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Bring your design sense and imagination to life with our interior decorating courses - 2021/2022

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.

You'll study space planning, colour theory, material selection, design fundamentals, presentation techniques and illustration and visual merchandising, as well as critical business skills like professional communication, personal marketing and sales. And with two paid co-op work terms, you'll gain the hands-on industry experience employers want to see. Your courses will be delivered in lecture, studio and lab formats, and in the hands-on studio environment where you’ll work on 2- and 3-dimensional projects in close contact with your professor - professors who are industry professionals.

Graduate from a top Ontario interior decorating program

When you graduate your creative flair and knowledge of decorating techniques and products will be valued by employers in many segments of the home decor industry. Start your career in retail design, in consulting, in sales of decorating products such as furniture, flooring, lighting, paint and wallpaper, or with an interior decorating firm or residential builder. Start designing your future today, and prepare to leave your mark on the world.


Program Progression Chart


Fall Intake





Year 1

Level 1

Level 2

Work Term

Year 2

Level 3

Level 4

Work Term 2




Admission Requirements - 2021/2022

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream
- Mathematics ONE OF:
    - Any Grade 11 Mathematics (C) or (U), or (M)
    - Any Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE)
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED)
- Mathematics ONE OF:
    - Any Grade 11 Mathematics (C) or (U), or (M)
    - Any Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U)
Mature Applicant with appropriate preparation

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with an overall score of 60 with no score less than 50 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10

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

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


Interior Decorating-2021/2022

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-1046Graphic Presentation Techniques 12
This one semester course is designed to develop the basic drawing 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' aesthetic appreciation will be fostered through exercises in observing and understanding composition, scale, line, form, proportion and texture.
DESG-1022Design Fundamentals1.5
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.

Level 2
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
COMM-3074Communications for Design3
This course, designed for students who plan to work in the field of art and design, focuses on professional written and verbal communication skills. Students learn to prepare a variety of work-related documents. In addition, students learn about research methods and documentation formats. The principles of effective writing - organization, grammar, style, clarity, and tone - are reinforced throughout the course. The goal of the course is to prepare students for the communication tasks and considerations they will encounter in the workplace in order to meet the needs of employers and/or the communities they will serve.
METH-1030Colour 12
This is a one semester lecture and project oriented core course. The student will explore the history and psychology of colour and the various colour theory systems. Authentic decorating material samples will be used extensively in a variety of projects that reinforce colour theory and the student's eye for colour. Project presentation methods will include illustrative sample concepts and pigment mixing exercises.
DESG-1011Decorating Studio 24
This is a project-oriented course that builds on Decorating Studio 1. Students plan and decorate residential interiors and continue their development of design fundamentals and presentation skills. Style and aesthetics related to the specific requirements of kitchen design will be introduced and applied. Emphasis is placed on the design process as it relates to interior decoration, material selection, lighting and a variety of project presentation formats.
DRAF-1063Computer Aided Drafting 12
This course introduces computer-aided drafting for interior decorating applications. Students will prepare 2 & 3 dimensional drawings using a library of architectural features to communicate decorating ideas to clients. Building construction terminology will be examined and applied. NKBA Kitchen and Bath Guideline will be introduced.
CONS-1079Anatomy of a House2
This one semester course will introduce the student to the fundamentals of residential building terminology, structure and the phases of construction. Students will develop an understanding of basic plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems and their implementation in various stages of home building and renovation. In addition, the student will learn principal lighting types, lamps and their characteristics and lighting applications appropriate for residential interiors.
MATS-3012Materials 21.5
This one semester lecture-based course builds on Materials 1. The properties, manufacture and selection of various interior decorating materials are covered. The fundamentals of material specification, and selection factors for specifying materials are covered and the student will learn about typical wallcovering materials and the introductory processes for estimating them. Floor coverings will be discussed in-depth, along with the processes for measuring, analyzing and estimating material amounts for floors.
DRAF-3023Working Drawings 22.5
This one semester course builds on Working Drawings 1. Students will continue to refine their drafting and drawing interpretation skills through project assignments typical of the Decorating industry. Drawing views, line quality, dimensioning and drawing comprehension will be reinforced. Students will be introduced to construction trades and drafting related to kitchen and bath design.
This course focuses on the fundamentals of selling and product sales. The selling process will be examined and practiced. Students will learn about client relationships and selling techniques including probing, features and benefits, negotiating, closing and follow-up. Emphasis will be placed on product sales including pricing and discounts, ordering, invoicing and the completion of the sale. Students will participate in oral presentations.

Level 3
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
DESG-1055Decorating Studio 35
This project-oriented course builds on Interior Decorating Studio 2. Students prepare decorating solutions for a residence. Client interviewing, sourcing of sustainable interior decorating products, identifying/using decorating styles, product and finish specifying, advanced space planning and residential lighting will be taught and practiced.
DRAF-3033Computer Aided Drafting 22
This course builds on Computer Aided Drafting 1 and prepares the student to develop professional quality drawings for client presentations. Custom drawing tools will be explored and reinforced in print and electronic formats. The student will work on more advanced and custom residential spaces including; plans, elevations, perspectives, reflected ceiling plans, specification charts. The course will require the students complete a visual walk through of a residential space.
BUSI-3029Business for Interior Decorating2
This course provides students with a basic understanding of project management for renovation projects. Topics will include the stages of a residential project, roles and responsibilities of project trades, business and project documentation, timesheets and consulting service fees and fee proposals.
MATS-3013Materials 31.5
This one semester course combines online delivery with on-campus evaluation (tests) and sample reviews. The course builds on Materials 1 & 2. The properties, manufacture and selection of various interior decorating materials are covered. Emphasis is placed on manufactured and natural materials in soft flooring, and on fibre and textile properties for interior uses. The features of soft window coverings will be discussed in-depth, along with processes for analyzing and estimating textile amounts for window treatments.
MRCH-1017Residential Styling2
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of display and styling. The course will focus on the application of styling and display concepts in a residential setting-accessorizing, placement and balance for displays, art installations etc. Students will discuss and practice staging a space (for residential home sales). Holiday decorating will be explored through hands-on activities.
METH-3021Colour 22
This course builds on Colour I. Students apply colour theory to practice by preparing colour schemes for interior spaces. Students will present critiques of finished colour schemes and assess how they relate to colour theory, human perception, decorating trends and styles. Colour application and material selections for interior spaces will be discussed and practiced through hands-on projects. Oral presentations, colour and material selections and coloured sketches will be an integral part of this course.
HIST-1028History of Period Styles 13
This one semester course is designed to develop an understanding and interest in the furniture and architectural styles of the past. This course serves as a General Education credit within the program and discusses how history, politics, religion, climate, geography, social conditions and physical resources have shaped and influenced the architecture and interior furnishings of each country and time period studied. It fosters an aesthetic appreciation in the student by helping them understand beauty, form, taste and the role of the arts in society. It will allow the student to discuss, research, and replicate a design based in a past era or style. Areas of study include Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Renaissance, and the French periods and Victorian era.

Level 4
Gen Ed - Take a 3 credit General Education elective course
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
DESG-3030Decorating Studio 45
This is a project orientated course that builds on Decorating Studio 3. Students space plan and decorate more complex residential and public spaces that address barrier-free space planning and universal design needs. Aging in place will be researched and applied to an existing residential home. Client presentation will be reinforced throughout the semester.
DEVL-1033Presentation & Portfolio Development1.5
This course focuses on developing the student's ability to market themselves as a decorating professional. Students will prepare an individual branding identity. Their final branding package will include a resume, business card and a professional work portfolio. Students will refine and photograph completed projects for their portfolios. Students will also present their portfolio during a mock-interview with an industry professional.
MATS-5002Materials 41.5
Continuing from Materials 3, students will learn about blind and shade window coverings, and the basics of residential furniture construction. The remainder of the course will focus on the outside of the home, where students will be introduced to exterior materials and elements used in residential construction. Properties of siding & roofing will be discussed, along with design and colour basics for exterior concepts and vocabulary for residential house types and roof designs. Exterior updates for existing homes will be reviewed in comparison to strategies for new construction.
MRCH-1018Visual Merchandising2
This course focuses on Retail visual merchandising of home products. Students will critique existing field related displays through a variety of retail visits. The students will produce a merchandised display in a real life setting. The students will also plan & illustrate a retail merchandising concept for the home furnishings and accessories market. Emphasis will be placed on lighting, display tools and techniques for retail merchandising. Window display, table display & lifestyle settings will be taught and practiced with hands-on activities.
MKTG-1058Event Planning1.5
This course introduces Event Planning to Interior Decorating students. Students will learn the basic elements of a successful event. The course will require that students plan, illustrate and present decor concepts for a variety of events. Emphasis will be placed on hands-on learning and application of ideas. The capstone project will be the design of an exhibition.
HIST-3015History of Period Styles 23
This one semester course is designed to develop an understanding and interest in the furniture and architectural styles of the past. This course serves as a General Education credit within the program and discusses how history, politics, religion, climate, geography, social conditions and physical resources have shaped and influenced the architecture and interior furnishings of each country and time period studied. It fosters an aesthetic appreciation in the student by helping them understand beauty, form, taste and the role of the arts in society.

Gen Ed - Electives
Take 3 General Education Credits -
Normally taken in Level 4

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 19 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

Careers - 2021/2022

Career Opportunities

Graduates may find employment in retail sales of furniture, drapery, lighting, paint and wallpaper, flooring 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 future plans for self-employment in their own retail or consulting business.

More Information - 2021/2022

A Co-operative Education Program
A Two-Year Ontario College Diploma Program
Program Code: ITD1
Campus Code: LC (LC - London)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at


School of Design: 519-452-4227

Program Description

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. Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be equipped with the essential skills necessary to pursue employment and carry on their development as a professional in the decorating field.

Other Information

  • The Interior Decorating program is recognized by The Canadian Decorator's Association (CDECA), the national organization of professional interior decorators and designers.
  • A portfolio is not required.

Co-operative Education

This two-year program has two co-op work terms.  Students who fulfill both the academic and co-op requirements of the program will be eligible to graduate with a Co-op Endorsed Diploma.  More information about Co-operative Education can be found at

Learning Outcomes

The graduate has reliably demonstrated the ability to

1.Analyze the client’s needs and goals using research techniques and taking psychological, sociological and physiological needs into consideration.

2. Collaborate in the preparation of a design proposal/contract to define the scope of services for the decorating project.

3. Analyze existing space conditions and decorating components in order to determine what modifications are required to meet the client’s needs.

4. Prepare a design concept which meets all the criteria (i.e.: historical context, accessibility) of a given decorating project using the creative process.

5. Communicate the design concept to the client in visual and written formats.

6. Use a variety of media and rendering techniques to communicate the character of the space.

7. Prepare technical documents (i.e. plans, elevations) needed for the implementation of the decorating solution.

8. Collaborate with a variety of design and decoration professionals for the implementation of the decoration solution.

9. Evaluate the effectiveness of the final decoration solution.

10. Develop strategies and plans to implement and maintain a decorating business.

Program Pathways

For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2021 September

International Students

Start Dates
2021 September
Program Code
Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Julie McIntyre

Day Time
Ontario College Diploma
60 weeks