How often do you watch a home improvement TV show and daydream about walking in your favourite interior designers’ shoes? That dream can become a reality faster than you may think. You don’t have to pay for years of college tuition; you can enrol in an online course and develop your artistic talent from the comfort of your home.
The following online platforms feature affordable interior design courses that don’t require a bachelor’s degree or other qualifications. You only need your computer or laptop, dedication, a dose of creativity, and a thirst for knowledge.
Coursera collaborates with many schools and universities to provide online interior design courses, including Stanford, Columbia, Yale, and IE Business School. You can also find free online classes and materials from Autodesk, Google, and other companies.
The platform offers guided projects by Coursera Project Network (starting at $9.99 per month and available only in North America). They include bite-sized, split-screen videos with step-by-step instructions and are perfect for gaining hands-on experience.
Additionally, you can enrol in specialized courses (starting at $39.99 per month) to gain in-depth knowledge of desired subjects.
Udemy offers free and paid online courses on nearly every subject, including interior design. The prices vary but are pretty low for most content (starting at $13.99), and you can snatch frequent discounts.
Udemy’s top benefits are real-time course updates, a Q&A tool for instructor support, and exclusive Facebook groups to learn from avid interior designers like yourself and ask for honest, constructive feedback. The lectures are short; you can fit them into your busy schedule and gain practical skills daily.
The Interior Design Institute (IARC- and BAC-accredited) offers self-guided learning and one-on-one tutoring. The coursework includes 12 modules, which you can complete at your own pace (six months is the average time, but you can study for a year).
You can learn from leading interior designers, access online workshops, connect with learners in an exclusive Facebook group, and get a complimentary website portfolio.
This platform is more expensive than others on this list (the pricing starts at $999). However, you gain advanced interior design skills and an internationally recognized certificate, making every dime worth it.
LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda) provides over 2,000 interior design video courses, among other subjects. They cater to everyone, from beginners to advanced learners, and differ in duration and various software solutions you can master.
You can learn about 3D rendering, 3D animation, CAD, photography, architecture, and other interior design fields. You only need to pay for a monthly subscription of $39.99 or $26.99 (annual plan), but you can get a one-month free trial and cancel anytime.
MasterClass offers pre-recorded lectures and tutorials by industry experts. You can find courses by Corey Damen Jenkins and Kelly Wearstler, some of the leading interior designers who can teach you how to design fantastic interiors on any budget.
This platform is perfect for those just dipping their toes into interior design. You won’t get a certificate, but you’ll gain the knowledge you need to start this exciting journey. You must subscribe for a year, but the $180 membership will give you unlimited access to all classes.
Skillshare is similar to LinkedIn Learning but more affordable. For a monthly subscription of $32 (or $14 with an annual plan), you can access hundreds of courses with educational videos for learners of all skill levels.
The courses combine bite-sized and lengthy videos and offer materials for architecture, CAD, 3D modelling, 3D rendering, home décor, and other interior design fields.
The New York Institute of Art and Design (NYIAD) is an accredited online school where you can earn an interior design certificate, among others. You can become a professional in as little as 18 months, studying at your own pace and learning from experts who will provide you with one-on-one feedback. The program fees start at $849.
The NYIAD has accreditation from the New York State Education Department and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Completing its course gets you preapproval for the Residential Interior Design Qualification Certification (RIDQC) exam. Not every state requires it, but it’s an excellent addition to your resume and an extra step for advancing your career.
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a free online collection of top-notch educational materials available to the public. You can find nearly all MIT course content on the platform, including interior design videos for a hands-on experience.
You can rarely find a free source with as many valuable interior design lectures as MIT OCW offers, including 3D modelling, design styles and principles, and software solutions like AutoCAD and SketchUp. You can also benefit from various certificate programs perfect for learning the ins and outs of this exciting field.
Domestika offers affordable online interior design courses ($10–$40) by professionals who provide a high-quality online learning experience. They thoroughly explain the basics and advanced concepts to help you acquire practical skills and create unique spaces.
Many share DIY techniques to bring spaces to life, while others delve deeper into the colour theory, textiles, interior decorating, 3D modelling, architectural visualization, and other subjects. Stay tuned for frequent discounts and create course bundles to save more.
The National Design Academy (NDA) is a UK design school that welcomes everyone and offers internationally recognized online courses for aspiring interior designers. You can earn an online diploma, a bachelor’s degree, or a master’s degree with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) accreditation.
You can choose from flexible and fast-track online learning with the institution’s Zoom courses, leveraging interactive videos, lectures, quizzes, and other materials. A personal tutor is available anytime, and you can access many valuable resources, including previous students’ visualizations and other work.
NDA tuition fees vary for different diplomas and degrees, but discounts and Progression Scholarships are available to all students.
Although some of the platforms above are free, their paid counterparts are just as valuable. We recommend diving into the former to get the hang of interior design before choosing one or more of the latter. You can’t put a price on knowledge and proper certification that will help you embark on your thrilling journey and springboard you to success.