It is very common that at the end of our holidays, back to our job and routine we start wondering if it really makes us happy or not at all. Probably, you have been tempted for a while to switch your career into the interior design industry and question how to start. The most important thing, it is actually realise how much this job is made for you and if it is something that you are willing to commit to in the long term. There is a bit of confusion about the role of an interior designer (I will go in depth about it in another article), to summarise it an interior designer takes in a brief from a client and then will try to find the best solution to optimise the space, considering the different functions, needs and wishes of the client. To reach this result, the interior designer will create a cohesive and appealing scheme with a specific style and colour palette, strategic lighting and eventually through renovation works. It is a job that requires great communication skills to present your ideas, an eye for detail, creativity and to master many different software. As it is a very articulate and complex job, education is crucial to keep up with the technologies and all the other competitors out there. With these top schools, your career change will be smoother no matter which background, age or skills you have. All you have to do to become an interior designer is start somewhere!
1. KLC School of Design
KLC has been teaching Interior Design and Garden Design courses in London for almost 20 years. This is my school where I am at the moment enrolled at the Online Foundation Degree. Before to enroll, I did a deep research among schools in Europe and USA and for me this is the best school. They offer vocational courses, meaning that they are less academic and more job-focused, at different levels starting from Certificate and Diploma of Higher Education to Bachelor's Degree. All courses can be done part-time online or full-time onsite which is the greatest advantage of KLC courses. The full-time courses will get you into the industry faster and you will have the great advantage of studying right in the heart of the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour with all the showrooms and suppliers right at the doorstep of KLC. On the other hand, the online part-time courses fit very well around another part-time job or family commitments. The Diploma HE and the BA are validated by the University of Brighton which is extremely useful for someone looking to achieve a more conventional degree with the professionalism and dedication of a vocational institution.
This is the first private school established in London in 1960. Like KLC it is a vocational school offering different courses from short ones to even Master´s Degree in Architectural Interior Design. This school has also the great advantage of a vast alumni that it is always very handy when stepping out of the classroom environment. I would say that it is very similar to KLC in teaching method, although if I were located in London, I would definitely dream of heading to the Design Centre every day and choose therefore KLC instead.
3. IED (Istituto Europeo Design)
Established in Milan, the capital of excellent Italian design, a private University offering courses in different disciplines: Fashion, Communication, Visual Arts and Design. They have schools in Spain, Italy and Brazil. In Florence and Milan you can study a One Year course in Interior Design in English and in Barcelona and Milan you can study full-time Undergraduate level in 3 years with an additional year for an internship period. This course is more academical than the two previously mentioned, with the great advantage of classes of Rhino and 3D Max, very advanced 3D software and even a basic preparation in product design. If you study in Milan, you will attend the amazing Salone del Mobile, the international fair of design where designers, architects, manufactures, established brands and anyone involved in this fantastic industry will connect in the same territory for a week of inspiring events and networking.
4. Istituto Marangoni
Like IED, Istituto Marangoni is also a private school established in Milan with University level courses in Fashion, Art and Design. This was the school of Domenico Dolce - D&G and Franco Moschino. The school offers a one year course in English in Milan and BA level courses in Florence, Milan and London. The course in London is validated by Manchester University. Although this school's reputation is very thigh to the fashion world, the interior design courses are extremely valid and cover all aspects of interior design: residential, commercial, retail, exhibition, restaurant/bars, hospitality and schools.
5. Accademia Italiana
Another multidisciplinary private school offering a one year course, Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Interior Design in Rome and Florence in English. This school is very international and very well organized with a career centre able to assist you to launch your new career into the industry and inspiring seminars with professionals and experts.
I hope this article will help you deciding to step into your new career as Interior Designer. It is certainly not easy to change pathway and adventure into something new, although with the great preparation that any of these schools provide, I am sure that the switch will be easier and filled with great memories, inspiring classmates and tutors that will become new friendship along the way.
Do not hesitate to contact for any question about education, this profession or any curiosity you may have.
Good luck with your career change!