Why I Chose to Study Interior Design at KLC

Well hello!

I hope you are all starting to feel better now that January is over! My main goal for this year is to get an interior design qualification under my belt, so I thought I’d share with you why I made the decision to go with KLC, because there are a lot of options and I spent time deliberating (I started looking at courses this time last year!! (Award-winning procrastinator over here)). I was looking for a course that:

  • Wouldn’t break the bank (<£8,000)
  • Would be an in-depth, professional qualification, not just using a colour wheel and learning about FF&E (e.g. I wanted to learn technical skills like architectural drawing, CAD software and the business side of interior design)
  • Would be flexible (AKA part time / evenings / online)
  • Is respected in industry
  • Would make me employable

 

 

I had already made up my mind that the course needed to be flexible, and not a full BA. I already have a BA (in Classics!) so without government funding, a second one was way out of my price range. Sometimes I think that if I could have my time again, I would have studied interior design at uni the first time around, but it’s great that it’s still an accessible career option without a full degree. After a little Googling and digging around, I narrowed the options down to these five:

 

KLC

Inchbald

The Interior Design School (Queen’s Park)

National Design Academy

Central Saint Martins

 

They all have their merits, and the courses are all very different, so don’t just take my word for it – look at the course structures really well! Some cater for aspiring professionals, whilst others are better if you just want a better of the idea of the process ahead of a remodel.

After a lot of reading and tracking down some past students of the courses, I wrote off The Interior Design School and National Design Academy’s courses, as I got the impression that they were more for interior design as a hobby – lots about colour and furniture, fixtures, and equipment, but not so much of the technical aspects that I was looking for to set me up for professional work.

 

Interior design project mood board

 

That left KLC, Inchbald, and Central Saint Martins. All three of these institutions are very highly regarded in the industry, and have thorough, in-depth courses in interior design. They also offer flexible working and a selection of different courses to choose from. In the end, I chose KLC because their online certificate looked like the highest quality education for the best price and level of flexibility. I also see the name ‘KLC’ around more than either of the other options in the interiors industry. This sounds insanely stalker-y but I figured that a good way to see how some of London’s best interior designers got to where they are was to do some detective work on LinkedIn. KLC kept coming up again and again in people’s education history, so that was as good evidence as any to me that:

 

a) KLC is a prestigious name in the world of interiors

b) the education they provide is of a good standard

c) a qualification from them will make you employable

d) they are a preferred option for people retraining from other backgrounds

e) they have good industry connections

 

How to find your interior design style - create a vision board or moodboard

 

That essentially ticked all my boxes! It’s also handy that even if you opt for a completely online course, you can book supplementary discounted workshops at KLC for face-to-face help with technical aspects like sketching or CAD.

Although I spent a while considering the part time Certificate in Interior Design, I eventually settled on the online pathway. To be honest, it would have just been such a struggle making ends meet only working two days a week (west London rent whaduppp), and wouldn’t have left much time aside. I have complete control over my time with the online course, though 10 hours of work is week is recommended to complete the course in 15 months. *An important note here if you’re considering this online course* I have spoken to so many people who are two or three years into it, and they all have the same story: they started with lots of enthusiasm putting the hours in and gradually over time lost momentum / changed jobs and didn’t have as much time / other aspects of life got in the way which meant that the course got left by the wayside. It’s very easy to convince yourself that you’re different but I’m very conscious of how easily this could happen, and still trying to find ways to ensure that I keep on track with the work. (If anyone out there completed the course within the timeframe, please leave a comment below & tell us your secret!)

 

create an interior design mood / vision board

What’s in the course?

Pretty much everything you’d need to know to get into interior design by the looks! I’ve only got up to the sketching part of section 1, but I’m already very impressed with how rigorous it is. I don’t have any kind of art background, and have never been able to draw so I was pretty sceptical about how well I was going to be able to learn, especially on my own – but I’m pleasantly surprised! KLC assumes you are a complete beginner and starts with the fundamentals; whether to use a pen or pencil, how to make certain types of lines and imprints, and basic exercises to get you used to drawing and shading. A good sign of what’s to come! So here’s the course outline:

Section 1
  • Visual inspiration
  • Sketching
  • Technical drawing
  • Colour theory
Section 2
  • The Design Process
  • Concepts & Sampleboards
  • Textiles & Sourcing
  • Estimating Quantities
  • Technical Drawing: Sections
  • Rendering
  • Choosing Materials
Section 3
  • Lighting
  • Spatial Planning
  • Perspective Drawings
  • Building Construction
  • Bathrooms & Kitchens
  • The Evolution of Style
Section 4
  • Professional Practice
  • Presenting your ideas to clients
  • Beginning your career in Interior Design
  • Portfolios
  • Final Project

Have you guys ever studied or considered studying interior design? What are your experiences?

I’m going to review KLC and the course as I go along & share as much of the knowledge as possible – let’s learn together!

Rx

 

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16 Comments

    1. rosannaalicia

      Right!! It’s frustrating that there’s so much variation. And on the surface, it looks like many offer the same things, but when you dig a little deeper the difference is huge! I wonder whether they have it right in the states where you have to have a recognised professional qualification to call yourself an interior designer… But I guess that makes it a much less accessible option.

      1. Sofia

        If you consult the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) website they talk about how to know if the course is recognized and they even have a list that even though doesn’t include every single course it lists university and diploma courses. They also have a system called “pathway” where you can go from associate member to registered member through a system of evaluation that lasts a few years.

        And going back to the listed courses, the ones that offer diplomas full-time that are always mentioned (even by the president of BIID, Daniel Hopwood on his website) are KLC, Inchbald and The Interior Design School (the founder of this school Iris Dunbar was a past president of BIID).

        I have been researching a lot and I don’t think any of these courses is bad, but for sure KLC knows how to market what they offer a lot better. The fact that both KLC and Inchbald have their diplomas and BA validated and awarded by universities also sets them apart.

        Hope I helped!

  1. As someone who switched careers, I took some short courses at KLC before I took the plunge and undertook a full-time PgDip in Architectural Interior Design at Inchbald. I love how who you really worked through the pro’s and con’s of each provider to see what worked for you. I look forward to hearing more about your studies

    1. rosannaalicia

      How did you find the Inchbald course Mary? And if you don’t mind me asking, what did you do before…? It always fascinates me to know what people did in previous lives! Rx

    2. Sofia

      I also would like to know your experience on Inchbald:) It’s very difficult to capture on what they differ in substance. KLC is better at marketing but I wonder the depth and quality of the course especially when working on concepts and construction knowledge. I read several posts of the course director, Alan Hughes and really liked his take on interior design. Also, even if I don’t necessarily like their aesthetic, I find the work of professionals who studied at Inchbald’s more interesting and these are designers who work as far away as Australia.

      And the classroom studio? How is it like?
      So many questions:D

  2. I am excited for you, seems like you have done your research. I was considering the KLC some time ago but just was not ready to take the final plunge. After having a deep conversation with my friend who works for years as an interior designer and having chat with few other interior designers I have finally decided that this is not what I am looking for. Good luck with your study, wishing you best of luck x

  3. Looks like a really thorough course and great that you can do it all online. I’d love to do a course in interior design too but nothing as in depth as you as I don’t want to work as an interior designer. I’d just like to learn for my own enjoyment. Good luck with it!

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