and artistry.
  • Meet building regulations: Communicate with construction inspection, e.g. by submitting schemes and plans, to make sure all construction regulations, laws and codes are dealt with correctly.
  • Assist in interior plant projects: Assist in or carry out the planting, maintaining, watering and spraying of flowers, hanging baskets, plants, shrubs and trees in interior decorations according to the work description or project
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to products and services.
  • Prepare detailed working drawings for interior design: Prepare sufficiently detailed working drawings or digital images using software to convey a realistic preview of the interior design project.
  • Integrate measures in architectural designs: Integrate measurements, taken at sites or included in the project, into the design and drafting of architectural projects. Integrate considerations such as fire safety, acoustics, and building physics.
  • Write work-related reports: Compose work-related reports that support effective relationship management and a high standard of documentation and record keeping. Write and present results and conclusions in a clear and intelligible way so they are comprehensible to a non-expert audience.
  • Develop architectural plans: Draft a master plan for building sites and landscape plantings. Prepare detailed development plans and specifications per applicable laws. Analyse private development plans for their accuracy, appropriateness, and compliance with laws.
  • Promote sustainable interior design: Develop an environmentally friendly interior design and promote the use of cost-effective and renewable materials.
  • Measure interior space: Calculate measurements of the interior’s size in addition to the materials and objects that will be used.
  • Estimate budget for interior design plans: Estimate the budget for interior design plans. Keep track of total costs and material requirements.
  • Draw blueprints: Draw layout specifications for machinery, equipment and building structures. Specify which materials should be used and the size of the components. Show different angles and views of the product.
  • Advise clients on interior design options: Provide clients with detailed advice on interior design options and possibilities; discuss fittings and furniture, fabrics and colour schemes.
  • Monitor trends in interior design: Monitor trends in interior design by any means, including attending professional design fairs, dedicated magazines, classical and contemporary artistic creations in cinema, advertisement, theatre, circus, and visual arts.
  • Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of interior architect. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
  • CADD software: The computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the use of computer technology for design and design documentation. CAD software replaces manual drafting with an automated process.
  • Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
  • Energy performance of buildings: Factors that contribute to lower energy consumption of buildings. Building and renovation techniques used to achieve this. Legislation and procedures regarding energy performance of buildings.
  • Green space strategies: The authority’s vision on how to use its green space. This includes the goals it wants to achieve, the resources, methods, legislative framework, and the time needed to meet these goals.
  • Building codes: The set of guidelines that determine the minimum standards for buildings and other constructions in order to protect public health and safety.
  • Physics: The natural science involving the study of matter, motion, energy, force and related notions.
  • Zoning codes: The division of land into zones where various uses and activities are allowed, such as residential, agricultural, and industrial activities. These zones are regulated by legislative procedures and local authorities.
  • Urban planning: Political and technical process that seeks to design the urban environment and optimize land use by considering various aspects such as infrastructure, water, and green and social spaces.
  • CAD software: The computer-aided design (CAD) software for creating, modifying, analysing or optimising a design.
  • Ecology: The study of how organisms interact and their relation to the ambient environment.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of interior architect. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

ISCO group and title

2161 – Building architects

  1. Interior architect – ESCO
  2. Interior Architect: Salary and Career Facts –
  3. Architects : Occupational Outlook Handbook – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  4. Featured image: Photo by R ARCHITECTURE on Unsplash
Last updated on January 5, 2024