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Students who wish to become interior designers need to take a number of interior decoration courses. Interior decoration courses can lead to a certificate in interior design or an associate's degree or bachelor's degree, depending on the length of study and program type. Typical interior decoration courses include an introduction to design, color theory, and the history of design. Students will also take courses in room-specific design, such as kitchen design, and courses that explore interior decorating materials. Some programs will include courses in running a business and interacting with clients as well.
A design concepts or introduction to design class is usually one of the initial interior decoration courses a student takes. During the design course, a student learns the theories behind designing an interior, whether it be for a residence, business, or retail establishment. She may study the history of design in this course, or design history may be a separate course. In an introductory design course, most students will learn to sketch their design ideas quickly and will learn how to visualize concepts of designs.
Other interior decoration courses include color theory, which shows students how to make use of color in an interior. Color theory courses cover the ways colors interact with each other, the properties of color, and how to plan a color scheme for a room. Some color theory courses will delve into problems in using color, such as a yellow that looks unpleasant in one room but lovely in another. Ideally, the course will also train students to effectively communicate their color needs to producers and manufacturers.
Students in an interior decorating program may also need to take a course in the history of architecture and how it relates to the human condition and to interior design. In addition to architecture history course, students usually take courses in furniture history and are expected to know the different styles and periods of furniture design, from traditional styles to contemporary ones, and how the use of each style impacts the design of a room.
Interior decoration courses also introduce students to the materials used in interior design. A textile course may cover the use of various fabrics in a room and how using one fabric over another changes the room's environment. A materials course will cover the use of different floor surfaces, wall paint, or paper and other materials and how each impacts a room.
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