When it comes to finding the right interior decorating school, there are a lot of things to consider. For example, what criteria should the school itself meet? How can you tell if the institution is reputable or not? In this article, we’ll show you how to choose an online interior decorating school that best suits YOU and your career goals!
So, without further ado – let’s get started, shall we?
Pro Tip: If you’re serious about a career in interior decorating, make sure to check out our Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to becoming an interior decorator… Even if you don’t have any experience!
Choosing An Interior Decorating School For You: In-Person Vs. Online
When it comes to choosing the best interior decorating school, you have 2 options: in-person or online. First, let’s begin by breaking down the pros and cons of each type of design program…
In-Person Interior Decorating School
- You have the chance to build a strong rapport with your classmates and instructor(s).
- You’re able to get immediate feedback on your work and progress.
- All of your materials (e.g., fabric swatches, paint samples, etc.) are readily available to you.
- It can become quite pricey to travel to/from the school (especially with the current price of gas).
- Furthermore, in-person schooling is typically a lot more expensive.
- You don’t get to choose when your classes are, and they might not be flexible enough to work around your work/life schedule.
- It could be difficult to find an interior decorating program that’s close to home.
Online Interior Decorating School
- Online schooling a lot more affordable (e.g., lower tuition, options for payment plans, etc.).
- You’re given the freedom to study on your own schedule, at your preferred pace.
- Moreover, you can work on your studies from wherever you want.
- You’ll typically need to wait until your assignments and/or units are graded before receiving feedback from your instructor.
- Interactions with classmates and tutors may be more limited.
- If you aren’t self-disciplined, you may become more easily distracted if working on your course from home.
So, which learning environment is right for you?
On the one hand, you might feel that you’d benefit from the structure of an in-person course, in addition to the chance to build relationships with classmates and tutors. If so, then in-person schooling is probably the preferable route.
However, maybe you’re looking for a more affordable option that’ll allow you to study (and graduate) at your own pace. If this is the case, then an online interior decorating school would be the better choice for your goals.
For the purpose of this article, let’s assume that moving forward, you want to learn more about choosing the best online interior decorating school…
How To Choose an Online Interior Decorating School: Must-Have Criteria
When you’re looking for an online interior decorating school, there are certain criteria that the school itself should meet. Here are some of the critical green flags to search for:
✅ The Online Interior Decorating School Is Properly Accredited
These days, there are a LOT of scammers out there whose only purpose is to cheat you out of your hard-earned money. For this reason, when looking at online interior decorating schools, be sure to check and see that the institution is properly accredited. Meaning, that it’s been evaluated by an outside agency and determined to meet certain educational standards.
QC Design School, for example, holds an A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau. Not to mention, we’re a faculty of QC Career School – a trustworthy pioneer of distance learning since 1984!
✅ The School Has an Official, Legitimate Website
When choosing an online interior decorating school, take a look at the company’s website.
Does it look like the real deal? How easy is it to navigate – and find the info you’re searching for? Are the school’s policies, procedures, course details, and contact information easy to find?
An online school’s website will tell you a LOT about that institution as a whole. For instance, it’s poorly designed and/or lacks need-to-know info, that’s a big red flag to watch out for!
QC Design School’s website, for example, has been put together with the student in mind. Not only is it incredibly easy to navigate; it’s got all of the information you need, right at your fingertips!
✅ The Tutors Are Qualified
The best online interior decorating schools out there will have qualified instructors who are experts in their field. They’ll possess the experience and expertise needed to be teaching your course – and they’ll also be appropriately (and reputably) certified.
The tutors and instructors at QC Design School are all exceptionally qualified! Combined, they have decades worth of experience in the professional design industry, in addition to countless designations and qualifications to their names. Plus, some of our tutors are even QC graduates themselves – so they know the programs inside and out!
✅ The Company Is On Social Media
When choosing the right online interior decorating school for you, the next thing you’ll want to do is see if they’re active on social media. Frankly, any business that isn’t on social media nowadays loses quite a bit of credibility… And this is especially true with online schools.
After all, social media is a great way for them to showcase their culture, community, success stories, etc.!
QC Design School is VERY active on social media! We love connecting with our students and grads, as well as sharing help career advice, tips, blog posts, and other useful resources. Plus, we’re always looking for an excuse to post pictures and videos of our happy students/alumni and the beautiful design work they’ve done!
Interested in checking us out on social media?
You can connect with us here:
✅ You Can Actually Get In Touch With Support Staff
Let’s be real: it’s extremely off-putting when you try to get a hold of a company’s support team and are only met with radio silence. When it comes to online schools, the ease with which you can contact a real-life person will tell you a LOT about what your student experience will be like.
For instance, say that their Support Staff are impossible to get a hold of, are prone to ghosting, and/or have a terrible attitude. Then we strongly suggest that you do NOT enroll with that online interior decorating school!
Here’s yet another awesome perk of becoming a student at QC Design School: our Support Team is quite literally the best! Firstly, they’re available 7 days a week by phone, email, and live chat – depending on your personal preference. Secondly, they’re always quick to respond to any inquiries or issues you might have.
Plus, the fact that they’re super friendly and more than happy to help you out – no matter what the concern might be – is also a major benefit, too!
How To Find an Interior Decorating School Online: Necessary Course Criteria
Okay, so we’ve gone over some things to look for in an online interior decorating school. Now let’s talk about the actual criteria the course itself should meet. If you want to know how to choose an online interior decorating school, make sure its program offers the following:
✅ A Solid Interior Decorating Curriculum
When you’re looking at online interior decorating courses, make sure to check out the curriculum of the class itself.
Will it cover everything you’re hoping to learn? Has the program been designed by experienced design experts? Does it cater to beginner interior decorators, experienced decorators, or both?
QC Design School offers a self-paced, online Interior Decorating certification course that covers all of the following topics:
- Core elements and principles of decorating;
- The interior decorating process, from start to finish;
- Color theory;
- Various popular and historical design styles;
- Key design materials and how to use them when decorating;
- How to accessorize like a pro;
- Drawing professional floor plans;
- Balance, visual weight, and traffic patterns within a space;
- Working in specialized rooms;
- The roles of common industry professionals involved in full home remodels;
- And SO much more!
✅ The Course Is Actually Affordable
Obviously, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth when you sign up for an online interior decorating course. That said, you should NOT have to break the bank in the process!
Truth is, there are plenty of affordable options out there. You just have to look for them!
Take QC Design School as a prime example. All of our online programs are some of the most affordable out there (while still staying competitive, of course). Furthermore, we offer a low monthly payment plan option – thereby allowing you to spread out the cost of your course over 2 full years!
Oh, and did we mention that the moment you enroll in one QC course, every other course is then available to you at a whopping 50% off?
✅ You Get Hands-On Experience
MYTH: You won’t be able to get any hands-on experience through an online interior decorating school.
FACT: The best online interior decorating schools out there will guarantee that you get plenty of practical, real-world training!
Why is this such a key thing to look for in your online course? Because otherwise, it defeats the purpose of your training! After all, what’s the point in taking any class – much less paying for it – if it won’t actually prepare you for the real world?
QC Design School’s Interior Decorating Course offer students countless opportunities to put their skills to the test via practical, hands-on assignments. Moreover, for your final project in Unit F, you’ll be tasked with putting together everything you’ve learned throughout the program and creating a custom-designed space for a mock client!
✅ There’s Business Training Included
If your goal is to start your own interior decorating business, then it’s important to find a course that also offers business training as part of its curriculum. After all, there’s a lot more to being a successful decorator than just knowing how to place things in a room!
The final unit of QC’s online Interior Decorating Course is entirely devoted to business training. As a result, graduates walk away knowing exactly how to launch – and run – a successful company of their very own. From conducting the initial client consultation, to building a clientele and successfully marketing your services – our certification program covers it all!
✅ You’ll Get a Legitimate Interior Decorating Certification Upon Graduating
When graduating from an online interior decorating school, you should be proud of your accomplishment! What better way to show off your new skill-set – and certification – than by displaying it for the entire world to see?
As we mentioned earlier, QC Design School is a well-respected, accredited institution. As such, when you graduate from our Interior Decorating Course, you’ll receive a globally-recognized International Design and Decorating Professional (IDDP) certification!
This title also acts as your official designation, too! So, make sure to add that onto your business cards, portfolio, and other marketing materials!
Deciding On an Online Interior Decorating School: Red Flags To Avoid
Next, let’s move onto the red flags you should be avoiding. Choosing the wrong school can be a very costly mistake, both in terms of your time and money… And we know you don’t want that!
So, when it comes shady online interior decorating schools, keep an eye out for the following warning signs…
🚩 The Online Interior Decorating School Is Unaccredited
As we mentioned earlier, one of the many benefits of QC Design School is our accreditation. However, there are many online interior decorating schools out there that are not accredited. And while this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad school, it’s still something to be wary of.
Usually, if an online school isn’t properly recognized, it could be an indicator that:
- The school doesn’t adhere to certain quality standards
- They haven’t been a recognized institution for very long
- They’re not properly licensed
- It’s not a legitimate online interior decorating school
If you come across a school, it doesn’t meet this criteria, and you’re feeling concerned, know that this is a totally valid response! Again, this is exactly why we encourage you to do the proper research before enrolling.
Make sure the school is legit first – and then go from there.
🚩 The School Has a Bad Reputation
Another substantial red flag is to watch out for is a negative reputation, online or otherwise. For example, do they have more negative reviews than positive ones? Do the complaints about the institution seem to be endless?
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that every interior decorating school – whether it be online or in-person – is going to have at least a few unhappy students. That’s just a fact of life. That said, though, if the majority of what you see online is negative, then that’s a glaring red flag you shouldn’t ignore.
The best way to get an accurate idea of an online interior decorating school’s reputation is by reading reviews from multiple sources. By doing this, you can then get the most accurate picture of what people are saying about them – and whether or not that school is worth your time and money.
🚩 You’re Promised “Quick and Easy” Results
In order to choose an online interior decorating school that’s right for you, it’s important to avoid any place that makes overly inflated promises. For instance, if a school claims they can turn you (and your skill-set) into that of a professional interior decorator in less than a month, then that’s probably not realistic.
Of course, we’re not saying that it’s impossible to become a certified interior decorator quickly. Obviously, some people pick things up faster than others and will be able to finish their course in less time (especially if done online). But generally speaking, it’s going to take more than just a month to acquire all the skills needed for long-term success in the professional design industry.
Thus, if an online interior decorating school is making any grandiose promises, be at least a little suspicious. Again, we know that the LAST thing you want to do is waste your time and money on something that’s not actually going to work in your favor.
🚩 The Cost of The Interior Decorating Course is Dirt Cheap
Let’s preface things by saying that this rule doesn’t necessary apply to all design courses. For example, some online schools may offer short workshops and/or quick modules that you can purchase à la carte. When it comes to these types of programs, it makes sense that they may be offered at a considerably low price.
Rather, what we’re referring to are extensive interior decorating certification courses offered for a ludicrously low tuition rate.
As a general rule of thumb, if a school’s tuition fees are suspiciously low, there’s a reason for that. And usually, it’s not a good one. Good-quality interior decorating courses will typically cost a few hundred dollars, at the VERY least.
And if you’re looking for a high-quality program, you’ll be looking at paying around $1200 on average. (Although, as we mentioned earlier, this is still much cheaper than in-person courses – and you’ll have more payment options at your disposal, too!)
Of course, it obviously goes without saying that there are always exceptions to the rule. However, if an online interior decorating school is claiming that they can fully train you (from no experience, to the level of a professional) for less than $100, that’s a MASSIVE red flag!
Ultimately, if the price seems too good to be true, that’s probably because it is. So, just keep that in mind as you conduct your research.
🚩 Your Interior Decorating Certification Costs Extra
Another red flag to watch out for is any online interior decorating school that tries to make you pay extra for your certification. No matter the circumstance, this is a seriously shady move!
The fee for your certification should be included within the cost of tuition – full stop. By the time you’re ready to graduate, you’ve earned that certification! So, if an institution is trying to make you pay additional and/or hidden fees in order to actually get it, you’re being scammed.
Once again, this is why it’s imperative that you do your due diligence when selecting the right online school for you. Only then can you make sure that the certification provided is included in the cost of tuition – before signing up with the school!
🚩 There’s No Hands-On Learning
When choosing the best online interior decorating school, make sure they offer more than just textbook learning. Yes, it’s obviously important to have a foundation in theoretical design knowledge. However, you also want to make sure you’re getting hands-on training and real-world experience, too.
Ideally, your online interior decorating course should offer both classroom-based learning AND practical assignments. As a result, you can then graduate with the confidence needed to execute any home project successfully – and not just understand the theory behind it.
How To Become an Interior Decorator
Now that you know how to choose the best online interior decorating school, it’s time to start your journey to becoming certified! So long as you remember to do your research, ask around for recommendations, and make sure that the course you choose is properly accredited, you’ll be golden!
We also highly recommend bookmarking the following resources to aid you in this exciting venture:
- How Much Does It Cost To Start an Interior Decorating Business?
- How To Brand Your Interior Decorating Business
- The Best Tools for Interior Decorators
- 9 Business Ideas for Interior Decorators
- How To Charge as an Interior Decorator
- 17 Ways To Get Clients as an Interior Decorator
- What To Expect In QC Design School’s Interior Decorating Course
- What It’s REALLY Like To Learn Interior Decorating Online [Video]
We hope you enjoyed reading this article on how to choose an interior decorating school that’ll best suit your needs and career aspirations. With the right research and must-have criteria checklist, we guarantee you’ll find the course that’s right for you!
Do YOU have any questions or comments about choosing the best online interior decorating school? Let us know in the comment section below. We love hearing from you!
Best of luck, decorators!