The 11 Best Free Online Interior Design Courses You Can Take


Interior design is incredibly important. After all, you spend more time at home than almost anywhere else. But learning the difference between good and bad interior design can be difficult to do online, not to mention expensive.

Are you curious about how to learn interior design online? Then read on to learn the basic rules of great interior design with these free interior design courses.

A Screenshot of MIT OpenCourseWare's Principles of Design Course

What better way to learn interior design than from a prestigious university? Even if you can’t physically attend MIT, you can still take advantage of its free OpenCourseWare class focused on the principles of design. It’s a great starting point for those who need to brush up on their knowledge of basic interior design concepts.

This free online interior design course outlines various topics in presentation, lighting, the history of design, and more. Although it’s not a free online interior design course that comes with a certificate, it still offers valuable information for any aspiring designer.

The following list includes some other free interior design courses from online universities that can also help you get started.

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A Screenshot of DecoratingStudio's Landing Page

DecoratingStudio may not have the best website decor, but it sure has some great free content on decorating your home. It contains text and image-based interior design online courses, with no registration required.

You’ll learn everything you need to get started with interior design, from choosing a color scheme to selecting the right furniture, and from treating windows to creating an amazing guest room.

Each section of the online course also includes some basic exercises to help you think your way through the content, and allow it to sink in a bit more. Thanks to these free interior design beginners’ courses, you can grasp the basics before diving into something a little more in-depth later.

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A Screenshot of BetterHome's Practical Guides Landing Page

When you want to learn interior design, BetterHomes is a one-stop shop. The decorating section of the BetterHomes website is stuffed with practical inspiration, professional tips, and do-it-yourself projects that will have your home feeling brand new in no time.

The navigation around each of the guides could be more streamlined, but the actual content—a mix of images, videos, slideshows, and text—is all extremely valuable to any would-be home renovator or decorator, and is a great little free resource.

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A Screenshot of HGTV's Design 101 Landing Page

The Design 101 section of HGTV is a treasure trove of free information for contemporary interior design. At the bottom of each “class” page, you’ll see recommended articles, slideshows, or videos that show other relevant content that you can pursue in order to bulk out your knowledge of a certain area.

Whether it be design styles, kitchen design, furniture, or lighting, you can always find more with HGTV. You can also access HGTV’s photo inspiration tab if you need some quick ideas in a pinch.

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A Screenshot of Oxford Home Study Centre s Landing Page

The Oxford Home Study Centre is an online provider of professional courses entirely for free. There are no entry requirements that you’ll need to fulfill, just free interior design courses that are suitable for all-comers.

All course materials are included free of charge, and once you complete the course at your own pace, you’ll be able to purchase either a certificate, diploma, or advanced diploma to show off your newfound knowledge in interior design.

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Free online interior design courses are great, but if you’re looking for carefully curated inspiration rather than step-by-step guides or introductory courses, Cassandra Lavalle is a beautiful alternative to Pinterest scouring.

Spend a few minutes here, and you’re guaranteed to come away with some incredible ideas for designing your own home. This site is especially helpful for those who prefer learning interior design in a visual way.

The blog itself tours beautifully crafted homes, apartments, restaurants, hotels, and more from around the world, using stunning photography to portray the story of each of these case studies.

When you’ve gained enough inspiration from these posts, learn how to decorate your own home with the free, helpful DIY design tips included.

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A Screenshot of Howcast's Interior Design Landing Page

These free online interior design courses from Howcast offer an excellent general introduction to interior design for beginners, and serve as a great alternative to the best free courses on Udemy.

Each video is only a couple of minutes long, yet contains sage advice, from understanding your budget and choosing where best to spend your money to creating the perfect bedroom.

By the end of the course, you won’t necessarily be an expert in interior design, but you’ll definitely know what you should pay attention to when tackling the decor of your next room.

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If you’ve always wanted to learn how to draw well and sketch like a professional interior designer, you can find plenty of information on YouTube. By simply searching for “interior design sketching”, you’ll find dozens of instructional videos that can help bring your designs and interior design skills to the next level. This is a great way to get the most out of the free online interior design content that is out there.

Taking the time to watch some of these videos will give you a handle on the fundamentals when it comes to sketching a room design by hand. Because everything is hosted on YouTube, it’s easy to keep up with content just on your phone, making this just another essential mobile app for home planning and interior design.

In case you have trouble choosing what video to watch first, we’ve also linked to a few YouTube interior design courses that you might want to take a look at.

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A Screenshot of Houzz' Landing Page

Houzz boasts a 35-million-member community dedicated to helping you remodel and design your home. Being a largely visually-oriented site, there are a huge number of curated interior design photos (which you can easily save) to act as inspiration. As an alternative to Pinterest, this is an invaluable way to learn more about interior design online.

There’s also a wealth of blog posts covering design topics, case studies, and tours of well-designed homes. This makes it one of the best websites for design and architectural inspiration currently available.

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A Screenshot of the furnitureco blog's Landing Page

Design is only one aspect of achieving the perfect home. Decor is equally important. By following this free interior design course, you’ll get the hang of how to put the finishing touches on your home in no time.

If you’re tackling the decorating yourself, this section from furnitureco will introduce you to different styles, colors, accessories, and more that can liven up your living space. Just make sure that you know some basic home repairs before starting your interior design project.

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A Screenshot of the Home Design Institute - Paris s Landing Page

For a more formal way of learning interior design, or for taking your learning to another level, the Home Design Institute is an excellent choice. The Home Design Institute offers a huge range of different online courses that you can use to receive an education on just about any facet of interior design.

There are plenty of different courses to choose from here, though it’s worth pointing out that many of them require you to pay in order to enroll. With this in mind, The Home Design Institute’s biggest strength is not just its courses, but also its articles and videos.

There are plenty of articles for you to read, covering just about any topic regarding interior design. These articles are posted and updated frequently, and you can even find videos as well on the topic.

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Other Interior Design Resources

When you feel ready to take the plunge into your next interior design project, there are a number of other free online resources that will help make your life a lot easier. You’ll find a selection of these below, plus some extra tools to help you out.

Free Room Planning Software

Other Free Tools

Take Advantage of Free Interior Design Courses

As you can see, there’s a huge amount of information available online to help you learn about interior design, and you won’t have to pay a cent to get it. When you’re looking for free interior design courses online, there are few better than the entries on this list.

Hopefully, these interior design courses offer you enough basic interior design principles, some funky ideas, plenty of inspiration, and a ton of practical advice and guidance to build your confidence when it comes to tackling your own home and interior design.


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