Interior Decorating Courses and Diplomas

As an interior decorator, you should have an eye for detail and a flair for aesthetics, as well as enjoy creating unique living spaces. Learn what training you can complete and the types of courses can you'll encounter. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Interior decorators work to make an indoor space aesthetically pleasing by working with furniture and other accouterments. Educational standards for aspiring decorators are not clearly defined. However, you may find continuing education courses or certification programs.

Programs Certificates are offered through universities and online through interior decorating organizations
Certification Available through Certified Interior Decorators International
Courses Color theory, color schemes, fabrics, furnishings and paints, drafting, aesthetics, interior design, computer-aided drafting, space planning, marketing, budgeting, networking and promotions

What Educational Programs are Available?

Some universities offer interior decorating certificate programs through their departments of continuing education and professional studies. However, not-for-profit schools rarely offer degree programs in interior decorating. As an aspiring interior decorator, you might consider completing an online course or certificate program in interior decorating that's accredited or approved by an organization such as Certified Interior Decorators International (C.I.D.). Once you complete such a program, you can join C.I.D. as a professional member and become a Certified Interior Decorator. You might also find an Interior Decorating Career Diploma program.

What Courses Might I Take?

While enrolled in an interior decorating program, you might study topics such as the various materials used to create interior furniture. You'll likely take some practical courses in drafting as well as theoretical courses in aesthetics. Some certificate programs might require you to complete introductory-level courses in interior design. Other programs might provide you with the basic skills necessary to set up and maintain your own interior decorating business. The following course topics may be covered:

  • Color theory/color schemes
  • Fabrics
  • Furnishings
  • Paints
  • Wood, metal and glass
  • Computer-aided drafting
  • Space planning
  • Marketing and budgeting
  • Networking
  • Promotions
  • Windows
  • Walls
  • Building plans
  • Lighting and accessories
  • Creating a studio
  • Artwork and prints
  • Business startup
  • Consulting fees

How is Interior Decorating Different from Interior Design?

Interior designers analyze interior spaces and determine how to best maximize space, color and lighting. Also called interior architects, designers read blueprints, work with contractors, decipher building codes and create entire interior spaces from scratch. Interior decorators, on the other hand, add the finishing touches to an interior space to enhance its appearance and style. As an interior decorator, you won't find yourself designing stairways or positioning windows, but you might pick out the best coffee table or pillows for a particular space.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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