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Interior Design Qualification

(21 Posts)
chickpea1234 Thu 06-Feb-20 09:08:40

I would like to know what the most esteemed Interior Design qualification would be in the UK? Could it be done around having a day job? Any advice would be great. This has been a passion of mine since I was a child and I want to follow it now.

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chickpea1234 Thu 06-Feb-20 20:35:22


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itsUnderMyPillow Fri 07-Feb-20 21:55:51

Not the one on Facebook currently for £25 .
You would be better off taking a junior intern position at an interior design office I think .

chickpea1234 Sun 09-Feb-20 17:27:41

Thank you. I wanted to study in addition to my full time job.

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twointhemorning Sun 09-Feb-20 17:50:16

A work colleague went and did an interior design degree at the local university. You could see what courses are offered near to you.

fastliving Mon 10-Feb-20 23:24:09

Central St Martins do some as evening/short courses - I expect these are good.

GoldenCrunchMunch Tue 11-Feb-20 11:27:52


RUSU92 Tue 11-Feb-20 11:40:18

I’m also interested in interior design as a career. I spoke to someone recently about it and she asked what it was that I like about the idea. She used to be an ID so knows the job well.

When I explained that I enjoy working with colour and patterns, textiles etc and bringing a scheme together, she kindly pointed out that this is a tiny part of the job. That it’s mainly project management - making sure all the trades are there when they’re supposed to be, coordinating deliveries etc and liasing with the ‘bean counters’ who want to strip your design of anything ‘frivolous’ to keep down costs, thereby diluting your ideas and compromising the design.

She pointed out that you don’t get to do any of the actual decorating, as people who can afford an ID want a professional finish so would pay a specific decorator to hang paper etc rather than have you do it.

Put me right off I can tell you! I like the idea of making mood boards and choosing cushions etc but that’s not really what it’s all about by the sound of it!

Just her perspective of course but worth mentioning.

chickpea1234 Tue 11-Feb-20 20:41:36

Rusu that's really interesting to know actually and those aspects of the job I would like so it still appeals to me. I also think I would enjoy the challenge of producing a luxury finish with a limit budget - I would enjoy the challenge of doing that.

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RUSU92 Wed 12-Feb-20 21:17:25

those aspects of the job I would like so it still appeals to me ah good. I’m glad it hasn’t put you off as it did me! Good luck with it.

MayFayner Thu 13-Feb-20 14:46:43

My friend is one and as far as I can gather a large part of the job is sourcing things- furniture and textiles etc. And also keeping up with / ahead of trends.

Aureum Thu 13-Feb-20 15:17:53

Depends what you want to do. Are you aiming to work on multi million pound showrooms, office and restaurant interiors and other commercial premises, private residential projects for exclusive clients? Or do you just want to help people pick cushions and wallpaper?

The former is likely to require a degree or masters in interior or spatial design. Before having DC I worked in a related field and wouldn’t have hired anyone for interior work who wasn’t a graduate. You may not want to be a professional working for a big company though. You don’t really need qualifications if all you want to do is make mood boards, upcycle old furniture and suggest colours for Karen down the road to paint her bedroom.

chickpea1234 Thu 13-Feb-20 15:31:52

That is a good question Aureum. I actually just want to look at qualifications for personal fulfilment. I have a successful career currently that I am not looking to leave just yet but wanted to study at degree level purely for personal interest. I would see if that takes me anywhere maybe later but this is not necessary to kick start a career. Your answers is incredibly helpful however as these are all questions I have not even considered and could determine what I would study exactly.

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Aureum Thu 13-Feb-20 16:09:27

You’ll end up with debt approaching £30k for a degree, plus interest that might double the amount you repay. It’s not something you study for personal interest or as a hobby. And if you already have a degree you won’t be able to get another loan to pay for another degree.

Considering you don’t actually want to work as an interior designer, you might be better off just buying a few books, doing a cheap online course and maybe a few workshops about techniques for upcycling etc. Then do it as a hobby?

chickpea1234 Thu 13-Feb-20 17:09:59

Oh yes I know only to well how expensive an education can be :-) Are there diplomas in this area? I am willing to invest in this to some extent and potentially never use this for a career path. It is the study that I am interested in right now for personal satisfaction. It sounds like a luxury to do this but it's just something I would like to do for myself (I have a father who gained a PhD purely for personal interest and so it must run in the family)! Again I am very grateful for your view as it's good discussion.

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LightDrizzle Thu 13-Feb-20 17:31:05

”liaising with the ‘bean counters’ who want to strip your design of anything ‘frivolous’ to keep down costs, thereby diluting your ideas and compromising the design.”
- what a twatty attitude and the kind that contributes to negative attitudes generally towards architects and interior designers. My mum was a professional interior designer working in industry, the commercial sector and the occasional private castle. She did a 2 year course after 1 year studying fine art, all at Sunderland Art College, but this is way back.
Delivering the best possible design but within budget was the objective, it’s the client’s bloody money. If you want to indulge your “vision” without vulgar budget constraints, then fund it yourself.
My mum said she often saved client’s money by catching architects mistakes and righting them. When I worked in a construction related industry I saw it too, silly things like architects specifying a finished size on timber that corresponded to the nominal standard sizes. Finished sawn wood is 4mm smaller than the nominal size. So if it went unquestioned and uncorrected, the end client would end up paying massive special sawing and wastage costs for bespoke sizes on the carcassing timber throughout their house, just because the architect confused nominal and finished sizes and didn’t know enough about the materials.
Part of the job of an architect or interior designer is knowing materials, trades, standard sizes, finishes, and designing around them to minimise costs except where the aesthetic or functional benefit outweighs the additional cost.
It’s a very satisfying job but much more technical than many realise. It’s not just wafting about with swatches.

chickpea1234 Thu 13-Feb-20 20:27:01

Thank you light drizzle. I learnt this to some degree myself when sort out my own property - most of that involved managing many, sometimes unglamorous, things that you just wouldn't consider when you first start out. When I finally got to the the fun part of dressing everything I was actually just under a lot of time and money pressure to get things done. I would imagine this is the case also in the profession with the added stress of reputation!

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Aureum Thu 13-Feb-20 21:37:39

My friend did this and enjoyed it.

chickpea1234 Thu 13-Feb-20 22:21:03

Thank you! This looks really good! I will look into it further.

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Rhubarbisevil Thu 13-Feb-20 22:27:47

Or this one?

Normandy144 Thu 13-Feb-20 22:44:39

I used to work for an interior design association in another country and knew nothing about the profession before i started there. It was a real eye opener and they spent a lot of time having to explain the difference between an interior decorator vs a properly qualified registered interior designer. The country i was based it was a registered profession and you could only use the title of registered interior designer with the relevant degree course.
In the UK you should look at the British Institute of Interior Design. I believe they are the main association in the UK and should be able to guide you. I believe it is a registered profession here now. I'm sure they will also have a student membership which you can take out and then you get access to events, industry suppliers, networking opportunities etc. It's worth it for the contacts!

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