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Interior Decorating School Information & Requirements

by Nadia Archuleta

Interior decorators get to make interior spaces physically and visually pleasing, sometimes adding green and energy-efficient options to the spaces. They work in homes and both public and private buildings. A career in interior decorating requires decorators to understand flooring, furniture, textiles, window treatments and period styles. Interior decorators should also have some knowledge of the interior design business as well as elements and principles of design.

Interior Decorating Education

Potential interior decorators can take relevant classes, receive a diploma or even earn a certificate in the field. Interior decorating classes takes students' natural creative talents and add the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue the field as a career. Schools such as the University of Richmond often offer such courses individually or as part of a diploma or certificate program. Some schools offer an interior decorating diploma which states the recipient completed courses necessary to graduate the program. Both trade schools and universities usually offer a certificate for completion of program requirements, though it is not state or nationally accredited.

Interior Decorating Certification

Certification is not required to be an interior decorator; often a certificate or even experience is enough. However, some potential interior decorators choose to earn certification through Certified Interior Decorators International, which does not require prior training. Decorators choosing this route study through a C.I.D.-accredited program called the Decorator Training Institute. They have a choice between training online in two to six weeks or by using a workbook over six to ten weeks. According to C.I.D, it is the only certification body for interior decorators.

Interior Decorating Certificate Programs

Certificate programs in interior decorating vary by school, but usually take between six months and a year. Some schools such as the Stratford Career Institute offer distance learning options, meaning students study at home, setting their own pace. Alternatively, students may choose to go to classes, either through a trade school or traditional university. The New York Institute of Technology awards a certificate in interior decoration after students successfully complete eight 10-week courses, five required and three student-chosen. The University of Richmond has similar requirements for its interior decorating certificate, but also offers the option of earning an advanced interior decorating certificate; this certificate requires an additional ten courses of study.

Interior Decorating Classes

Students have many options for interior decorating classes. At the Stratford Institute students work their way through modules of interior decorating, interior environments and other relevant topics. They learn about the history of interior decorating, responsibilities in the profession, business, and design elements such as color and space planning. At NYIT, students learn the fundamentals of decorating, business and drafting with options for green studies and Feng Shui. Richmond University offers similar core classes but also features a wide range of electives such as staging, holiday decorating and the psychology and history of color.

About the Author

Nadia Archuleta has a B.A. in English writing. She spent five years working abroad and has traveled extensively. She has worked as an English as a Foreign/Second Language teacher for 12 years.

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