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Online Interior Design Diploma Course

Updated on December 18, 2017
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Discovering the therapeutic benefit of indoor water features with my aquarium, I soon found that tabletop waterfalls gave me the same effect

You are creative; love beautiful interiors and dream of living in a picture perfect home, or working in a tastefully designed office. You wonder, and tell yourself that whoever designs all these stunning home interiors and spectacular commercial spaces must be highly imaginative, outright ingenious, and definitely rich.

But you can achieve similar feats as an interior designer, and you'll love the way it will change your life.

Pursuing an interior design education is for someone just like you. You too can be a part of a highly lucrative profession that’s sometimes glamorous, affords the opportunity to meet wonderful people, and is most certainly exciting.

And yes, if you can’t find the time to commit to attending an on-campus college, you can certainly study from home by attending distant learning classes.

Interior Design Illustation
Interior Design Illustation

The Convenience of Distant Learning

Finding the time to attend an on-campus college of the arts may be a problem for many in terms of finding the time to study full-time. Luckily, there are online educational facilities that will allow interested students pursue an education by enrolling and attending distance learning classes.

Studying online may have a couple of disadvantages, but the pros of distance learning surely outweigh its cons.

The convenience of home study has been “a saviour” for many students from all over the world, and an online study in interior design is no exception.

Plus the course is probably not offered in many regions around the world (unbelievable as it may sound), so it’s good to know that anyone can seek an interior design education outside their locality and even their country too.

What You Need to Know

To become a professional interior designer, you do not need any mathematical, technological or science oriented skills.

Taking an interest in art and/or creative subjects generally is of great advantage and if you have an appreciation for the unusual, or if you are “remotely creative”, fashionable or even flamboyant, you will most definitely enjoy being an interior designer.

But to become proficient in whatever you do, it’s good for you to approach your chosen career professionally.

You can start by studying to obtain a Diploma in interior design as this ensures you are taking the right step and a professional approach towards achieving a dream.

What You Will Study at Interior Design Schools Online

To obtain a Diploma in Interior Design from colleges online the following courses will have to be completed successfully.

These courses vary slightly from college to college, but if you attend the top college's online classes, the following courses are what you should expect to cover:

  1. Style and Design
  2. Colour
  3. Surfaces and Surface Finishes
  4. Soft furnishings
  5. Lighting
  6. Presentations

a) Style & Design Classes

As a professional interior designer, you will have the ability to create schemes that are almost timeless with a striking appeal.

The enduring quality of style is usually a good testimony to the skill of an interior designer, whether it's his or her personal style and taste, or not.

A successful designer must have the ability to design functional, practical and stunning interiors in a variety of styles with each and every style reflecting the tastes and ideals of each individual client. Topics covered include:

  • What Makes Style

You are taught how to analyse the key elements of designs and how to identify the variety of style.

  • Categories of Style

You will learn about all the major designs and styles around the world, through the times.

  • Eclectic Designs

You’ll be taught how to work and design for individual clients by going beyond style, including how to blend styles and designs of differing periods of time.

  • Elements and Principles of Design

Shape and Form; Pattern and Texture; Rhythm and Harmony; Art and Origin; these are the building blocks of design which you will use to optimal effect in spaces and interiors.

  • Achieving Visual Balance

Balance, symmetrical and asymmetrical aspects of designs will be covered in this class.

  • Space Planning and Design

You’ll learn about open plan designs, and the ways to plan spaces effectively. This is a major aspect of this class.

  • Finishes and Accessories

You will be creating stunning and up to the moment designs using decorative details.

b) Colour

In this section of the diploma course in interior design education, you will explore very important aspects of colour. You will learn how to apply it in interiors as these topics will be covered in great depths.

One of the main reasons why many areas of designs fail is because of the inability to use colour successfully. This is the most valuable tool interior designers have at their disposal.

Getting the right colour balance is paramount to the success of any interior space. For example, clashing colours will give you a garish and cheap look.

Whilst designing, the colour scheme is very important to your client, so you can’t afford to get it all wrong.

Some people are naturally gifted and can get creative with colours, but in most cases, the ability to use colour is a skill that can be learnt using powerful yet simple tools and techniques.

Successful interior designers use this time and time again to produce winning colour combinations for their interior design tasks.Topics covered under Colour include:

  • The Science of Colours

Learn about the relationship between light and colour, and find out what light actually is and how it is formed. You will also be taught how the relationship between the two works.

  • The Theory of Colour

Learn about the natural laws of colour and the ways to use them effectively.

  • Colour Combinations

Acquiring skills on how to achieve successful colour combinations and how to make any colour look great is the emphasis in this class.

  • Characteristics of Colour

Using colours as an illusion in interior schemes, so as to disguise, emphasise or accentuate.

  • Psychology of Colour

Why do colours affect us and is it true that they have an effect on our emotions? You will also learn the importance of colour psychology to an interior designer.

  • Colour Notation

Learn to understand colour so that it can be communicated into design decisions with confidence.

c) Surfaces and Surface Finishes

In interior design parlance, the surfaces referred to here are the floors, the walls and the ceilings. They undisputedly are the largest surface areas in any interior space.

Finishes chosen for them are of extreme importance and has an impact on the overall design when completed.

There are many possibilities and choices available, but practicality and functionality must be addressed so that the overall design can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use

Classes include:

  • Walls and Ceilings

Find out about the available varieties and options. Learn about all the types of installation techniques and the impact of the materials used on your designs.

  • Flooring

The most wear and tear occurs on the floor. Your choices as an interior designer will be determined by its practical implications. You will learn about soft floors, semi-hard floors and hard floors

  • Wall finishes - painting and wallpapering

Learn about calculating requirements and the use of guides. These two finishes play a predominant role in the final works of an interior.

  • Specialist Finishes

Murals, Trompe l'oeil, faux finishes and other unique finishes to achieve dramatic looks

  • Kitchen Designs

Learn how to plan out the kitchen. The various types of layouts such as the L-shape, the U- shape, the work triangle, etc.

  • Bathroom Designs

Learn how to create and use space effectively in the toilet and bathroom areas.

  • Storage

How to squeeze out space for storage facilities is always essential. Learn how to maximise space for an improved living.

  • Practical Planning

Learn about creating a schedule and order of work. Know how to form a logical work pattern.

d) Soft Furnishings

In interior design and decoration, soft furnishings refer to the curtains, the cushions, sofas, rugs, window treatments, etc...

Window openings determine the view and the amount of natural light that permeates the room. You will know as an interior design student that the window is really about framing the outside view as well as adding style to the interior.

You will be taught how drapes and curtains are made and fitted and how you can use simple techniques to achieve a beautiful and successful interior. You will learn about fabrics and its varied construction.

You will enjoy this interior design subject tremendously. Class topics include:

  • Curtains and Drapery

Curtain headings, bodies and edges and how to vary each of the three elements to make curtain designs

  • Valances and Pelmets

Learn about the many types and styles of valances and pelmets and how to use them effectively to enhance windows.

  • Fabrics

Practical considerations and the ones to avoid

  • Poles, tracks, and accessories

Learn which one works for what style of curtains and pelmets

  • Soft furnishings and curtains (ready-made)

Learn how to use them successfully.

  • Ways of using fabrics

Which fabric to use for what soft furnishing, such as beds, upholstery, chairs, etc...

e) Lighting

Lighting is used primarily to light up a place but skilfully to draw attention to decorative details. It’s also a great way to create mood, ambience, and atmosphere.

Studies have proved that the right interior lighting is known to enhance health and well-being.

In interior design education classes online, you will learn the different approaches to lighting and the appropriate choices and different types.

At the end of your lighting course, you will be able to incorporate lighting into your interior scheme successfully, whilst possessing the tools to communicate professionally with electricians and architects.

The following topics that will be covered in the diploma class are:

  • Natural and Artificial Lighting

Learn to create effects using natural light on mirrors, glass, stainless steel etc. See the varied effects of lighting and how to use them effectively.

  • Quality of Light

About bulbs, light fixtures, and fittings

  • Adaptation Levels

How to choose appropriate levels of light for different requirements

  • Technicalities of lighting

The relevant lighting used in commercial and residential spaces

  • Wiring and Switches

Practical and safety considerations

  • Electrical Planning and Specifications

You’ll learn how to prepare instructions that are clear for interpretations by electricians and contractors.

f) Presentations

A presentation illustrates your skills as a professional interior designer.

After an interior designer develops the design concepts of any project, it has to be communicated to their clients.

The means of communication used to be strictly through drawing plans, working drawings, specifications tables, mood boards, etc... These were/are then presented in a professional manner to clientele and contractors.

Today, the use of interior design software is greatly encouraged and learning how to use it has become a part of interior design education’s curriculum today. Presentations can now be seen virtually with walkthroughs possible, all on a computer screen.

Presentations are important because they allow you and your client to experiment with different layouts, design options and colour schemes before taking final decisions.

This class will teach you how to create impressive presentations that help put your idea forward and sell them. Topics covered should include:

  • Design Preliminaries

You are taught about meeting with your client and defining their design requirements. This is more of an in-depth dialogue period to know exactly what goes on in your client's mind as per what they need to be done.

  • Visual Communications

Exactly what this means - using your mood boards or computer interface to enable clients to flow with your design ideas

  • Site Measurements/Surveying

Teaches you how to do site measurements and record relevant details you will need during the development of your concept.

  • Scaling of Drawings

Step by step drawings to show you how to produce scaled plans, elevations and sectional drawings in a professional manner.

  • Briefs and Specifications

How to present clear and detailed instructions for contractors to enable them easily interpret and produce your designs.

  • Contracts

You will learn how to deal as a professional interior designer with clients, suppliers and contractors

  • Pricing

Learn how to charge your clients for services rendered.

This is one of the most important classes in interior design diploma course because it doesn't matter how good a designer you may be, only presentations that are professionally put together “lands” you the job!

Materials Required for an Online Interior Design Course

Most course materials including powerful learning tools will be delivered directly to you, and you will be assigned a personal tutor who will interact with you online and by telephone. He will be working with you and reviewing all your class works and assignments.

You will receive practical and technical information, including audio tools on CD's, with language and illustrations that are very detailed but simple to understand.

You may have to get your own interior design software.

Distant Learning Duration for the Diploma Course

With distance learning classes you don't have to commit to a full or part-time schedule of study.

The duration of this diploma course, however, is between 12 to 18 months. Most online colleges will permit students up to 18 months to go through and complete the interior design program.

However, most students learning this course online often complete it within 12 months.

Remember that you can manage your time effectively, and work extra hours at it if you so wish. But if you need more time, something can be worked out amicably, depending on the college you enrol with.

If you can commit as much as 10 hours every week consistently, you can complete your Interior Design program within 9 to 12 months.

These are the benefits of distance learning studies; it’s at your own pace.

WOULD YOU CONSIDER A DISTANCE LEARNING INTERIOR DESIGN EDUCATION?

See results

This is the Beginning of a Fantastic Career . . . Go for It

If you are interested in being an interior designer with an emphasis on designing interiors primarily for residential clients, this is for you. You have the choice to decide to work with your diploma or further your studies by going for a degree program in interior design.

All this can be achieved, sitting in the comfort of your home or office, wherever in the world you may live, as long as you have access to a phone and the internet.

© 2009 viryabo

Comments

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    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      8 months ago

      Kareni, thank you.

      I will recommend you enrol with an online school to finish your certificate program and perhaps go a step further if you so desire.

      Try any of the Art Institutes - Atlanta, Dallas, California, Pittsburg, etc... There are over 20 of them across the United States that offer online courses.

      To find them, just Google "Art Institutes".

      You can start off from there. :)

      Hope that helps.

    • kareni profile image

      kareni 

      8 months ago from NJ

      Viryabo,

      Your style of writing is so engaging. Thank you for sharing your expertise. I would love to finish the certificate program in Interior Design that I started so many years ago. A lot of life happened in the interim. Are there any online programs that you recommend? Thanks so much.

    • ecamper23 profile image

      ecamper23 

      7 years ago

      Do most online schools help you get internships in the area?

    • bdouble28 profile image

      bdouble28 

      7 years ago

      I'm glad I can take courses online, I really think some lecture courses can be easily taken without having to pay so much.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      7 years ago

      Mariline, it is receiving a boost and its like re discovering a new way to approach interior design. So exciting.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving nice comments.

      GodBless

    • marilnelanoon233 profile image

      marilnelanoon233 

      7 years ago

      I can certainly see this field receiving a boost with all the environmental and green conscious buyers and builders out there.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the visit Ken. I hear that as we move into the future, many shall pursue an education, attending distance learning classes.

      Its good to know that many from all corners of the earth can receive quality education from great schools.

      Thanks for finding time to leave a nice comment.

      Cheers

    • profile image

      Ken Abrams 

      7 years ago

      Very nice article on distance learning in the interior design field. I am sure many people who consider getting distance education will benefit from this.

    • profile image

      Afshan Razzak 

      7 years ago

      We run a private IT institute and are seeking interior design courses which are affliliated with either Uk or US schools of interior design. Do you offer any interior design programs which can be affiliated or provide partnership for future collaberation?

      Thanking u sincerely

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      8 years ago

      Thanks Opismedia, glad you like the article. Thanks for stopping by and finding the time to leave a comment.

      GodBless

    • opismedia profile image

      opismedia 

      8 years ago

      Such a detailed article, thanks for sharing it with us all. Best of luck to you.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      8 years ago

      Im glad you find the info good Neil. Thanks for being encouraging and for your valued visits.

      Cheers.

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      That's really good info, thanks for sharing.

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      8 years ago

      Hello Neil,

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a nice comment.

      Cheers

    • Neil Ashworth profile image

      George Poe 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great content for a hub. I'll bookmark this one for later...

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      8 years ago

      Thanks RosWebbART, glad you find it informative.

      Nice to see you again.

      Cheers

    • RosWebbART profile image

      Ros Webb 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Nice article, heading back later for another look...

    • profile image

      sreeiit 

      8 years ago

      Great hub!!! Love it..

    • profile image

      erhimu ejiro 

      8 years ago

      how do i register in this program

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      8 years ago

      Hi Amanda, what technology does today would amaze our forefathers. A continent away feels like your next door neighbour's house. Amazing. The impact of this on education is awesome. I agree with you. It's wonderful.

      Thank you for visiting Amanda.

      Cheers.

    • profile image

      Amanda Yu 

      8 years ago

      Technology such as the internet have really helped bring distance gap together. Getting education can be done right at the comfort of our own room. Wonderful!

    • viryabo profile imageAUTHOR

      viryabo 

      8 years ago

      Thanks so much for being a big fan of mine. I'm so honoured to hear that nice comment. And thank you for visiting Keira.

      Cheers

    • keira7 profile image

      keira7 

      8 years ago

      I am a big fan. Love it. See you soon. Take care.

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