Diploma in Interior Decorating


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Bring your design sense and imagination to life with our interior decorating courses

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, color 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.

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.

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 that 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.


Level 1

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

  • WRIT-1036 Reason & Writing 1-Art & Design
  • DESG-1054 Decorating Studio 1
  • DRAF-1054 Working Drawings
  • GRAF-1046 Graphic Presentation Techniques 1
  • DESG-1022 Design Fundamentals
  • MATS-1022 Materials 1
  • DESG-1082 Professional Practice 1
  • COOP-1020 Co-operative Education Employment Prep

Level 2

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

  • COMM-3074 Communications for Design
  • METH-1030 Colour 1
  • DESG-1011 Decorating Studio 2
  • DRAF-1063 Computer-Aided Drafting 1
  • GRAF-3027 Graphic Presentation Techniques 2
  • MATS-3012 Materials 2
  • DRAF-3023 Working Drawings 2
  • MKTG-1057 Selling

Level 3

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

  • DESG-1055 Decorating Studio 3
  • DRAF-3033 Computer-Aided Drafting 2
  • BUSI-3029 Business for Interior Decorating
  • MATS-3013 Materials 3
  • MRCH-1017 Residential Styling
  • METH-3021 Colour 2
  • HIST-1028 History of Period Styles 1

Level 4

General Education - Take a 3 credit General Education elective course

Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:

  • DESG-3030 Decorating Studio 4
  • DEVL-1033 Presentation & Portfolio Development
  • MATS-5002 Materials
  • MRCH-1018 Visual Merchandising
  • MKTG-1058 Event Planning
  • HIST-3015 History of Period Styles 2

General Education - 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.

living room, couch, interior

Skitterphoto / Pixabay

Admission Requirements

  • OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U), University/College (M), or Open (O) stream with:
    • 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) and:
    • 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
  • 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.

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.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

Fanshawe College is a large, publicly-funded College located in London, Ontario, Canada – approximately a two-hour drive from Toronto and Niagara Falls. There are 21,000 full-time students, including ... Read More

Fanshawe College is a large, publicly-funded College located in London, Ontario, Canada – approximately a two-hour drive from Toronto and Niagara Falls. There are 21,000 full-time students, including more than 6,000 international students from 97 different countries. Read less
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