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Written by:
Martin Barrett
Last Updated:
Best Online Interior Design Schools

5 Best Online Interior Design Schools For Beginners of 2023

There are plenty of reasons to get into interior decorating. For a start, it’s a promising industry with plenty of chances for you to do some high-profile, well-paid work.

On top of that, it’s something that’s very creative and pleasing to do, and you can even dress up your own home as a result. 

However, not everyone is able to afford the tuition at the typical schools you would normally study interior design.

Many of us also don’t have the time, because we’ve got jobs to attend to. So what can you do?

Online interior design schools!

Internet learning is becoming increasingly popular in the world because the massive platform of the internet allows people from all over the world to study and learn just about anything.

This is no different when it comes to interior design, where there are countless great online interior design courses available online to take.

But how can you find the one that’s going to be best for you?

Thankfully, we’ve done the world for you! In our detailed guide below, we’re going to show you the best interior design schools.

With each one, we’ve got an explanation of what it offers and why it’s a good choice. Read on!

1. New York School Of Interior Design 

We’re starting our list of the best interior design schools with the New York School of Interior Design, which is a college geared towards educating students on the detailed world of interior decoration design.

Though many attend the school in person, it also has an impressive online learning platform that allows students to learn wherever they are in the world. 

You might worry that this delivers you a half-as-good substitute for the in-person experience, but that’s not true.

NYSID’s online interior design courses give you all the depth and interaction of an onsite class, while also offering you the flexibility that you just can’t get when you’re attending in person. 

With their online interior design courses, you’ll still watch lectures, as well as participate in discussion boards with fellow students and interact with teachers whenever you need assistance.

On top of that, you’ll also complete assignments, where you can put your new knowledge to use.

Online Learning — New York School of Interior Design
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The Courses

NYSID offers two different ways to learn online, and you can pick whichever suits your life and your schedule best.

The first option is “self-paced”, where you take your individual online classes and watch pre-recorded lectures whenever you have the time.

You still get weekly assignments to complete and need to log in weekly too, but it’s the most flexible option.

The other choice is “Real-Time”, which more accurately reflects in-person learning.

This is because you join in actual on-site lessons via a video conference, which allows you to study alongside other students and ask questions whenever they come to you.

They also have four different online Interior Design courses to take.

The Basic Interior Design Certificate Program is the simplest one, introducing you to the world of interior design and teaching you about textiles, color, and more.

After that, you’ve got the Associate online interior design course, where you learn about interior design history and look at graphic communication skills, among other areas. 

There are two Master’s courses, one being in Sustainable Interior Environments and the other being in Lighting Design.

With the first, you will learn all about the best practices of design that is sustainable, while the second will teach you all about how you light interiors properly.

It’s great that you have this choice of areas, meaning that students learn about whatever specific part of interior design you want to pursue. 

In Summary

  • Range of areas to study
  • Choice of learning styles
  • Flexible learning

Check out the New York School Of Interior Design online courses here

2. National Design Academy

The National Design Academy has been teaching its craft for over 30 years, which means that its interior design courses have become finely honed and full of knowledge.

They teach a range of different types of design, like gardening and landscaping, but interior design is one of their key areas.

You don’t need any entry requirements to study here, just a passion for learning about interior design.

Their online interior design courses are flexible, too, which means that you can structure them around your commitments – and you can do either full-time or part-time.

The Courses

They use a Virtual Learning Studio to offer their online interior design courses, which have been specially designed to be flexible and easy to use.

Rather than just providing you with lectures like other online interior design courses, it gives you lectures, videos, quizzes, and more.

This makes the teaching a bit more engaging and interactive, helping it to really stick in the mind.

For their Masters’s in interior design, you’ll study six modules.

Across these, you’ll learn how to stay up to date with interior design trends (and be able to predict where they may be going), how to do research, the kinds of technology that is commonly used for interior design, and how to interior design for different cultures.

On top of that, you’ll also complete a design project yourself, which can then be a part of your professional portfolio to secure your work after graduating. 

In Summary

  • Engaging and interactive online learning
  • Different levels of degree
  • For the Master, learn about research, trends, technology, and more

Check out the National Design Academy online interior design courses here

3. The Interior Design Institute

The online interior design course from the Interior Design Institute is entirely provided online, which means that it’s completely geared towards remote learning and flexibility.

Their key online courses contain 12 modules and 12 assignments, one for each, putting your new knowledge to the test.

They expect you to put in about 4 to 6 hours each week, and it’s spread across 24 weeks. With that being said, you can take longer to complete it. 

The Course

Best Online Interior Design Schools

The main online interior design course that The Interior Design Institute offers is taught through engaging videos, which cover all kinds of different areas of interior design which you can then put to good use.

On top of these videos, you’ll also be able to take part in online workshops that are headed up by industry experts, which means that you’ll be getting tried and tested information from long and successful interior design careers.

There is also a Facebook group that you’ll get to be part of, which contains more than 20,000 other students from all over the world.

This is a great resource for asking questions and sharing knowledge, with all of you helping each other.

On top of that, it’s a place to make connections, and network with new people that could lead to interior design opportunities in the future. 

You’ll also get a free website portfolio, which can show off your work in the online interior design course.

It’s essential to have an interior design portfolio for yourself so that you can show clients what you’re capable of, and this provides you with one.

They also offer an extra video “Masterseries”, which is taught by Darren Palmer, a famous designer, and TV personality. This offers even more expert insight into the world of interior design.

In Summary

  • Interior Design Education Videos
  • Online workshops with experts
  • Facebook group of 20,000 students
  • Free website portfolio

Check out The Interior Design Institute online interior design course here

4. Interior Design Courses on Udemy

If you’ve never used Udemy before, then it’s an enormous online platform filled with interior design courses in every area that you might think of.

Whatever you want to learn about, you should be able to find a handful of different interior design courses about it on Udemy.

This is especially the case when it comes to interior design courses, which is why it’s one of the best places to get online teaching on that.

However, it can be difficult to narrow the countless results down, because you’ll want to find the best and most detailed ones.

Although there are lots of best online interior design courses on it, especially for beginners, you’re going to get the most educational value out of the huge variety of paid courses.

However, since they cost money, you’ll want to make sure that you’re only buying access to the very best and most relevant ones.

The Courses

There are loads to choose from, so we’ll highlight some of the best. 

One of the most popular is by Erikka Fogleman, and it teaches you how to work with different interior design styles.

It’s six hours long, with 42 different lectures, so you’re getting a lot for a reasonable price. It teaches you 18 of the key interior design styles that are used in modern homes, perfectly preparing you for work.

It’ll tell you about the most common patterns and materials, as well as how to pick the right color schemes, floors, and window coverings for the key styles.

Fogleman hosts another popular course, “How To Design A Room In 10 Easy Steps”. It delivers  36 lectures in two hours, and it tells you how to design any interior with just a collection of steps.

It’ll teach you how to pick your own personal style, make a color scheme personalized to you, and layer your lighting to give your room a great atmosphere.

Alisa Connely offers an interior design course that gives you an A-Z system for the interior design of your home, and it contains 74 lectures across 4 hours.

It teaches you the 8 key design styles in modern homes and the items that you should use for each style.

On top of that, you’ll learn about using the right colors and how to disperse them, as well as how to decorate a range of important interior areas: mantles, tables, bookcases, shelves, and more.

In Summary

  • Huge range of course
  • Free and paid courses
  • Erikka Fogleman hosts a massive range of courses, all popular
  • Affordable

Check out the Interior Design courses on Udemy here.

 5. British College Of Interior Design 

We’re finishing our list of the best online interior design schools with the British College of Interior Design, which offers a course of 12 tutorials, which are sent every one or two weeks.

You can spend up to a year on the course, which means that the learning is flexible and you can fit it in around any other commitments you have.

At the end of it, you’ll earn an interior design certificate.

Although it’s a British college, the fact that it’s online means that people can take it from anywhere in the world, making it easily accessible. 

The Course

This interior design program is designed specially to give its online students the professional qualifications and knowledge to go out and succeed in their interior design careers.

This is partly because it’s taught by an industry professional, who has a proven track record in the interior design world and therefore knows what succeeds and what doesn’t. 

Across the tutorials, you’ll learn all about the theories of interior design programs.

With these theories in mind, you’ll be able to apply them to professional practice interior design work in the future, knowing what will work and what won’t. 

The course also looks at the practical, everyday work of an interior designer.

This includes actions like marketing your interior design service to potential clients, keeping your clients happy and giving them what they need, and how to get paid for your work.

Almost everyone has an interior, which means that everywhere is filled with potential interior design clients. 

It’s very handy that the course teaches you about the more practical side of things, as well as the theory because it will teach you how to really turn your skills into a business rather than just a hobby. 

In Summary

  • 12 tutorials to complete
  • Industry professional teacher
  • Teaches theory 
  • Tells you how to run your business and market your work

Check out the British College Of Interior Design course here

Picking An Interior Design School

As you can see, there are lots of different and top interior design schools and core courses to choose from. When you’re looking for the ones that are right for you, you’ll want to consider a range of factors.

Flexible

One of the biggest benefits of online courses and remote learning, in general, is that you’re able to do it wherever you want.

This means that information isn’t limited to just the people who live nearest to the place where it’s taught, because it’s instead taught…well, everywhere! 

With this accessibility comes an idea of flexibility too. If you’re looking into learning professionally about interior design programs, and you’re not going to a university to study it, then chances are you’ve got a life and other commitments to get on with.

As a result, your studying is going to be something you fit in on a regular basis each week, around your job and other priorities. 


For this reason, it’s best to find an online interior design school that is flexible and allows you to choose when you do the work. 

Free Or Paid

A lot of the best interior design schools we’ve looked at have been paid, especially the ones that are at colleges and academies.

However, there are also some interior design programs that you can get for free over the internet, from platforms like Udemy or Future Learn.

However, it’s understandably going to be the case that the paid course and schools offer you teaching that is going to be much more in-depth than the free platforms.

There is a reason that you’re paying for the services, and that’s because you’re going to be given access to better teaching, interior design industry professional teachers, more thorough lessons, and graded assignments. 

Some courses or schools will cost more than others, and not everybody is going to have the money to afford some of the most expensive ones.

However, it’s important not to lose sight of your interior design programs dream, because you’ll still be able to get great teaching at affordable prices from a range of other online places.

Subject Areas

With many of the best online interior design schools, your course will touch on just about everything you need for interior design programs, covering all subject areas.

However, you might find that other courses only cover specific parts. If you only want to focus on one certain subject area, then it’s best to find a course or school tailored to that.

Practical Planning

You’re probably going to want to turn your interior design interest into a profession, so it’s a good idea to find a school that teaches you about the practicalities of a professional interior designer’s life. 

You’ll want to learn about building a portfolio, marketing your services to clients, meeting client expectations, and charging for your work. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Interior Design Without A Degree?

You don’t have to have an interior design degree to do the job, but having some sort of qualifications can help. On top of that, you’ll want to have studied the craft in-depth.

Final Thoughts

Online interior design schools are a great way to become an interior designer – use our guide to find the best ones!

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