Classes or programs specifically in interior decorating aren't common, because the field mirrors interior design. The difference between the fields lies in education and licensing requirements in order to be officially considered an interior designer.
Interior decoration skills can be learned through a college's continuing education department resulting in a certificate. Courses beyond the introductory level are available as part of an associate's or bachelor's degree program in interior design. Training at the degree levels often requires student projects and includes practical experiences, such as co-ops, internships and field trips.
Here are some major concepts covered in interior decorating courses:
- Interior decoration and design history
- Planning and drafting
- Color theory
- Interior lighting
- Business planning and management
- House presentation
List of Classes
History of Interior Decorating
This course provides an overview of how interior decorating has changed and evolved through history. Students look at popular styles from various periods, such as Victorian, Renaissance and Colonial. Areas of focus include the color choices, furniture design and architecture.
Space Planning and Drafting
Before beginning a project, interior decorators use space planning skills to design a layout that maximizes space and creates walkways while also making furniture accessible and attractively arranged. Drafting tools are often used in this process to draw up layout plans. This course teaches students how to plan spaces effectively, take measurements and produce scale drawings using tools like templates and T-squares.
Materials and Fabrics
Various materials used in modern interior decorating are covered in this course, from paint and carpet to upholstery and flooring. Students learn to select materials for color, pattern and texture. In addition to aesthetics, the course covers practical considerations for fabric and material choice, such as wear resistance and insulation. Training in measuring and installing materials is included.
Color Theory for Interior Decorators
An understanding of how colors work together is vital to the creation of pleasing and attractive designs and decors. This class explains the concepts of complementary and contrasting colors, color mixing and color context. Students learn how colors affect the viewer psychologically and how to develop a palette for a room's design. Coursework also addresses color matching and designing color schemes to flow from one room to the next.
Interior decorating isn't just about furniture and fabrics; it also involves lighting the room appropriately. Students in a lighting course learn about natural and artificial means of lighting rooms and the affect of light on color. The class covers the choice and placement of various types of lamps along with permanent lighting fixtures.
Interior Design Business Planning
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over a quarter of all interior designers are self-employed. To help those interested in becoming freelancers or sole proprietors, many interior decorator programs offer courses in business. These classes include information on budgeting, planning and marketing. Students also learn about business laws and the preparation of documents for filing taxes.