What does an Architectural Interior Designer do?

The view through a doorframe to a parquet floored hallway and carpeted stairs with high pigment pale paint on the walls and a set of three paintings. Designed by an Architectural Interior Designer.
I am an Architectural Interior Designer, Able and Hardie is a creative Architectural Interior Design Studio. So what do we do, and what don’t we do?

The skills and qualities of an Architectural Interior Designer will vary from individual to individual. You should find that each will express clearly what they are and are not prepared to do, and the limit of their professional capacity (and insurance) before requiring additional professionals, to whom they should be able to provide you with a link.

General skills
Interpretation of your requirements

Architectural interior designers design the building from the inside (the client’s requirements), out. A great client brief provides a great outcome and being clear about what you want improves the chances of a successful outcome. You can help by having a solid understanding of what you would like your outcomes to be before you meet. This may change through your conversations, but it is an excellent starting point.


This may be done by your designer, or an employed surveyor, and will provide you with accurate measurements on plan to scale. These plans enable a deeper understanding of the laayout and structure of the building. If your work is substantial I would recommend employing an independent surveyor, whose survey is covered by their own liability (for inaccuracies/faults) and is owned wholly by you. You should have the copy in pdf form, and in CAD form (Computer Aided Design, even if you do not have the programme to read this, your designer will).

This way, should your relationship with your designer cease for one reason or another, you still own this, and can provide it to another designer to use. Often designers will not use another designers personal survey as they will not be held accountable for inaccuracies within, and therefore you will have to pay for an additional designer survey.

Design and Plan

This involves planning, three dimensional form work (things to be assembled or made), construction, lighting, colour, material, circulation (flow and functional requirements) and building services (electric and plumbing placements etc).


Furniture, fixtures and equipment, either off-the-shelf or bespoke.


Alongside the foreman and project manager they oversee work on site is of the standard they have specified. They will also help overcome any hiccups which may have become evident during the build, and provide a sound design resolution. The best design solutions look like they were intended in the first place!

Not sure if you need an architect or an Architectural Interior Designer? See my article on this subject here.

And link to my services here.


What an architectural interior designer should NOT do
An Architectural interior Designer should never…

…pretend to be an Architect – they are very different professions and one cannot claim to be an architect without extensive studying and membership of their country’s Architectural regulatory board

…provide you with structural calculations themselves (unless qualified to do so) – this is provided only by an accredited structural engineer, with current insurance. Your architectural interior designer should have a sound understanding of architectural structure but should not proceed with structural works without an engineers calculation.

…bully you into making a decision which suits them best, or make you feel foolish – as a breed we pride ourselves on putting the client at the centre of the design. You should never feel that your opinion is insignificant or irrelevant.

Want to know more?

What is the difference between an Architect and and Architectural Interior Designer? Read our blog post on exactly that.


Detail of the Leo Chair by @brook_studio. Just bl Detail of the Leo Chair by @brook_studio. 
Just blissful. 
Happy hump day all! It’s been a long week already...
It’s all starting to come together at the #islan It’s all starting to come together at the #islandproject . We have overcome lengthy setbacks as we unexpectedly had to undo and redo poor historic work... it’s times like this that my client’s faith in my promised results is tested. 
Now that faith is being rewarded. 
Design @ableandhardie 📸 @ableandhardie
Did you know @ableandhardie also had a commercial Did you know @ableandhardie also had a commercial design studio? 
The studio and treatment rooms extension at @the_wow_clinic was a pleasure to be involved with. 
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