DIY Interior Design: An Intro to the Architectural Elements

August 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm

As long as I have been fascinated and in love with design, I have kept a humble opinion that there should be no disconnect between the elements of Architecture and that of Interior Design. I recognize the need of each discipline to maintain exclusivity which somehow has something to do with professional pride. I understand that architecture deals mainly with the outside structure while interior design, as the name implies, deals only with the inside space. However, I see designing as a holistic act. Although architecture is a separate discipline from interior design, one cannot exist without the other, or must I say, at the least a design goal cannot be realized without one of these two disciplines.

As an interior designer, I deal with designing the inside of a structure, may it be a condo unit, an apartment, a hotel suite, an office or a one-storey house. Like every other work project, I have to start at something, and the start point for interior designers is the interior of structure and for sure, they come with architectural elements. An interior designer is expected to dress these elements according to the design he envisions. That is why it is important for those who intend to try their hands on interior designing to get acquainted with some of the usual architectural elements that they will encounter.


BASEBOARDS are a defining feature of a house or a room. It refers to the narrow wooden board running along the base of an interior wall which connects the wall and the floor. You can repaint these baseboards or even replace them. Instead of baseboards, other people who are under budget constraint, create an imaginary baseboard by painting the bottom part of the wall with a much darker or any color that contrast their primary color and is referred to as the shadow line.


CROWN MOLDING is just the opposite of baseboards when it comes to their location. Crown molding is placed on the top of the interior wall where the wall meets the ceiling. This is a great way to add visual interest to any room.



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CHAIR RAIL is also known as Dado Rail. As the name implies, this rail was originally used to protect the wall from contact with furniture such as chairs by giving an allowance between the wall and the furniture. Now the purpose of using the Chair rail is leaning more towards aesthetics as it can add lines and colors to a room.


HARDWOOD FLOOR is what ultimately provides a room with the feeling of warm elegance. Hardwood floors are generally expensive so some people opt for the alternatives which can be wood laminate, bamboo or recycled-leather flooring.

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LIGHT COVES are usually utilized for aesthetic purpose as this adds mood and a tint of intimacy in a room. The lighting fixtures are usually built into recesses, valences and ledges, providing an indirect light to a room.



These are the architectural elements that you would surely encounter in almost any room, and your decision on what to do with them can make or break your design project. It makes sense to remember that in this modern age, the use of the architectural elements like the ones included in this article should not be limited to their traditional definition. An antique door can be used as a top of a beautiful dining table. As a designer, you have the freedom and the right to dictate the functionality of any element. So don’t hesitate that right as you might end up with something ingenious and start a new trend in interior designing.