In Unit D, you’ll come to understand how a home interior can be dramatically impacted by different types of lighting. Discover the world of window treatments and how to select the proper coverings to enhance your client’s space. Learn the art of displaying home accessories and how to combine art and design in the home by arranging artwork. Study 20th century interior design styles such as Art Nouveau and Modernism, and learn how to build a professional interior decorating portfolio. You’ll also be provided with examples of forms that can be used for various interior decorating jobs.


Furniture and accessories need to be properly illuminated to look their best. Discover the different functions of lighting, including ambient, task and accent. Learn the various types of lightbulbs available to interior decorators and how to select the right one for a client’s room. Study the main types of lighting fixtures, as well as different types of task lighting and how each will work in a modern home design. Follow the guide to lighting for activities to make the best task-specific lighting choices.

Window Treatments

When used correctly by home decorators, window treatments add flair and style. Discover how to select a treatment, taking cost, function, mood and scale into consideration. Explore different types of window treatments such as draperies, blinds and shutters, and how to incorporate them into interior design plans. Become familiar with decorative elements such as valances, and learn how to position treatments, create illusions, and get creative with interior decorating ideas.


Once a custom home interior has been created, you can begin to add personal touches that will provide a unique look. Delve into the art of accessorizing, beginning with grouping items by theme, style and color, and learn to determine a room’s focal point. Discover how to properly use shelves and cabinets, and how to arrange books and plants. Understand the relationship between art and design, and learn how to place artwork in symmetrical and asymmetrical arrangements. Follow a step-by-step guide to hanging pictures, and find out how to incorporate mirrors into a home interior.

20th Century Design Styles

Discover how design trends expanded as the 20th century approached, and how Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement were born. Delve into the rise of Modernism and learn how elements of modern home design such as open-concept floorplans, straight lines, and minimalist interior décor came about. Meet the four pioneers of modern home design – Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Charles-Edouard Jeanneret. Travel through the Art Deco, International, and Late Modernism styles into the 1960s, and discover how interior design ideas have been strongly influenced by these styles. Each time period in this unit is accompanied by a guide to allow interior decorators to recreate the style.

Building Your Design Portfolio

A home design portfolio is one of the most effective ways to market and promote your interior decorating services. Discover how to select highlights from your best home decorating projects in order to captivate potential clients. Learn the elements involved in taking professional photographs, including the rule of thirds, perspective, and how to achieve proper lighting. This section covers the different ways of presenting your work, including printed and online design portfolios, and provides you with a sample portfolio as a reference.

The Professional Designer

Learn how to find clients and secure contracts for interior decorating jobs. Study an example of an initial conversation with a prospect, including a discussion of your interior decorating prices, and learn how to adjust your approach for hot, warm or cold prospects.

An example of a Site Evaluation Form is provided in this section, as well as examples of Tracking Sheets which can be used as templates in the future. Become familiar with the role of manufacturers and designer showrooms, and learn what to keep in mind during the design thinking process. Use the provided comparison chart to keep track of products and prices.