Online Interior Decorating Classes | Penn Foster Career School

Interior Decorating Program Online

Why Penn Foster Career School?

  • Regionally & Nationally Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Develop your natural talent for interior design with Penn Foster Career School's Online Interior Decorator Career Diploma program. Our online classes can help you prepare to work for a design firm, department or furniture store, hotel or restaurant chain, or to open your own interior decorating business. Penn Foster Career School will help you train at home or on the go, all at the pace that’s right for you. Plus, you can complete this program in as little as five months.

Learn the basics of interior decorating, from furniture selection and color to lighting and accessories. You will even learn how to start your own interior design business. Students in our online Interior Decorator program are also eligible to receive 15% off all EZ-Decorator™ systems, supplements, grids, and furniture and room planners.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To prepare students for an entry-level career as an interior decorator.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Recognize the difference between interior decorators and interior designers, and understand employment opportunities in the interior decorating field, interviewing techniques, and the characteristics of a successful decorator in different specialty areas and for different types of clients.
  • Identify clients’ needs by recognizing their basic physical and psychological needs, understanding the clients’ goals along with their budgets and priorities, and determining a client’s preferences in regard to furniture styles, colors, fabrics, textures, and patterns.
  • Identify the elements and principles of design including line, form, color, value, texture, pattern, light, space, proportion, scale, emphasis, and unity and recognize whether elements and principles of design have been successfully applied to a décor by understanding the importance of the function of the room.
  • Distinguish the importance of color, recognize how color affects people and how color balance is created within a room; identify primary, secondary, and intermediate colors, and categorize their placement on the color circle.
  • Recognize various color schemes based on the color circle, how colors affect each other, and how the amount of light and various surfaces can affect color.
  • Identify the four general categories of furniture styles most widely used today and recognize typical furniture pieces from the past to present day and the periods during which these pieces originated.
  • Identify furniture quality and workmanship to meet a client’s needs based on the best use, as well as appearance, and recognize traffic patterns and how to create a focal point in a room by understanding harmonious furniture arrangements, including how to balance line, object, and space.
  • Recognize how to measure a room, make rough sketches, prepare an accurate scaled plan, and use furniture templates Understand the importance of floor treatments and how lighting effects floor treatments, the differences between types of flooring and floor coverings, the differences and characteristics between carpets and rugs, and how to select and use appropriate finishes on floors.
  • Distinguish between various architectural features of walls including the use color, texture, and patterns in choosing wall treatments for specific décor and recognizing how to create scaled elevations.
  • Recognize how to choose window treatments including shades, blinds, shutters, and panels to suit many decorating situations, and understand accurate measurements and yardage requirements for curtains, draperies and window treatments, in addition to studying how to draw windows to scale on an elevation.
  • Identify a wide variety of architectural symbols and terms while reading blueprints.
  • Recognize the three types of house plan layouts according to their activity zones and room by room problem areas and the solutions.
  • Understand the characteristics of natural and synthetic fibers, the types of special fabric finishes, types of knits, yarns, common weaves and fabric yardage requirements, in addition to, the information on an upholstery tag.
  • Understand how to light a room and choose accessories to meet all of your client’s needs and desires according to the selection of paint, fabric, wallpaper, and specific situations to meet a room’s style, and mood.
  • Identify the three types of residential lighting and distinguish between incandescent and fluorescent lighting, and the effects of natural and artificial light on specific colors of décor.
  • Comprehend how to plan spaces for home offices, home fitness centers, and home entertainment rooms by recognizing how to choose furniture for these rooms, based on anthropometric and ergonomic principles.
  • Understand the concept of selling and how to approach a client by learning how to look for new clients, how to present merchandise, develop a follow-up system, and write appropriate thank-you notes.
  • Comprehend how to establish yourself as a professional by studying how to assemble a decorating team, and expand your clientele, identify the subcontractors, tradespeople, and custom fabricators, and recognizing how to set up a studio or office, locate suppliers, set up a source file, and how to keep records for income and self-employment taxes.
  • Develop a decorating plan for a living room and submit specific information regarding the plan along with photographs, floor plans, paint chips, fabric swatches, window treatments, and elevations.
  • Pass the cumulative final examination.

Unit 1

Starting Your Program

Succeed by learning how to use your Penn Foster program.

Objectives:

  • Understand how to use your Student Portal, including your My Homepage and My Courses pages.
  • Access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers.
  • Connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites.
Decorating Today

Objectives:

  • Help clients identify their style and develop a decorating plan to suit that style.
  • Learn about employment opportunities in the interior decorating field.
  • Identify the characteristics of a successful decorator.
  • Analyze your abilities to find your strongest area of expertise.
  • Identify different specialty areas in decorating.
  • Recognize ways to gain experience in the field of decorating.
  • Discover interviewing techniques to determine the needs of potential clients.

Unit 2

Meeting Your Client's Needs

Objectives:

  • Identify your client’s basic physical and psychological needs.
  • Observe a specific client’s needs in the categories of family membership (personal characteristics) and room-by-room activities.
  • Determine a client’s preferences in regard to furniture styles, colors, fabrics, textures, and patterns.
  • Establish a furnishings inventory for your client.
  • Determine your client’s goal and budget priorities.
  • Identify the basic shape and structural features of an unfurnished room.
The Elements and Principles of Design

Objectives:

  • Recognize whether or not the elements and principles of design have been successfully applied to a décor.
  • Understand what interior decorators mean by the golden mean.
  • Consider function in laying out a room or space.
  • Use focal points effectively in a decorated room.
  • Identify the elements of design, including line, form, color, value, texture, pattern, light, and space.

Unit 3

The Principles of Color

Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of color in decorating and how color affects people.
  • Create color balance within a room.
  • Identify primary, secondary, and intermediate colors and show their placement on the color circle.
  • Recognize various types of color schemes based on the color circle.
  • Demonstrate how to lessen the intensity of a color.
  • Understand how colors affect each other and how the amount of light and various surfaces can affect color.
Identifying Furniture Styles and Periods

Objectives:

  • Name the four general categories of furniture styles most widely used today.
  • Recognize typical furniture pieces from the past to the present day, and name the general periods during which these pieces originated.
  • Define the term eclectic as it refers to furniture.
  • Explain how to create an eclectic look.
Decorating with Furniture

Objectives:

  • Use furniture effectively in a room’s décor.
  • Plan furniture arrangements around traffic patterns in a room.
  • Create harmonious furniture arrangements by balancing line, object, and space and by combining harmonious materials and styles.
  • Measure a room, make a rough sketch of the room, and prepare an accurate scaled plan.
  • Plan furniture for a room by using blueprints when available or scaled floor plans.
  • Use templates in planning furniture arrangements.
Additional Unit Materials

Learning Aids:

  • Furniture Template
  • Triangle
  • T-Square
  • Color Wheel

Unit 4

Floors

Objectives:

  • Understand the importance of floor treatments and the importance of using an appropriate floor treatment.
  • Evaluate the effects of lighting on floor treatments.
  • Choose between types of flooring and floor coverings and use each type effectively.
  • Identify the important characteristics of carpets and rugs.
  • Select and use appropriate finishes on floors.
  • Plan attractive floors in tile, stone, slate, brick, vinyl, linoleum, terrazzo, and indoor-outdoor carpeting.
Walls

Objectives:

  • Determine what wall treatments are best for which décor.
  • Draw detailed plans of walls.
  • Distinguish between various architectural features of walls and use them in decorating.
  • Use color, texture, and patterns on walls to create specific decorating effects.
  • Identify and use a wide variety of wall coverings.
  • Prepare accurate scaled elevations and floor plans.
Windows

 Objectives:

  • Choose window shades, blinds, shutters, and panels to suit many decorating situations.
  • Describe how to save energy through the use of certain window treatments.
  • Determine accurate measurements for windows.
  • Calculate yardage requirements for curtains and draperies.
  • Calculate measurements for shades and blinds.
  • Draw windows to scale on an elevation.
Decorating from Building Plans

Objectives:

  • Use blueprints to plan decorating schemes.
  • Work closely with professionals such as builders, contractors, and architects.
  • Recognize a wide variety of architectural symbols and terms.
  • Evaluate house plan layouts according to their activity zones.
  • Solve specific decorating problems room by room.
  • Apply decorating ideas in a variety of practice situations.

Unit 5

Fabrics

Objectives:

  • Understand the characteristics of natural and synthetic fibers.
  • Discuss the types of special fabric finishes.
  • Identify types of knits, yarns, and common weaves.
  • Identify three important factors in choosing fabric patterns for furniture.
  • Understand the information on an upholstery tag.
  • Estimate fabric yardage requirements for upholstery, fabric-covered screens, and fabric-covered walls.
Lighting and Accessories

Objectives:

  • Light a room to meet all of your client’s needs and desires.
  • Choose suitable lighting for the selection of coordinated paint, fabric, and wallpaper for a room.
  • Plan appropriate lighting for various rooms and specific situations.
  • Select and arrange room accessories.
  • Differentiate between functional and decorative accessories.
  • Use wall and table accessories singly and in groups.
  • Set a room’s style and mood with accessories.
Special Purpose Rooms

Objectives:

  • Plan spaces for home offices, home fitness centers, and home entertainment rooms.
  • Select furniture for these rooms, based on anthropometric and ergonomic principles.
  • Make recommendations to clients about equipment for these rooms.
  • Provide your clients with lighting solutions appropriate for these spaces.

Unit 6

The Skills and Methods of Selling

Objectives:

  • Learn how to approach a client.
  • Present merchandise.
  • Develop a follow-up system.
  • Write appropriate thank-you notes.
  • Learn how to prospect for new clients.
Starting Your Own Business

Objectives:

  • Learn how to establish yourself as a professional.
  • Determine how to assemble a decorating team and establish and expand your clientele.
  • Identify the subcontractors, tradespeople, and custom fabricators you will work with.
  • Set up a studio or office, locate suppliers and set up a source file.
  • Learn how to keep records for income and self-employment taxes.

Unit 7

Graded Project

Develop a decorating plan for a living room and submit specific information regarding the plan along with paint chips, fabric swatches, and photographs.

Final Examination

At this point in your program, you will be required to complete a final examination.


Computer Specifications
You will need high-speed internet access to begin your program. You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows XP® or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running OS X® or later, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft, Windows, and Windows XP are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.

Sample Lesson

To view an Interior Decorator sample lesson, click here.

Interior Decorator Program Details

In the Penn Foster Career School Interior Decorator online training program you'll cover many topics. Our online classes can help you to:

State Licensing Information

Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.

Interior Decorating Classes Online

Interior decorators plan and design indoor spaces for clients, while managing style, budget, and room layouts. Here are a few qualities that effective interior decorators have in common:

  • Intuitive: It’s important to stay a few steps ahead of trends and trust your instincts.
  • Persistent: You need to work hard and stand by your projects and ideas to get others on board.
  • Communicative: Take charge of projects and always offer opinions and advice to help others.
  • Creative: In design you need to think outside the box and bring in fresh ideas.
  • Detail oriented: It’s important to have a sharp eye and check things twice.

I am so happy that I made a career change with the help of Penn Foster. Penn Foster makes it easy, and they are always supportive and encouraging to you. Whenever I had a question, I just gave my instructors a call, and they were very helpful and easy to talk with. The online testing made it convenient, and my shipments always arrived right on time.

- Christina R., Penn Foster Graduate

Penn Foster is a great school with amazing people who always help and work with you through ANY situation. I experienced a fire in my home, and Penn Foster was there for me to cope through the situation. Thank you, and I will be doing another program soon.

- Claudia D., Penn Foster Graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Books and learning aids such as a furniture template, color wheel, T-square, and triangle
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Access 24/7 to Penn Foster’s online community, plus immediate membership in the Interior Decorator academic group
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What is E-Z Decorator, and what type of discount do Penn Foster Career School Interior Decorator students receive from E-Z Decorator?

EZ-Decorator™ is a design tool to help create beautifully detailed sketches and floor plans with unique and patented time-saving tools. Interior Decorating students receive 15% off all EZ-Decorator™ systems, supplements, grids, and furniture and room planners.

What is the difference between the Penn Foster Career School Interior Decorator Career Diploma Program and the Penn Foster College Interior Design Associate Degree Program?

The Penn Foster College Interior Design Associate Degree Program teaches graduates to tackle residential and commercial design projects, covering everything from color analysis to legal and financial issues. Penn Foster College is licensed in Arizona. The Penn Foster Career School Interior Decorator Career Diploma Program focuses solely on design aspects such as style, budget, and room layouts. Note that interior designers are required to be licensed in most states, while interior decorators aren't. Interior design graduates can work as design assistants but will have to have several years of assistant work before they can take the licensing exam. Interior designers must have knowledge of building codes and construction, while interior decorators often do not.

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