Start Dates

  • September 03, 2024


Program Delivery

  • In Class
  • Any-time Online
  • Real-time Online
  • Combined Online
Tuition & Fees

Domestic: CAD $11,430
International: CAD $28,180
Estimated Book Costs: CAD $977


Program Description

Learn how you can make an impact. Interior decorators affect our daily lives through colours, textiles, lighting, form, and function. You'll learn to interact with trades and other professionals to create the spaces where we live and work. This two-year (4-term) diploma program is recognized by the Decorators & Designers Association of Canada (DDA). You'll learn the practical skills and techniques to successfully manage interior decorating projects and work effectively in business environments in a variety of roles related to interior decorating.

When you graduate from the Interior Decorating program, you can expect many job opportunities. Look for careers as an interior decorator; colour, furniture, or lighting consultant; interior draft person; stylist; stager; or in the kitchen and bath industry. The skills you learn in this program open opportunities for advancement in many different areas.

After graduation, you can give your career a further edge with a Kitchen and Bath Design Post-Diploma Certificate.


Learners in this program will require their own laptop computer  

Here is a list of the software that will be used and the hardware needed to support it:
Basic requirements are as follows:


• INTEL QUAD CORE CPU (I7 or later)
• 13” 1080P SCREEN (15” RECOMMENDED)
• WINDOWS 10 or later
• 64-BIT

Note: MAC OS is not supported in School of Technology 

You can find additional information about the program's technology requirements here.

Course Listings Request More Information Applying FAQ
Domestic Applicants

Welcome Centre
South Campus – Main Floor

International Learner Applicants

International Education
South Campus – Main Floor

Admission Requirements

Academic requirements
  • Credit in English 30-1 or 65% in English 30-2 or equivalent
  • Minimum final mark of 60% in Math 10C or equivalent


Successful completion of the General Educational Development (GED) test that consists of five tests with a minimum score in the following sections:

  • Interpreting Literature and Art: 520 minimum standard score
  • Writing Skills: 520 minimum standard score
  • Math Test: 450 minimum


    • Satisfactory results on the Bow Valley College Admissions Test  
    English language proficiency requirement

    For applicants whose first language is not English, please review English Language Proficiency Requirements.



    Transfer opportunities are available to a variety of institutions. Transfer credits are reviewed and accepted on an individual basis by the institution to which you apply. See our most current transfer agreements here


    Domestic Applicants

    Welcome Centre
    South Campus – Main Floor

    International Learner Applicants

    International Education
    South Campus – Main Floor

    Employment Rate


    Training Related Employment Rate


    Based on 2019-2020 domestic and international students who self-reported finding employment or training-related employment within 6-12 months after graduating.

    Course Listing

    Full course outlines are available here.

    Curriculum subject to change.

    Term 1

    Required CoursesCredit

    Through practice and reflection, learners nuture personal and professional relationships using interpersonal communication skills. With a focus on other-oriented communication, learners demonstrate how inequities and power dynamics influence relationships.

    This course examines the principles of colour theory and its relationship with interior space, light, and materials. Learners apply this knowledge in their consultation with a client, to create and present a lighting plan that addresses spacial requirements and client need.

    This course focuses on the role of the interior decorator as a member of a project team including interior designers and allied professionals. Learners apply the principles and elements of design in the creation of client profiles and decorating solutions addressing the requirements of an interior space and client need.

    This course focuses on the planning and creation of furnishing arrangements. Learners apply the principles and elements of design as they analyze, plan, and present decorating solutions. During the process, learners address technical concerns such as blue prints and architectural drawings as well as ergonomics and building code.

    Interior decorators create visualizations of interior spaces to communicate ideas to clients and other stakeholders. In this course, learners develop sketching and drawing skills to create visual perspectives and render finishes for interior spaces.

    Term 2

    Required CoursesCredit

    This course focuses on producing and presenting two-dimensional (2D) drawings on a Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) program: AutoCAD. Learners build on foundational skills by creating objects in AutoCAD using a variety of commands and system variables.

    Learners enhance their understating of contemporary style through the exploration and research of historical interior d├ęcor. Learners evaluate the use of furniture, finishes, and accessories from a historical perspective for a contemporary application. Through applying diverse and indigenous perspectives, learners discuss and create interior solutions to address clients' requirements.

    In this course, learners apply foundational knowledge of historical and contemporary textiles and furniture. Learners create solutions to address client need, spatial requirements, and financial restraints such as budget and availability while considering construction methods, finishes, and design.

    Prerequisites: IDEC1103.

    This course provides learners with foundational knowledge of how surfaces and backgrounds impact the creation and presentation of a decorating solution. Learners apply the elements and principles of design to a selection of walls, floors, countertops, ceilings, and fireplaces in decorating a space. Decoration solutions reflect considerations of sourcing, budget, specifications, and client need.

    This experiential offering builds on previous courses and provides learners the opportunity to solve practical decorating issues using principles and elements of design and current interior decorating trends. Using various mediums, the latest technology, and inspiration from professionals in the field, learners explore the world of decorating with colour, lighting, furniture, finishes, and other essential elements to meet client needs and deliver decorating solutions.


    Term 3

    Required CoursesCredit

    This course builds on skills learned in CADD1101. Learners further develop two-dimensional (2D) drawing techniques and are introduced to high-level 2D commands and basic three-dimensional (3D) commands. Learners build on foundational skills to create, modify, and edit 3D solids, manage views, and print files.


    This course examines the challenges and opportunities for the freelancer or entrepreneur. Learners develop practical strategies to write a business plan, fund, and market freelancing and entrepreneurial business ideas.

    In this course, learners focus on the process of creating a window covering solution. The process includes evaluation of window types and styles, soft and hard coverings, as well as the tools and documents used in the preparation of quotations and presentations. Course activity includes techniques for creating and delivering a professional decorating solution as a member of a project team.

    Prerequisites: IDEC1106

    Communication with clients is essential for the professional interior decorator. Communication rests upon the basic skills of drawing, sketching, rendering, and model making. Skills acquired in the prerequisite course are honed and new visual communication techniques are practiced. Learners compile ongoing project work in the construction of a professional portfolio.
    Prerequisite: IDEC1201

    Building on Studio 1 and the first year courses in the Interior Decorating Program, this course provides learners with authentic opportunities to solve decorating issues using furniture, finishes, and equipment. Using various mediums and research skills, learners explore and apply the design thinking process in the creation of professional decorating solutions.
    IDEC1999, IDEC1102, IDEC1106, IDEC1401, CADD1101

    Term 4

    Required CoursesCredit

    Learners examine the needs of individuals using strength-based language to recommend products, materials, technologies and services to support the individual. In their recommendations learners consider various limitations such as physical space, building codes and familial circumstances.

    This course addresses the use of sustainable materials, furniture, and finishes to decorate a residential space. Learners apply the principles of sustainability and evaluate the implications of the carbon footprint in a project. Projects combine considerations like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Canadian Green Building Console. These standards influence the carbon footprint, livability, and budget of the decorating solution.

    Business skills are essential for the interior decorator working either as an employee or as an entrepreneur. This course examines the essential components of a successful interior decorating business including business plans, operations, sales and marketing. Learners will plan their career path, explore project management principles and examine conflict resolution.

    In addition to creating design solutions for residential renovations, a key activity in the decorating industry is the preparation of residential properties for sale. This course focuses on the role of the decorator as part of an interprofessional team preparing a property for the market. Emphasis falls on the aesthetic principles of presentation considering matching furniture and accessories with spatial attributes like colour and light and analysing costs of repair, redesign, and staging.
    Prerequisites: IDEC2997

    This course builds on IDEC1999, IDEC2997, and previous learners' experiences through applying skills and knowledge to real-life project(s). Working with industry professionals and clients, learners will integrate professional practices of teamwork and communication to create and present project(s) to stakeholders. Learners demonstrate professional judgment in the role of an interior decorator, analyze and evaluate current industry technologies and incorporate them into the preparation and selling of decorating solutions. While building industry networks and enhancing their resumes and portfolios, learners also reflect on the WIL experience as it relates to professional growth.

    Program FAQs

    The program is 20 courses, which can be completed in four terms (16 months) or up to five years (part-time).

    Interior decorators do the following:

    • Work with computers and technology
    • Work with clients to analyze needs and goals
    • Formulate preliminary decorating concepts
    • Develop and present final decorating recommendations to clients
    • Prepare working drawings and specifications
    • Prepare and administer bids and budgets
    • Research
    • Shop for products and materials for projects
    • Collaborate with workrooms, tradespeople, and suppliers
    • Review and evaluate decorating solutions from implementation to completion of a project
    • Measure site for projects
    • Manage outgoing and incoming communications with clients and industry professionals 

    Interior decorators work in the following workplaces or industries:

    • Furniture stores
    • Paint and wall covering stores
    • Flooring or other surfaces stores
    • Furniture manufacturers
    • Office furniture suppliers
    • Residential builders
    • Kitchen and bath industry
    • Fabric and window covering suppliers
    • Interior design firms
    • Interior decorating firms
    • Interior drafting offices

    Interior decorators also work in the following roles:

    • Manufacturer sale representatives
    • Stagers

    Classes are offered on Monday to Friday between 8am and 5pm with an occasional evening class. Two of the required courses are offered online only.

    There is a strong correlation between energy and time dedicated to studying and success in the program. For every hour of class time (typically 3 hours per week per course), there is an estimated two to five hours of studying.

    This information is available on our website under the ‘Applying’ tab.

    The IDD program has intake in the Fall term. Please see the Student Resources page for important dates and deadlines.

    These are asynchronized text-based online courses. Each online course is facilitated by an instructor that you will be communicating with throughout the term.Courses are divided into modules. A module typically consists of reading materials (textbook and/or web materials) and learning activities, along with assignments and exams.

    Learners work online at their own pace based on their personal daily/weekly agenda, however there are assignments and tests with deadlines and due dates through the term. Some courses may require group work.

    Most course materials and communications are in written format.

    Yes. The Interior Decorating program, as with most of the Creative Technologies programs, is a ‘bring your own device’ program. Please see above, underneath the Program Description, for a list of the software that will be used and the hardware needed to support it.

    The approximate cost of textbooks and other supplies is estimated at $300 per term. 

    Book lists and costs can be found on the Bow Valley College Bookstore website. A list of required materials will be sent to you before the start of your first term.

    There is no required work experience component in this program.

    Planning your course schedule according to availability and prerequisites requires some consideration.

    Plan the sequence of your courses with this 2019/2020 schedule.  Once you are a registered student in a program at Bow Valley College Academic Advising can also assist you with planning. 

    Bow Valley College Career Services provides graduates with career advising, access to Job Skills Videos, and an online job board. You can also meet with a career advisor one-on-one and get help with your goals and job search.

    Related Programs
    Post-Diploma Certificate

    Kitchen and Bath Design Post-Diploma Certificate

    Kitchen and bath designers provide specialized services within the residential kitchen and bath design industry. Learners will add to their training by building analytical, planning, and documenting skills specific to the kitchen and bath design industry.

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