Home Decorator Certification and Diploma Program Information

With coursework in furnishings, decorative arts, accessories and lighting, diploma programs in interior decorating are designed to provide students with entry-level home decorating skills. Certification in this field is voluntary and requires additional training offered through a professional organization.

Essential Information

Students in interior decorating diploma programs study design concepts and the decorative elements involved in home decorating. Since many interior designers are self-employed, they also learn basic business practices. Those who want to earn voluntary certification will need to complete a program offered by a professional interior decorating organization.

Diploma in Interior Decorating

Interior decorating diploma programs focus on the latest trends in commercial and residential design as well as the history of the decorative arts; students may also take CAD or architectural drafting classes. Students receive hands-on experience in studio classes and take field trips to learn about the work of other interior decorators. General education courses may be required. Applicants usually need to have a high school diploma or GED and must be 18 years old. Most students can complete a diploma program within 1-2 years. Completion of a portfolio project or internship may be required. Typical coursework includes:

  • Introduction to interior environments
  • Space planning
  • Furnishings
  • Textiles
  • Color and lighting
  • Accessories and finishes

Certification in Interior Decorating

Those seeking certification must complete one of the interior decorating programs offered by Certified Interior Decorators International (CIDI). Both online and home-study versions of these programs are available, and each has an associated fee. Even students who have already completed a diploma program will need to enroll in one of CIDI's programs to become certified. Graduates must pass an exam to earn the Certified Interior Decorator (CID) designation and professional membership.

Popular Career Options

Diplomas in interior decorating generally lead to a variety of entry-level positions that require home decorating expertise; some graduates start their own businesses. Graduates can pursue the following career paths.

  • Home interiors sales associate
  • Real estate stager
  • Interior design assistant
  • Showroom designer

Continuing Education

Options for those who wish to further their education in interior decoration include an associate's degree program in interior design. Many credits from 2-year degree programs can then transfer into university programs awarding a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design.

Diploma programs in interior design can prepare students to work as home decorators. Graduates may gain voluntary certification by completing a program offered by Certified Interior Decorators International.

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