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:
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.
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
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!)
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:
- Visual inspiration
- Technical drawing
- Colour theory
- The Design Process
- Concepts & Sampleboards
- Textiles & Sourcing
- Estimating Quantities
- Technical Drawing: Sections
- Choosing Materials
- Spatial Planning
- Perspective Drawings
- Building Construction
- Bathrooms & Kitchens
- The Evolution of Style
- Professional Practice
- Presenting your ideas to clients
- Beginning your career in Interior Design
- 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!