A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
Lesson 01 - The Vast World of Interior Design
This first lesson will open your eyes to all the career possibilities available to you in the world of interior design, and particularly in the realm you'll be focusing on: residential design. You'll explore the wide range of opportunities and challenges you'll encounter as you design these spaces, whether you're creating a comfortable family room or outfitting a sleek urban penthouse. Then you'll take a look at the other side of design, the commercial sphere, where interior designers create everything from exclusive boutique hotels to Madison Avenue retail storefronts. This lesson also explains the differences between interior design and interior decoration so that you can choose the discipline that suits you best. By the end of this lesson, you'll be familiar with many types of careers you probably never knew existed. With this introduction, you'll be on your way to becoming part of the design community.
Lesson 02 - Tools of the Trade
Lesson 2 will introduce you to the specialized drawing tools interior designers use to help them create and present their designs. Then you'll explore some fundamental concepts—the elements of design—that will serve as the building blocks of all the compositions you create. Finally, you'll review the principles of design—guidelines for combining these elements into beautiful compositions. If you already feel confident in your abilities to design, this lesson will give you a checklist to make sure your designs work visually. If you're a bit nervous or insecure about creating your designs, these skills will provide a safety net to assure that your designs are harmonious and beautiful.
Lesson 03 - You Gotta Have Style
This lesson takes you on a journey throughout the past and present, and prepares you for your future designs as you explore a plethora of design styles. You'll begin in the Renaissance in Italy and move throughout Europe, from England to Germany, and learn about the progression of interior spaces into the modern age. You'll then discover the latest trends of today and see which styles are the most popular in cutting-edge homes. Finally, you'll go around the world and look at how the unique cultures around the world can help you create unique styles that you can incorporate into homes today.
Lesson 04 - Colors of the World
This lesson will cover one of the most popular topics of interior design—color! You'll start off by briefly exploring the science behind color and why people see the way they do. Then you'll learn about a tool to help you start building harmonious color palettes. Next, you'll take a look at some of the surprising things that can happen when you put the wrong colors together. By knowing about these unexpected optical illusions, you'll be able to prevent mistakes in your own designs. Finally, you'll learn about the various cultural associations people have with color and discover how you can influence the mood of others through the colors you select for your designs.
Lesson 05 - Plans, Elevations, and Details—Oh My!
As an interior designer, you can let your imagination run wild—but how can you make sure that the ideas in your head materialize in the space you're designing? That's where architectural drawings come in. They communicate the designer's vision to the clients, the contractors, the architect, and others. In this lesson, you'll get an overview of the kinds of drawings that interior designers use throughout the design process. You'll learn to identify and read various types of technical drawings, including floor plans, elevations, sections, and details. Then you'll explore drawings in three-dimensions while learning about axonometric, one-point, and two-point perspective presentation drawings.
Lesson 06 - Plan That Space!
Sharpen those pencils because this lesson is going to get down to the nitty-gritty of design. You'll use feet and inches as you look at the guidelines and standard measurements that are the industry-wide rules of thumb when planning spaces. Before you can think three-dimensionally, you've got to start with a simple piece of paper and an architect's scale and make sure that you can get all the necessities to fit within a space—where they're comfortable without being tight and spacious without feeling empty.
Lesson 07 - Living in a Material World
So, your space is all laid out. But your clients won't be living in a graph paper world! In this lesson, you'll explore the various types of materials that you can use to achieve beautiful interiors. You'll look into a wide range of finishes, which include natural materials (including stone and wood), synthetic materials (tile, laminate, and resilient flooring to name a few), and carpet. By the end of this lesson, you'll have the knowledge to start transforming your pencil-and-paper notions into a full-color, textural space!
Lesson 08 - The Fabrics of Our Lives
As an interior designer, you'll spend a lot of time dealing with textiles. Fabrics, after all, cover the interior world—from bedding to window treatments to upholstery. In this lesson, you'll get an introduction to the various types of fibers available, as well as their various strengths and weaknesses, so that you can make the best selection for each application. After mastering the various types of textile goods, you'll take a closer look at where you'll be using these fabrics, starting with the various styles of bedding and pillows. You'll finish up the lesson with windows—or, more precisely, window treatments—and get some pointers on how to successfully design draperies that will beautifully frame the transition between your stunning interior design and nature's beauty of the outdoors.
Lesson 09 - Lights, Camera, Action!
Light is one of the most important elements, but also one of the trickiest ones to get right in an interior space. This lesson will explain the psychology behind good lighting design and help you create the right effect in your space while making it visually interesting without becoming overwhelming or flat and dull. You'll also become familiar with the various types of light fixtures available to use in your designs and learn how to select from the many types of artificial light sources available on the market today.
Lesson 10 - Design for All
With the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, barriers were literally removed, allowing a previously excluded population access to spaces meant for everyone. In this lesson, you'll explore how to incorporate some of the requirements of this act into the home, creating spaces that allow retirees to age gracefully in their homes. And for users with more specific disabilities, you'll learn how to adapt their spaces to allow them to maintain their independence through your design choices.
Lesson 11 - It's Not Easy Being Green
Increasingly, people in the world are becoming aware that humanity has limited resources at its disposal. Many in the interior design industry are pioneering new ways of designing that look at the life cycle of a product and consider the environmental implications. In this lesson, you'll learn about green design, which is the art of creating beautiful spaces that are efficient in their use of energy and natural resources. You'll learn about various types of green certification so that you aren't mislead by false claims and explore specific things you'll want to consider when dealing with certain types of products.
Lesson 12 - Taking Care of Business
In this lesson, the course culminates with practical advice on how to set up and run your own interior design business. You'll get some suggestions on how to set up your studio by determining the legal business structure, advice on how to look the part, and practical recommendations for outfitting your space. Then, you'll move on to the fine art of getting and serving clients, including suggestions on marketing yourself and setting your pricing structure so you can make money doing what you love. Finally, you'll receive some advice as you navigate the construction process with your contractors, clients, and vendors.