Frequently Asked Questions

If your question isn’t answered below, please feel free to contact us. Scroll down further for FAQs related to our workshops and industry contacts.

Course FAQ : Related to our Certificate IV in Interior Decoration (MSF40118)

Is this course full-time?
Technically our Certificate IV course is considered full time study, but we only hold classes one day per week (or very occasionally two classes per week in the after hours format of our course).

Courses generally last for around 13 months total. We do not hold classes over Victorian school holidays or public holidays.

How much does the course cost?

Our course fees can vary quite a bit depending on whether or not you are eligible for a government funded place. Please click here to determine your eligibility for funding. Government funded courses and funding availability may be subject to change in 2020.
The fees listed below include tuition for the course, as well as required materials to complete the course.*

If you are eligible for government funding:

If you are eligible for government funding and hold a valid concession card:

If you are not eligible for government funding (concession is not applicable if you are ineligible):

Please check out our current course flyer on this page ; then scroll down to the fees page (p. 12) for more detailed information about our course fees and eligibility.

* You will need to provide a laptop computer of your own

When is your next course?
If there are no dates listed on our courses page, unfortunately we don’t have any new course intakes set in stone just yet. That doesn’t mean we won’t be holding more in the future though!

To keep up to date with all future course news as soon as it’s announced, I’d suggest signing up to our mailing list. (head to the bottom of the page)

Do I need prior experience?
No. Our course is created for those who wish to begin learning from the ground up. Even if you do have some experience in the design industry or with renovations, there is still always a lot to learn.

However, prospective students do need to meet our minimum level of literacy, numeracy and computer skills before being granted acceptance into any of our courses.

I want to study Interior Design... is this the same?
An interior decorator and an interior designer share a very similar skillset, although there are a few key differences.

  • A decorator generally redesigns spaces / homes that already exist (choosing colour schemes, furniture, accessories, benchtops, paints, coming up with costings and schedules etc.)
  • A designer also does the same, but learns more about architectural and structural constraints of a space (for example, they could work with an architect to design a brand new building and interior at once).
  • An Interior Decorator requires a Certificate IV (such as the course we offer), whilst an Interior Designer requires a Diploma (or higher), which entails further study. Decorators should not call themselves an “interior designer” without further qualifications.
  • Our course can be used as a stepping stone to complete an Interior Design course should you wish to do so afterwards.
What job outcomes could I expect from this qualification?
There are quite a few varied job avenues once you have completed a Certificate IV in Interior Decoration. Here are just a few:

  • Interior Decorator
    Many of our students learn to create their own voice, branding and style and take on their own clients and projects once completing the course.
  • Stylist / Property Stylist
    Whilst you don’t need this or technically any qualification to get into styling, our course features a large amount of learning appropriate for a stylist. Our students have a lot of opportunities over the course to complete hands on styling, and to begin a beautiful portfolio of photos.
  • Homewares Specialist
    You may find a calling for a very specific set of needs: Perhaps after learning about lighting you wish to become a specialist, or can’t get enough of benchtops and want to move into that industry. This could also be a great avenue for the more ‘people’ kind of person, dealing with suppliers and clients alike.

Or perhaps you aren’t sure where you would like this course to lead you; that’s perfectly fine. We all learn throughout the course where our strengths lie, and you may find a love for something you never knew existed! Some of our ex students have used our course as a jumping off point into Visual Merchandising, starting their own design business or as a stepping stone to further study.

Do you offer any other courses? Perhaps a diploma?
At the moment, our Certificate IV in Interior Decoration is our only long term accredited course. If you’re looking for something with a little less commitment involved, check out our workshops page to see if we have any one day events coming up.
Can I complete the course online?
Unfortunately we do not offer our course online at this point in time. We have created and moulded our learning space with face to face classes in mind; so that is where our current focus lies.
What is the difference between your 'day' course, and your 'after hours' course?
Whilst our day and after hours formats of the course offer the same content, learning and an identical certificate at the end, there are a few key differences.
  • The day class has slightly longer classes (5.5 hours vs 3 hours); please note that the day class is afforded a 40- 60 minute break during class time for lunch.
    In our after hours class, we will usually eat dinner during classtime as we continue to learn/work in order to maximise the most of our time.
  • The after hours class has an occasional Saturday class (roughly 3 hrs in length) that the day class do not have.
    These Saturday classes occur roughly every 4 – 5 weeks. These specific Saturday dates for the entire course are given to students at their application; so they can know which exact Saturdays to expect class.
    This means in total, the after hours class ends up having more individual classes than the day format.
  • Our after hours class uses the aforementioned Saturday classes to try and do things like photoshoots and excursions, which usually are not practical in a regular weeknight class.
    The day class has a much less rigid excursion structure, and is able to go on excursions / complete photoshoots generally whenever we deem them appropriate for our in class learning, as opposed to waiting for certain Saturdays.
  • If you ever have a choice between the two; we make it no secret that you should attempt to choose the day course if able.
    Both formats will provide you with the same learning and content, but the ability to go on more excursions and the fact that you would be devoting a whole day to your learning (and are thus not too tired after work for example) are good reasons to recommend the day class.Of course, the day class is not an option for everyone which is why we offer the after hours format to accommodate those who are trying to study around full time work or family.
How much study am I expected to complete outside of class?

This is a tricky question and will vary from person to person; but a good guideline would be to expect to complete 3 to 5 hours of study outside of class time each week.
Some weeks may involve a bit more homework and some a lot less, but on average this is what you should expect.

What subjects would I be studying?

At Design School we have a set curriculum that comprises of the following subjects:

1. MSFID4019 Research interior decoration and design influences
We begin our course with research interior decoration and design influences. To have a good understanding of our design history is crucial in being able to see and understand how one decade transitions to the next and linking design to what was happening in socially, economically and environmentally during that time. 
This will enable you to predict future trends and to be able to work with various design styles with a good understanding of characteristics of each decade from the pre 40’s through to current.

2. CUADIG303 Produce and prepare photo images
Social media is a huge part of our world today and being able to take a photo for social media to share progress on a design project, something that inspires you or even a flat lay or corner you’ve styled at home is extremely important for your personal branding and networking. 
We are not expected to become professional photographers but simply have an understanding of the basics in composition, lighting, framing and editing photos. 

3. CUAACD301 Produce drawings to communicate ideas
BSBDES302 Explore and apply the creative design process to 2D forms
Drawings Are huge part of the design process and are a big communication tool. They start from rough sketches in developing an idea through to concept presentation drawings for clients and finally technical drawings to communicate your design to your trades. 
Here we experiment with 2D drawings to develop and design concepts to communicate your ideas.

4. MSFGN4001 Research and meet ethical and compliance requirements
An interior decorator needs to know how to create not only beautiful homes, but safe homes too. This unit follows the process of what laws and regulations you need to know during concept stages, deciding what pieces or materials to recommend, through to the final product.

5. MSFID4018 Research and recommend hard materials and finishes for interiors
Hard materials and finishes are the bones of a good design. They provide the perfect backdrop for furniture and accessories and need to be considered from not only their aesthetic standpoint but also for their practicality.

We research hard materials and finishes to ensure we understand the materials limits, capabilities and appropriate uses. We strongly encourage thorough research be applied before a recommendation to ensure the product meets the clients brief.

6. MSFID4021 Design soft furnishing solutions for interiors spaces
MSFID4017 Research and recommend furniture and accessories
Furniture and accessories can make or break a design project and needs to be considered alongside the clients brief, budget and consideration for spacial planing.

Each piece selected needs to be thoroughly researched to ensure its adequacy from the scale, material, colour and functional requirements. 

7. CUAACD303 Produce technical drawings
BSBDES303 Explore and apply creative design process to 3D forms
We learn how to create technical drawings, such as floor plans and elevations and how to correctly place and use measurements in these drawings. We also delve into 3D modelling software, that allows you to create a full room or home concept in full on your computer.

This software is taught from the ground up, and requires no prior knowledge. 

8. MSFID4016 Design colour schemes for interior and exterior space
MSFID4013 Design residential interior lighting
Colour plays a huge part in both interior and exterior spaces. We cover colour psychology and the emotional response to colour, how colour changes in varied light conditions and how to develop a well considered colour scheme. 

Without light there is no colour, therefor it’s important to consider lighting alongside your colour selections to ensure you understand the effects of your colour and lighting selections combined.
Lighting is often overlooked and has the ability to drastically change the feel of a space. We cover the types of lighting from mood, task, accent and natural through to the globe types and location of lights on a lighting plan.

9. MSFID4015 Prepare a materials board for client presentation
A digital mood board is fantastic but nothing can quite compare to physically being able to touch, feel and see the material selections. 

Creating a tangible material board allows the client to visualise their material selections side by side and see the true representation of colour.
It’s important to understand how to present this professionally to ensure you can communicate your design to the best of your ability. 

10. MSFID4012 Decorate residential interiors
‘Decorate Residential Interiors’ is where everything we have learnt to date comes together in the full design process. From initial consultation through to final presentation. We guide you through how to work through each stage of the design process and apply your knowledge and skills. You will he left with a fantastic portfolio piece at the end of this unit.

11. MSFID5018 Provide interior styling service
SIRRMER004 Develop visual merchandising creative concepts
‘Visual Merchandising’ and ‘Interior Styling’ have come a long way since social media has taken over. More and more brands are looking for content, and this is where stylists are able to shine.

We go through a real life client brief and the design process in creating a styling or visual merchandising concept with a focus on the brand outcome. This may include an emphasis on increasing sales, and needs be looked at more commercially than an interior residential client.

12. BSBDES403 Develop and extend design skills and practice
Developing and extending design skills and practice allows you to reflect on your journey and where you see yourself in the future.  You will create a website, resume and set goals for your short, medium and long term in preparation for your transition from study to working in the industry. 

All subjects are completed one at a time, and in the order listed above.

Do I need to apply for a place in the course?
Yes, we do have an application process for each course. Applications are not open all year round; they only open the month or two in advance of each course start date. Visit our courses page to see if any current applications are open.



An application involves coming in to Design School for around an hour to meet us, learn about each other, complete some paperwork and to determine your literacy, numeracy and computer skills levels. You do not need to prepare or bring a folio of past experiences or work with you.
This application process is not only to make sure that you are the right fit for Design School, but also that we are the right fit for you.
We have a maximum of 25 students in any one class, so it is possible that some prospective students may not be offered a place after one of these sessions.

I can't draw! Can I still apply for the course?
Yes, we teach you basic hand drawing skills early on in the course. The only way to get better is through practice, so we make sure to do our fair share of drawing when we can.
What supplies do I need for the course?
We supply students with art materials, textbooks and other necessities throughout the course.
The only thing you need to supply yourself is a laptop computer.
What kind of laptop / skills / software do I need for the course?

Laptop Specifications:
You will need your own laptop computer for the course. Unfortunately, a tablet is not appropriate for some of the skills we teach in this course.
You do not need to purchase a new laptop for this course if you already own one in good working condition. Most laptops purchased within the last five years or so will be suitable for the course. Our course is friendly to both Mac and Windows users; use which ever you are most comfortable with.

Computer Skills:
A minimum level of computer skills are required and tested prior to entry into our course. You don’t need to be a computer genius, but you do need to know some basic functions and skills. Including but not limited to:

  • using your internet browser
  • downloading files & images from the internet, then locating said files once downloaded
  • copying / pasting / renaming / saving / files
  • ability to use the basics of presentation software (such as: powerpoint, keynote or canva) 

Software / Programs:
Throughout the course we will use varied pieces of software, and we are flexible to allow you to use programs that you are comfortable with.

We will use presentation software (such as Powerpoint, Keynote or Canva), word processing software (such as Microsoft Word or Pages) and also 3D modelling software (which we teach you how to install and use from scratch as part of the course).

~ you will need either the microsoft office suite (word, powerpoint, excel) OR
~ the apple equivalent for mac users (pages, keynote, numbers)

If you already have any of this software on your laptop, you need nothing more. If you don’t have any of these programs, we are able to provide students with free programs during the course to meet these needs.


  • If using a newer mac laptop without USB ports, we recommend owning a USB adapter such as the one seen here. Not required.
  • For the 3D modelling software we teach, it is beneficial to own a mouse with a click wheel. Not required
  • Sometimes we have students bring in their ‘work laptop’ to our course. This is absolutely fine, but you would need to make sure that you have appropriate authorisation (i.e. passwords) to install new programs and use the laptop in various locations.
Do you offer students work experience?
Whilst we don’t have work experience built into a specific section of our curriculum, we are often able to provide extra curricular industry opportunities to our students when available.
These opportunities may come up rather sporadically, and could cover a wide range from work experience with a property styling company, to assisting on a styling shoot, or even helping out at a trade fair.

Please note that any opportunities available are used to reward students for their work and commitment and are not a guarantee throughout the course.

Will you hold any courses outside of Melbourne?

At this point in time, most of our courses are held  in Melbourne, Victoria, but we are also hosting one day class in Geelong in early 2020. Please sign up to our subscription list for news updates on any other locations. Our current  Melbourne campus is located at 13 Ferguson St, Abbotsford, Victoria 3071.

When is your next open day?
Check out our courses page for any up to date information about upcoming open days, or sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page. We will usually hold an open day a month or two prior to any course starts, but should you miss one please contact us and we can potentially arrange an alternative visit.
Workshops FAQ
When is your next workshop?
Check out our workshops page here to keep up to date on all of our announced workshops. If you’re interested in future workshops, I recommend signing up to our mailing list.

We’re hoping to have a calendar up soon to inform everyone of upcoming workshops months in advance.

I missed the last workshop! Will you hold the same topic again?
It is possible that we will hold the same workshop again in the future if it is popular enough. Our styling workshops tend to be quite popular so you can expect to see them again in the future.
Are your workshops accredited?
They are not. Our workshops are designed for those who perhaps want to learn a little about any given topic, but don’t have the time to commit to a certified course.
Who will be hosting your next workshop?
We often have industry specialists host our workshops and bring in their unique knowledge on any given topic. We always make sure to include a link / bio on each of our workshop hosts so that you can find out more about them.
Will attending a workshop help me get into the course?
No, our workshops and course are independent of each other. However, you do not have to choose one or the other! Visiting us for a workshop may give you the inspiration to join us for a bigger commitment / course at a later time.
Industry / Collaboration Questions:
Can I hire one of your students to redecorate my home?
Yes! Please contact us at with more details on what you’re after.

Many of our students appreciate the experience, and dependant on the situation may be happy to work for you without payment.

I work in the industry and am looking to collaborate...
We love to hear about any opportunities to collab with people in the industry. Please send us an email to if you have any ideas or proposals.

  • If you’re a product supplier:
    We’d love to house some of your product at Design School for use by future interior decorators. We often hold student photoshoots at Design School and are keen to share on socials.
  • If you’re an event organiser:
    Our students are always keen to hear of any opportunities to help out at events with styling/setup/assistance.
  • If you’re a stylist / designer / homewares store:
    If you have a vacancy or are in need of more personnel (whether paid, or unpaid internship) please contact us and we can hopefully find the right student to help fill that gap for you.
Do you hire out your school for photoshoots?
Unfortunately we no longer hire out our space to the public. Photoshoots held at Design School are reserved for students.