Diploma programs in house decorating, also known as interior design or residential decorating, train students to coordinate aesthetic elements, like wall and floor coverings, furnishings and window treatments, to meet client needs and achieve a desired appearance. House decorating slightly differs from interior design, which has functionality and safety also in mind. Coursework includes the development of a professional portfolio and field trips to local places of interest, such as historical buildings, décor firms, model homes and fabricators.
Lecture topics cover design concepts like color theory, lighting and styles, textures and furnishing positioning. Broad academic subjects and business facets, such as technical math and communications, cost estimation and salesmanship, are also discussed. Students learn to create decorating and drafting plans using software, such as Bentley MicroStation and AutoCAD. Usually taking 1-1.5 years to complete, admission to these programs require a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) equivalent.
Residential Decorating Diploma
Residential decorating curriculum prepares students to create plans, not just for homes, but business offices, theater sets and retail showrooms as well. They also learn how to communicate effectively with clients and manage a decorating company. Examples of common course subjects are:
- Decorating history
- Space planning
- Furniture design and construction
- Textiles and fabrics
- Computer-aided design (CAD)
Popular Career Options
Residential decorating graduates have the knowledge and skills needed to work for such employers as private homeowners, furniture retailers, real estate developers and design centers. Possible occupational roles include:
- Interior decorator
- Kitchen and bathroom designer
- Studio and stage decorator
- Model home decorator
- Furnishings salesperson
Continuing Education Information
Graduates can pursue voluntary professional certification through Certified Interior Decorators International or the Decorators' Alliance of North America and/or further their education with a bachelor's degree in interior design.
Aspiring house decorators can pursue employment after the one year of study needed to earn a diploma. This diploma is also a great foundation for students who may want to branch into other areas of design, such as for retailers or real estate professionals.