Course Outline

Module 1

The Visual Language of Design

The first module is an introduction to the creative and exciting world of Interior Design.

You will be introduced to the elements and principles of design that are used to create harmonious and balanced interiors.

• Learn how to observe, evaluate and form opinions of different design styles by analysing interior spaces.

• Develop your ‘designer’s eye’ and understand how to apply the knowledge and create inspirational designs for home and work environments.

Module 2

The History of Style, Decoration and Architecture

This comprehensive module takes you on a fascinating journey, beginning with the origins of decorative finishes seen in cave paintings and ancient dwellings and leads you through the history of design and architecture to the present day.

Full of visual images and information, Module 2 will convey the meanings and messages behind the styles and decorative images you encounter.

• Learn to recognise architectural and decorative details influenced by ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian architecture, Neo-Classicism and more recent design styles.

• Incorporate these ideas into your designs, adding originality and creativity to your work.

• Gain an appreciation of art and design history and how it will continue to be an influence both in the present and the future.

Module 3

Design Styles

In this Module you will learn how to make strategic and conceptual decisions for your design projects based on the desired function, style and mood of the space.

• Develop your knowledge of different structures, common problems and their solutions so that you can communicate clearly with clients, suppliers and tradespeople.

• Evaluate a site and assess existing structures in order to create a master plan and implement your ideas.

• Build your confidence by establishing a framework for completing a project in a professional manner that will ensure a consistent and high-quality result.

• Learn how to visually present ideas to your client, creating sample and mood boards.

Module 4

Space Planning

Now you will discover how to apply the design elements to your spatial planning and design concepts, considering different furniture layouts to suit the intended function of the space.

• Learn how to draw a floor plan and elevations, then rearrange an existing space and plan a new layout for a renovation project started in this assignment.

• Extend this project in subsequent assignments and develop a lighting plan, colour scheme and finishes.

• Build your first professional portfolio as you complete these exercises.

Module 5


This module will enable you to discover the sources and properties of light, types of lighting, and how the orientation of a space affects natural lighting.

• Learn how light affects the selection of colours on different surfaces, finishes and fabrics.

• Understand how to communicate your ideas clearly to electricians, builders and suppliers by specifying the correct products suitable for the intended purpose.

• Turn your creative vision into reality by using natural and artificial lighting to create a stunning effect in your interior projects.

• Incorporate these ideas into your plan as you continue with the renovation project that started in Module 4.

Module 6


This module will introduce you to the power and psychology of colour and how it can be used as a pivotal design tool in your projects.

• Learn about the properties of colour and understand how it can change the mood of a space, alter perceptions and create the intended style. Discover the effect of natural and artificial light on colour and surface textures.

• Use the colour wheel as inspiration and guidance to develop harmonious schemes and gain the confidence to use it effectively. Discover that there are no bad colours, only bad combinations.

• Experience the power of using colour in all aspects of your design projects to trigger different responses; vibrant and uplifting or muted or restful.

• Familiarise yourself with paint systems, products and specification.

• Put together multiple colour schemes to accompany the renovation project from Module 4.

Module 7

Interior Finishes

You will learn how to apply the concepts of three-dimensional design to the reality of a finished space.

• Discover the importance of ensuring quality finishes on the floor, walls and ceiling to create a striking and functional backdrop for furnishings and window treatments.

• Gain the product knowledge required to select and specify cost-effective finishes suitable for the intended end use to create a professional and enduring interior space.

• Find out how to plan and project-manage the sequence of floor, wall and ceiling finishes required at different stages of a project.

• Create finish schedules for each room from the renovation project that began at Module 4.

Module 8

Decorative Textiles and Fabrics

This informative module introduces you to the history, beauty and luxury of decorative textiles and fabrics.

You will be shown how to appreciate the importance of including items with luxurious and aesthetic appeal as essential components in your design, regardless of the available budget.

• Discover the endless possibilities for using fabrics with style and flair to create eye-catching interior spaces. Gain confidence to apply the elements of design and transform spaces by using textiles, fabrics and other decorative accessories.

• Learn about the technical properties of fabrics and their suitability for different end uses. Understand the functional and aesthetic properties required for bed linen, rugs and decorative textiles.

Module 9

Furniture, Art and Accessories

The pinnacle of great design is working with beautiful objects, furniture and art. With reference to Module 2 and the history of Interior Design, you will learn how furniture styles have been developed over the years for specific uses and applications.

• Apply your knowledge of design elements to the reality of placing beautiful objects into perfectly planned and well thought out spaces.

• Experience the sense of achievement when your space planning and elevations come to life.

• Showcase your creative potential with co-ordinated, harmonious interiors.

Module 10

Working With Clients

This module teaches you the work practices of professional designers. You will be shown the vital procedures and thought processes that bring a design to completion in the real world.

• Learn how to support your creative knowledge with the practical application that ensures success from the start of a project through to completion.

• Ensure that your proposals and management skills will bring work in on schedule and budget for any design project, whether for yourself or for a client.

• Gain confidence to work professionally in the design industry.

Module 11

Visual Communication

In this module you will be taught how to document your ideas and designs for clients, contractors and your own reference.

• Learn how to easily create a three-dimensional drawing from floor plans to help visualise the space and make more informed design choices.

• Find out how these drawings can help you win business and then manage the design process.

• Support your documentation with a clear set of drawings to ensure your ideas are interpreted correctly.

• Experience the pleasure of seeing your design concepts spring to life as projects are completed.

Module 12

Setting Up an Interior Design Business

If you are considering making design your career, this may be the decisive chapter that is the stepping stone to your future success.

• See yourself in the context of the design industry.

• Take professional advice from outstanding business consultants who work with creative, respected and successful Interior Designers.

• Benefit from this valuable information regarding business development, business practice and market positioning.

• Learn how to put together a professional portfolio and receive an insight on setting up your own website and social media networks.


Rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 501 reviews.

  • Carolina Elisabet (Carolise) Lemmer

  • 17 hours ago

C. Lemmer feedback

The platform was userfriendly. The modules were comprehensive and assignments were practical and relevant. Tutor feedback was prompt. I enjoyed reading the modules...

  • JB Paulse

  • 1 day ago

The Interior Design Institute is tops!

I've never done an on-line course.Initially I was sceptical, but not anymore. My tutor is absolutely incredible. Immediate replies to my...

  • Santjie Ferreira

  • 3 days ago

IDI review

This course has a lot of content which is presented in a well structured manner. It takes you through a...

  • Nicole Boshoff

  • 4 days ago


I have had a great experience with the Institute so far. my Tutor is amazing and very fast with her...

  • Sammantha Pearce

  • 7 days ago

The team and tutors are very helpful…

The team and tutors are very helpful and I have learnt a lot.

  • Ariadne Runnalls

  • 10 days ago

Wonderful experience

Wonderful experience, can highly rate and recommend. Modules are full of vital information and tutors are very knowlegable. Great introduction...

  • Kathleen Dover

  • 10 days ago

Great course

I have found the course so far to be very informative, well laid out, and easy to understand and learn....

  • Jo-Anne du Plessis

  • 14 days ago

Just the best course

Just the best course I love the course and learned so much already its easy to understand ,and have awesome...

  • Hayley Mellor

  • 15 days ago

such a lovely course and so amazing to…

such a lovely course and so amazing to have tutors available for little guidance

  • Cindy Rutherford

  • 16 days ago

Although I have been in the industry…

Although I have been in the industry for some time, this course and taught me so much more and given...

  • Natascha van Niekerk

  • 39 days ago

Amazing course!

Amazing course!

  • Arnold Kamunda Mwase

  • 43 days ago


A couple years ago,i fell in love with interior design,working as a housekeeper i became obsessed with the arrangement of...

  • Tlangelani Dolly Makole

  • 47 days ago

The best online course

The best online course, so informative and great support I have received from tutors and the administration

  • Duksha Raniga

  • 48 days ago

Great course!

Excellent course content offering support as and when required. The course is challenging and informative! The tutor is always willing...

  • Mimi Webber

  • 51 days ago

Amazing course!

amazing course! though if you want to do it, you have to be self motivated to be able to sit...