Program Overview

The places we live and work affect us deeply. They can influence our moods and create harmony. These days, the designs of the spaces we inhabit are reflections of ourselves. If you’re interested in leaving your personal and creative mark on the physical spaces of the world, the Interior Decorating program will help you design a career that matches your passions.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Diploma
60 weeks
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2023 September
2024 September
Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2023 September

Your Learning Experience

Fanshawe's Interior Decorating program combines in-class studies that will inspire your creativity with an array of practical experiences where you will apply your knowledge. Graduate career-ready with an innovative creativity and knowledge of decorating techniques and products valued by employers in many segments of the home decor industry.


Study space planning, colour theory, material selection, design fundamentals, presentation techniques and illustration and visual merchandising. You’ll also learn critical business skills like professional communication, personal marketing and sales. Courses are delivered in lecture, studio and lab formats, as well as in the hands-on studio environment where you’ll work on 2- and 3-dimensional projects with our industry-trained professional faculty. During two paid co-op work terms, you'll gain the hands-on industry experience employers are looking for, further developing your professional portfolio. 


Interior Decorating is a two-year Ontario College Diploma program designed to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for a career in one of the many segments of the residential interior decorating field. Students will study the fundamentals of interior decorating, including space planning, colour theory, material selection, kitchen and bath design and visual merchandising. Students will build interpersonal, communication, sales, business and marketing skills. Drawing, presentation and drafting techniques (both manual and computer-aided) will be developed. Courses are delivered in lecture, studio and lab formats; the hands-on studio environment allows the student to work on 2D and 3D projects in close contact with their professor. 


The Interior Decorating program is recognized by The Designers Association of Canada (CDECA), the national organization of professional interior decorators and designers.


Co-op Opportunities & Career Information

Co-op Opportunities 

The Interior Decorating program offers a cooperative education component, which provides students the opportunity to gain invaluable first-hand workplace experience in their chosen field. Here are some of the co-op jobs that have kick-started the careers of Interior Decorating students before even graduating! 

Staging and Design Assistant
Creating attractive and functional spaces designed to increase market value of residential or commercial properties.

Colour Specialist
Creating paint, window treatment and flooring colour solutions to meet a client’s goals.

Décor Consultant
Draw on product knowledge and decor theory to help clients select individual items such as furniture, accessories and lighting to meet their decorating goals.

For more information regarding co-op, please check out our co-op site or contact the Co-op Office at to connect with a consultant.


Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Interior Decorating program may find employment in retail sales of furniture, drapery, lighting, flooring, paint and other related products or as a decor consultant in a retail or showroom setting. Other opportunities include kitchen and bath design and sales, home staging, visual merchandising, product representation and decorating specification for new home construction. Many graduates have plans to open their own retail or consulting business.


Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here are some examples of career opportunities for graduates of Fanshawe’s Interior Decorating program:

Interior Decorator
Help customers choose the right furniture and accessories for their home or cottage.

Design Consultant
Create inviting showroom displays and assist residential and commercial clients by recommending functional and aesthetic home finishing selections that are suited to their tastes and needs.

Design Drafter
Create and revise floor plans, 3D drawings and elevation drawings for cabinet design.

Program Progression

Fall Intake





Year 1

Level 1

Level 2

Work Term

Year 2

Level 3

Level 4

Work Term 2




This program is accredited by Co-operative Education and Work Integrated Learning Canada. This accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for co-operative education programs in Canada, and recognizes Fanshawe's commitment to excellence.

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Analyze client's needs and goals to create a decorating solution.
  2. Evaluate the effectiveness of the completed decorating project based on the specific requirements of the client.
  3. Communicate using a variety of formats (such as verbal, written, visual, and digital) to describe the decorating concept to the client and contractors.
  4. Assess and select materials and finishes to be used in the decorating project, to meet the needs of the client.
  5. Prepare technical documents as necessary for the implementation of the final decorating solution.
  6. Collaborate with a variety of design and decorating professionals and other industry specialists for the implementation of the decorating solution.
  7. Employ customer relationship management practices to maintain a positive reputation as an interior decorator that will encourage repeat business or referrals.
  8. Employ project management to manage the time, resources and costs required to implement the decorating solution to meet the needs of the client.
  9. Adhere to industry standard codes, regulations and by-laws when creating a decorating solution.
  10. Employ environmentally responsible and sustainable practices in the selection of materials and products used in the decorating solution.


Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Julie McIntyre


Admission Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD), or equivalent, or a mature applicant with the following course:

- Grade 11 or 12 Math (C, M or U)

Students who do not meet these requirements are recommended for academic upgrading. A conditional offer may be possible with proof of enrolment.

International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

English Language Requirements

Test Score
IELTS Academic Overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands
CAEL Overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands. score of 80 in listening
PTE Academic 53
Cambridge English Overall score of 169 with no language skill less than 162
ESL4/GAP5 Minimum grade of 80% in Level 8, 75% in Level 9, or 70% in Level 10
Duolingo Overall score of 105, with no score lower than 95


Learn More about English Language Requirements

Recommended Academic Preparation

Recommended Academic Preparation

  • Grade 11 Visual Arts (M) or (O) OR Grade 12 Visual Arts (M)
  • Grade 12 Business and Technological Communication (O)
  • Grade 11 Housing and Home Design (O)
  • Grade 11 Entrepreneurship: The Enterprising Person (O)
  • Grade 11 Marketing: Goods, Services, Events (C)
  • Grade 12 Foundations for College Mathematics (C)
Applicant Selection Criteria

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:
  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements


Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
WRIT-1036Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design3
This course introduces students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.
DESG-1054Decorating Studio 15
This one semester course is delivered on-campus in face to face classes. In a project-oriented format, the student is first introduced to residential interior space, furnishings, style and finishes. Emphasis is placed on basic design elements and principles as they relate to interior decorating. This course will draw upon skills learned in concurrent courses and apply them to real-life projects. Basic planning and presentation techniques will be introduced and reinforced.
DRAF-1054Working Drawings2.5
This one semester course is designed to develop the basic drafting and drawing interpretation skills needed by the Interior Decorator. It will introduce all drawing views and techniques required to present a decorating concept, with emphasis placed on precision and accuracy. Students will learn to read and extract information from working drawing packages produced by other professionals.
GRAF-1054Composition & Presentation2
This one semester course develops the presentation and visual communication skills needed by the Interior Decorator. A variety of projects will focus on basic sketch and drawing techniques with emphasis on promoting client understanding of the decorator's concept. Students will build on Studio and Working Drawings knowledge and improve their use of the MagnaPlanner tool with supplemental details and sketches. A variety of preparation and presentation techniques for finish samples will be studied and practiced. Students will learn to effectively illustrate their design concepts using a variety of drawing views and professional methods. Composition, three-dimensional understanding, and professional craftsmanship will be emphasized.
DESG-1105Design Fundamentals2
This course covers basic design theory. Students are introduced to a variety of design fundamentals through lectures and 'hands-on' 2D and 3D assignments. Students will expand their visual perception by analyzing the fundamental principles and elements of design and their relationship to interior design and interior decorating.
MATS-1022Materials 13
This one semester course combines online delivery with on-campus evaluation (quizzes and tests). The course teaches the basic math & dimensioning principles required to measure, estimate and cost interior decorating materials. Accurate site dimensioning, measurement conversion and calculation methods for a wide variety of material applications are learned and practiced. Both Imperial and Metric systems will be used, including conversion between systems.
DESG-1082Professional Practice 12
Professional Practice 1 introduces students to the many aspects of the Interior Decorating industry. Wide variety of career employment directions and related professional organizations will be discussed. Students will also prepare for the employment process by identifying skills, researching and presenting their findings to the class. Microsoft Office will be demonstrated as an option for preparation of professional reports, presentations and communications.
COOP-1020Co-operative Education Employment Prep1
This workshop will provide an overview of the Co-operative Education consultants and students' roles and responsibilities as well as the Co-operative Education Policy. It will provide students with employment preparatory skills specifically related to co-operative education work assignments and will prepare students for their work term.
View all courses

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.