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Interior Design for Beginners

  • Level(s) of Study: Short course
  • Start Date(s): 4 October 2023 / 17 January 2024; 10 April 2024
  • Duration: Wednesdays 6 - 8.30 pm, ten weeks
  • Study Mode(s): Short course
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


On this practical course you will learn fundamental design principles, techniques and tools that will help you create dynamic, visually interesting, and functional spaces for domestic, residential, and commercial interiors.

You’ll gain experience undertaking an interior design scheme and build your knowledge working to a brief, delivered through informal lectures and engaging, creative projects.

This course is ideal if you are looking to build a portfolio of design work or considering interior design as a future career, or simply interested in re-designing your own home.

It'll give you an insight into the world of interior design and inspire you with the confidence to present your own interior design schemes.

  • You’ll be part of a design community in our creative studio culture; one that promotes discussion and collaboration and encourages experimentation and the constant swapping of ideas.
  • With a limited class size of 16 people you'll have the one-to-one attention you need to ensure you leave with the skills to continue developing your designs at home or work.
  • Benefit from learning with an experienced tutor who has established links to the profession and significant experience working in varied practices.
  • Receive a certificate of attendance when you’ve successfully completed the course; a great way to enhance your CV.

Here's what previous attendees have said:

‘I wanted to learn more about all aspects of interior design, to inspire me to be more creative. I feel more confident about using my creative skills to make designs now in the home, and enjoyed all the practical exercises, working with colour etc. Our tutor was engaging and knowledgeable. They made the course very interesting, and I feel I have learnt a lot. Thank you!’ JP

'This course allowed me to be creative and feel my passions come to life. I now understand the fundamentals of interior design' AG

‘Really enjoyed the course - I improved my understanding and confidence, gaining some key and useful skills to apply such as lighting schemes and using hues versus tints etc. I enjoyed it all.'

‘This course has encouraged me to continue with my passion. I enjoyed the colour theory and how to approach a project from start to finish, and meeting like-minded people'

'Really enjoyable, good opportunity to be creative and get hands-on, which was great, a nice balance of theory and practical'

What you’ll study

The course will cover topics such as colour theory, furniture selection, lighting design, spatial planning, and textile selection.

Throughout the course, you’ll develop skills through hands-on projects and exercises that simulate real-world design scenarios.

You’ll learn to how to produce scale drawings, mood boards and sample boards to present and communicate your ideas effectively.

You’ll be introduced to the methods and techniques used to complete a project (whether this is for your own home or for a client) and translate those requirements into a cohesive design plan.

On this course, you will:

  • understand the importance of being a creative and a conceptual thinker and how to translate your ideas into a practical spatial design
  • appreciate the importance of materiality in a space
  • learn how to develop an interior design scheme with the use of wallpaper, upholstery, window treatments and accessories
  • consider the importance of sustainability within the design environment and how to design a greener future
  • understand the impact of scale in a design, through the application of colour and the use of furniture and furnishings
  • plan an interior design space whilst thinking about the customer journey and user experience
  • develop methods and techniques that explore what is required to take on a design project
  • research and question different sectors within the interior design environment that might lead to rethinking and reworking of existing norms and experiences in a design project
  • develop industry skills within a supportive and creative learning environment
  • prepare and develop a portfolio
  • discuss what is required to start your own interior design business.

Here’s a breakdown of what you’ll be studying during the course.

You’ll come up with your own brief to work from and complete a project throughout the rest of the course. Initial sessions will include live sketching, learning about scale, form and measuring spaces, along with other practical work and small tutorials in groups.

Considering what materials are best for a space, you’ll take part in lectures and workshops that look at materiality and sustainable designs, before working on colour theory and the different sectors you may be interested in working in within the interior design industry.

Whilst working to your own unique brief based on your interests and design ideas, you’ll submit your personal project to the group and learn how to visually display your work. You’ll have a brief introduction to using CAD software so you can explore this visualisation technique after the course.

Thinking about your own style and other types and trends, you’ll also consider how you can add your own personal touch to a design, especially when working for a client who has their own needs. You’ll also look at how you can be a more mindful designer.

Compiling all your work throughout the course, you’ll start to build your portfolio and present your personal project. You’ll also have a brief introduction into what it means to start your own interior design business.

Further information on what you'll study

By the end of the course, you’ll have a solid foundation in interior design principles and techniques and will be able to create well-designed spaces that meet the needs and preferences of specific spaces, and clients.

You’ll leave the course with an interior design project in progress and developed a good understanding of the profession, enabling you to pursue your chosen career or pathway.

How you’re taught

During the sessions you’ll be taught the basics of interior design, with tasks and activities to complete with support from the tutor; you can then practice these activities further between sessions.

This course will be delivered in person on Nottingham Trent University city campus.

Contact hours

You will receive 25 contact hours of quality tuition with an experienced tutor.

Tutor Profile:

Hermione Garnett-Spear is an experienced Interior Designer whose approach to design is intrinsically philosophical.

Through her design intentions, she endeavours to create enduring architecture in which the narrative and concept transport us beyond the ordinary, creating a harmony between the new and old.

She has a background in design management for high-end hospitality, office design and residential spaces.

Hermione graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a first-class honours degree in Interior Architecture and Design.

She works as a part-time lecturer on the Interior Architecture and Design course for Nottingham Trent University.

Hermione is a Designer for TOG (The Office Group, London) and runs and manages her own Interior Design business; HE Studio Interiors.

Her combined passion for design and teaching allows her to inspire the next generation of designers to create aesthetic sustainable buildings of the future.

Careers and employability

The course is designed to prepare you to succeed in the design industry, from designing your own home to working with clients and what it’s like to be part of a larger interior design practice.

On successful completion of the course you will receive a certificate of attendance, which will further enhance your CV.

After the course, you will be able to progress onto the Interior Design Professional Portfolio course.

Campus and facilities

You will be based in the School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment on the City Campus.

You’ll find collaborative working spaces where you develop your sketches and concepts, and IT suites equipped with industry standard software including Adobe Creative Cloud.

You’ll also have access to our library to use outside of your short course; whilst you can’t reserve or take away books, you are welcome to use them as a resource for research and referencing.

Entry requirements

Level: Beginner

Entry requirement: No design or drawing experience is required.

You must be over the age of 18 in order to attend this course.

Fees and funding

The fee for this course is £495.

Payment is due at the time of booking - ask us if you'd prefer an invoice sent to your company.

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, including most materials to create your designs and other great benefits such as the use of our modern library and free use of the IT equipment and software on the campus during your course.

You will also need to bring with you:

  • any drawing materials you may like to work with (pens, pencils, crayons, markers etc)
  • a collage of images / interior design styles that you like, to share with the group and tutor for a fun and informal way to get to know everyone. If you’re not sure where to start, you can create a collage of something else that you’re interested in. You can view some examples here.

You can read the terms and conditions of booking here.

How to apply