Nowadays, interior design is far from what it used to be in the ancient era when the role of interior designs was considered an unnecessary luxury.

Thanks to the incorporation of exquisite designs, colors, spacing, balancing and 3D modeling technology, the modern practice of interior design considerably differs from the ancient practice.

Due to the complex nature of modern interior design, interior designers now have the onus of equipping themselves with relevant computer skills before they can present themselves as professionals. There’s no denying that a professional interior designer needs the expertise of 2D or 3D modeling software and several other technical tools.

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As a lover of interior designs or as somebody with basic knowledge of interior design, you may want to advance your knowledge. Frankly, an interior design course with certification could be the convenient avenue for you to advance your interest in the world of interior design. And because you might not want to pay any penny for this sort of education, we have come up with a well-researched list of the top 7 free online interior design courses with certificates. But before presenting you with the list, here is Why You Should Enroll in an Online Interior Design Course

For an ID enthusiast or anybody willing to advance their interior design knowledge, an online interior design course could be the best avenue for doing so. This is largely due to the associated benefits which include reduced cost and convenient mode of study.

Presumably, nobody will deny the fact that online learning, unlike the traditional mode of learning, guarantees the freedom to learn at one’s convenience. On the one hand, the learner will save him/herself the stress of physical attendance and on the other hand, he/she will spend relatively less time.

Beyond the convenience they offer, online certificate programs are relatively cheap. In fact, some of these programs are completely free and in cases where fees are included, chances are that you’ll spend less than what it costs to complete the same program in the traditional way.

15 Free Online Interior Design Courses with Certificates in 2021

What Are the Top 7 Free Online Interior Design Courses with Certificates?

3D CAD Fundamental

This free online interior design course equips students with the ability to incorporate 3D modeling technology into interior designs. Meanwhile, there’s no denying that expertise of 3D modeling is a sure recipe for building an excellent and understandable three-dimensional model. With 3D CAD Fundamental, chances of learning this technology are surely at your fingertips.

In collaboration with Coursera, National Taiwan University organizes 3D CAD Fundamental as a widely accessible avenue for learning 3D modeling technology.

Interior Design Short Course

This interior design course is a near-comprehensive program which equips ID enthusiasts with the basics of interior designs. Besides being a free-to-access program, Interior Design Short Course incorporates a great deal of essential topics including:

  • Designer-Client Relationships
  • Residential Design
  • Human Dimensions
  • Rhythm
  • Mood
  • Interior Design Decorating Principles
  • Development of Interior Design as a Profession.

While this program spans the study duration of 20 hours, it’s considered an excellent design course offered by the Oxford Home study center.

MIT OpenCourseWare: Principles of Design

This interior design course is a great free-to-access opportunity for ID enthusiasts to take their design knowledge to a high level. While the course walks students through the complex aspects –such as textual analysis and advanced design theories –of interior design, it ultimately equips them with the ability to transform vision into amazing designs.

Students of this interior design program are required to handle a design project at the end of the program. The project entails producing a complete design of Lysistrata.

In the course of this design program, students will learn to incorporate a designer’s viewpoint into the investigation of design principles. The free interior design program further pays extensive attention to script analysis.

Interior Design Basics: Simple Steps to Your Perfect Space

This interior design course equips students with thorough understanding of interior design. To make your study time fruitful, the course pays extensive attention to practical tutorials. Essentially, students will be armed with design knowledge in such areas as coloring, balance, reflex and power of interior design.

Free Interior Decorating Course

This course is another free-to-access online program which arms you with design expertise in the areas of style brainstorming, choice of furniture & fittings and appropriate use of colors.

While this design program can be completed in the space of two weeks, it could be the perfect fit for somebody looking to learn the ropes of interior design in less than one month.

The Open University: Design Thinking

With the aim of helping people remodel their design perspectives, this interior design program teaches students about the influence of design thinking at the social, group, global and individual levels.

One of the key features of this design program is the OpenDesignStudio which is a virtual studio for the students to display their design works. This studio feature is a great opportunity for a student’s tutor as well as colleagues to assess the student’s design.

On a weekly basis, students are introduced to academic coursework and skills development, as parts of the resources they need while on the program.

Kelly Wearstler Teaches Interior Design (Masterclass)

This free interior design course is a brainchild of Kelly Wearstler, a high-class designer. Kelly boasts vast expertise of interior design and has employed this expertise in designing some American hotels.

Kelly has a great taste for modern-day interior designs and through her MasterClass ID program, she teaches ID enthusiasts the tricks and techniques for arriving at harmonious and excellent designs. Particularly, Kelly’s practical guide enables students to master the techniques for combining elements; colors, tones, textures and backgrounds; in the appropriate way.

Through her Masterclass interior design course, Kelly teaches students how to incorporate creativity into the design of spaces. Her students will therefore acquire vast knowledge of spaces, making it easy for them to create befitting designs for such spaces. Thoughts about interiors and designs are necessary for anyone to succeed in the field of interior design and this is just why Kelly’s Masterclass devotes extra effort to this study area.

Some Commonly Asked Questions about Online Interior Design Courses

Does an online ID certificate qualify one for common interior design jobs?

Obviously, an online interior design certificate qualifies you for any kind of interior design job that you can normally apply for using a traditional certificate. Some of such jobs include furniture design, product design, textile design, exhibition design and spatial design.

Are there full-fledged online interior design courses?

There are schools you can apply to for a full online interior design course. Notably, the course will be taken fully online while still taking you through the complete coursework.

Are there paid-for online interior design courses?

Although all the aforementioned online interior design courses are free to access, there are other online ID courses that you’ll have to pay for. Below is a list of the notable ones:

Interior Design: Foundation Level at UCLA

This interior design program is one of the paid-for courses with 1 year+ duration. Notably however, the stated duration is for full-time students and within the study period, some of the notable courses to take include Digital Presentation, Lighting Communication and two courses on Design Communication.

As for the part-time mode of this online interior design program, students are not actually restricted to any study duration. In other words, a part-time student can have the study duration that befits their learning pace.

Online Diploma of Interior Design

This ID course is an online diploma that equips students with special skills including CAD, InDesign and Photoshop. Interior design is such a creativity-intensive field and this is why you’ll need the hand-drafting technique and certain other skills that this course offers.

Whether your goal is to operate as a freelance interior designer or tie yourself to a relevant firm, rest assured that this online diploma in interior design will arm you with the requisite knowledge.

Coupled with your creativity, the aforementioned skills –InDesign, CAD and Photoshop –are seemingly what you need for creating interior designs that will appeal to clients.

The Interior Design Course

This paid-for interior design course takes students through theoretical and practical understanding of interior design principles. Offered by The Professional Design Institute, The Interior Design Course is a 12-module program with a comprehensive coursework. Below is a list of notable study areas that the program covers:

    • Colors and Materials
    • Planning and Layout
    • Interior Design History and Theory
    • Fundamental Design
    • Fabrics and Textile
    • FFE
    • Interior Lighting


  • Business Startup and Design Portfolio
  • Visual Communication
  • Design Presentation

Frankly, The Interior Design Course is a guaranteed opportunity to master the ropes of interior design both theoretically and practically.

Certificate Program in Interior Design and Interior Architecture at UC Berkeley Extension

This interior design course is an advanced program with the condition that aspiring students must have attained any BSc degree. With this signaling a rather strict entry requirement, the program further maintains that only students with a C or higher grade will be eligible for the certificate of completion.

Although this program comes with some strict conditions, it’s definitely a worthy online interior design course which equips students with digital and manual drawing skills. Also, the students are given extensive training pertaining to the creation of functional and exquisite spaces.

Interior Design at Century College

Century College’s interior design program runs for a two-year period during which students take 15 courses. It’s an exhaustive interior design program with some of its notable courses being Elements of Design, Residential Studio Basics, Sustainable Design, Furniture Styles, Lighting Fundamentals and Presentation Skills.

At the end of the program, Century College awards diplomas for majority of the 15 courses. Some of the 15 courses are termed compulsory while several others are only considered essential for the students’ mastery of interior design.

Master of Science in Interior Architecture at Chatham University

If you’re an interior design graduate eying advanced knowledge of interior design, Chatham University’s online interior design course could be a perfect match for you.

One of the distinguishing things about this interior design course is the academic perspective woven into its students’ research projects.


Whether it’s free or paid for, an online interior design course is a very convenient avenue to learn the tricks and techniques of interior design. If you’re so passionate about making a living off interior design, it would be reasonable that you add an interior design certification to your portfolio.

Of course, you won’t want to appear as a quack interior designer in front of prospective clients. That aside, enrolling in an online interior design course could be an advantage to interact with other ID enthusiasts and share creative design ideas in the course of your learning.

Hopefully, you’ll find any of the listed free online ID courses handy for advancing your knowledge of interior design.


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