What use is your home if it doesn’t reflect your personality?
Interior design works towards creating inviting, practical beautiful spaces that enhance our experiences and our living spaces.
However, design is far more complex than just having a knack for practical knowledge that what should go where.
Of course, having a natural instinct for design is a great start, but you’ll need to put yourself through some far more complex training if you want to make a career out of it.
If you’re ready to turn your natural instincts for design into a career, why not test the water first with these free courses on interior design?
What Is Interior Design?
Before we give you access to plenty of fun, comprehensive resources to kickstart your learning journey with, let’s go back to basics.
What is interior design? If you’re here, this may seem like a pretty basic question.
However, many people don’t quite understand the complexity of the job, and even you may be underestimating the exact skills and requirements needed to become an interior designer.
In simple terms, interior designers design and create functional and attractive indoor spaces for their clients using a broad range of skills and materials.
However, the reality is far more complex. This role is pretty multidimensional and complex.
Your job will involve a series of responsibilities, starting off with providing accurate, reliable advice in either (or both) commercial and residential sectors.
You’ll be able to provide people with thorough final design concepts, proposals for space planning, material specifications, and detailed coordinates to guide a project through to completion.
Some of the more specific duties carried out by interior designers can include:
- Creating 2D or 3D design plans
- Supplying timelines and product schedules
- Be the point of contact for any contractors and constructors on site
- Consulting with architects and trade specialists to get the job done
- Providing advice on how to layout the interior, maximize space, and propose any relevant configurations.
As an interior designer, your main goal will be to create a functional, accessible environment that’s safe and practical.
Free Interior Design Courses
Ready to kickstart your interior design journey?
If you’re looking for some completely-free taster courses, check out our list of the best free interior design courses below.
First up, we have The Complete Sketchup and Vray Course for Interior Design by Udemy.
This bestselling course allows its students to become experts in modeling, post-production, and rendering with tools like Photoshop, Vray, and Sketchup – all in just under seven hours.
Although this course comes with a price tag, you can study it completely free with a free trial of Udemy’s personal plan.
When you enroll in this course, you’ll benefit from lifetime unlimited access so that you can come back to it whenever you feel like it!
This course is a great starting block for budding interior designers, and it’ll walk you through some of the most important skills in beginner interior design, including:
- Learning how to use Sketchup plugins to model
- Become an accomplished Sketchup user, and learn the skills needed to model rooms faster and more efficiently
- Understand the standards and different styles of interior design required to create an appealing and functional space
- Develop your skills by learning from real-life apartment projects. Watch as your instructor’s design bedrooms, furniture, kitchens, or different rooms and try it for yourself
- Create other interiors like curtains, pillows, and blankets with different Sketchup plugins
- With the help of these courses, you can start your own interior design business
Although this course is aimed at interior designers, it’s also suitable for hobbyists, those working in construction, architects, students, and more.
Your course will be divided into six different projects, which are:
- Project 1: Vray 6 for Sketchup | Living Room Masterclass
- Project 2: Model & Render a Photorealistic Chich Bedroom with Vray 5 and Sketchup
- Project 3: Modelling a Contemporary Bedroom (Sketchup 2020 and Vray Next)
- Project 4: Model & Render a Swing Wardrobe with Sketchup & Vray Next
- Project 5: Design & Render a Modular Kitchen with Sketchup 2020 & Vray Next
- Project 6: Design & Render a Contemporary Bathroom with Vray 4 & Sketchup 2020
There’s also an additional bonus project, which us:
- Project 7: Model & Render a Living Room Scene with Vray 5 & Sketchup 2021
- Thorough and detailed course, with a helpful and concise instructor
- No previous experience is needed to take the course
- Plenty of videos, quizzes, and resource sheets to learn from
- Self-paced, so you can dip in and out of the course at any time
- Only free with the free trial
- Some videos are too short, and less experienced users may struggle to understand more complex concepts
Next on our list is Interior Design Fundamentals, offered by the Home Design Institute.
This free course is aimed at anyone looking to break into the world of interior design.
You don’t need any prior knowledge to get started, but even if you are already experienced, you may still learn a thing or two.
Even if you just want to learn interior design so you can re-decorate your own home, this course is ideal if you need an introduction to, or a refresher on, interior design basics.
With this course, you’ll learn essential skills such as…
- What color schemes work together
- What right furniture to use in different rooms
- The history of interior design
- Tips for organizing your interior space with different storage solutions
- Learn how lighting can affect the mood of a room
- Learn the basics of dimensions and zoning
- Learn how to use linear dimensions, and how to create zones and use furniture in the popular interior design software Sketchup
- Create a simple project of a room in Sketchup (can be a living room, kitchen, or bedroom)
This course will take you 15 hours to complete, and you’ll learn some of the most fundamental skills required to begin your interior design journey.
Although this course is completely free to take, if you want to get the online interior design courses certificate, you’ll need to pay 49.00 EUR for it.
However, it’s up to you whether you do this.
Unless you’re after a certificate to show off to future employers, it’s not necessary, and you’ll still learn a lot from the course!
The free interior design classes are broken down into five lectures. Each lecture has three study hours, with one study hour being 45 minutes long.
You’ll have to attend classes twice a week, meaning your course will take just over two weeks to complete.
Unlike some free online courses, Interior Design Fundamentals is NOT self-paced. This means you’ll have to stick to the study schedule like glue.
However, you’ll benefit from real-time classrooms with live lectures, where you can ask questions, talk about homework, take practical tasks, and get instant feedback from your lecturer and peers.
- Set study schedule and live lectures, so you can ask questions and get feedback in real-time
- Learn the history of interior design, basic principles, and practical skills all in one course
- Become familiar with Sketchup
- Take practical tasks and complete your own project room at the end of the course
- This is not a self-paced course, and the set study schedule may be restricting for some students
Now, let’s take a look at the Interior Design (Short Course) by the Oxford Home Study Centre.
This course comes with exceptional reviews, and thousands of students have already signed up to make the most of this free online interior design course.
Side note: The Oxford Home Study Centre also offers a few other free interior design courses – feel free to check them out!
Although there are a few interior design courses for your own home to choose from, we thought it would be best to start with the most basic course.
This is a great foundation course for those already working in the interior design industry or those looking to branch out into a new career in interior design.
This short course is open to anyone (experienced or not), and it’ll take you around 20 hours to complete.
Unlike our previous course from the Home Design Institute, this course is completely self-paced, and the start date is ongoing, so you can enroll and study whenever you feel like it.
This course introduces some of the most basic principles and concepts in interior design, including:
- Introduction to an professional interior designer role and what the profession entails
- The history and development of interior design
- How the profession is divided into different divisions
- Understanding client and designer relationships
- The most important considerations for a design scheme
- Function, mood, and style
- The basic principles of interior design decoration g
- Human dimensions
- How to create balance and harmony
- Understand contrast and rhythm
We’d recommend this course for those considering a career in interior design.
This introductory course doesn’t get bogged down in any of the complex technical skills. Instead, it introduces the most basic principles in an easy way.
Although you won’t be able to take a practical task, this course does include plenty of resources to help you learn, including videos, quizzes, informational sheets, and more.
Because it’s free online course and self-paced, there’s also no cost, commitment, or risk to worry about – in other words, why wouldn’t you?!
Here are some of the pros and cons of this interior design short course:
- Self-paced, and enrollment is ongoing, so you can sign up and dip in and out of studying whenever you feel like it
- Introduces the most basic concepts without the more technical aspects, such as learning how to use software
- Completely free online course, and you won’t have to pay to get your certificate
- Course materials are high-quality and simple to understand, even for beginners
- This course may not be suitable for individuals looking to learn more basic techniques
- Not all employers recognize these certificates
Interior Design Courses: What To Consider?
Although there are more free interior design courses popping up all the time, we’ll be honest – at the minute, the options are limited.
The main issue is with quality – not all interior design courses are of a consistently high standard, and it can be challenging to find an interior design skills course that is as comprehensive as paid courses.
However, there are still several options to choose from, with the list above including some of our personal favorites.
If you’re currently in the process of searching for a free interior design course, here are a few things to consider:
- What Do You Want to Learn? This question may seem a little basic, but think about it – do you want to master interior design software, or do you want a gentle introduction to the basic principles? Consider your answer, and choose your course accordingly.
- Do You Want a Certificate? Do you want or need a certificate? Not all free courses provide certificates, and even if they do, there’s no guarantee they’ll be accredited by your employer. However, if you want guaranteed accreditation, you may need to think about enrolling in a paid course.
- How Much Time Can You Spare? Most online interior design courses won’t take you any longer than 20 hours; however, not all of them are self-paced. Consider your schedule and how much time you have to spare, and see whether a structured or self-paced course would be better for you.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to change your career path, take up a new hobby, or simply learn a course to pass the time, these free online interior design courses are varied, exciting, and worth the time.
With no course fees to worry about, there’s very little risk involved.
If you end up not liking your course, you can simply leave it and not return without the worry of wasting money.
If you’re considering a career in interior design, we recommend taking one of these free online courses first.
Learn the fundamentals, get a taste of the field, and get a glimpse of what your future career can be like – completely free!