Creating great interiors, one space at a time

Creativity and practicality combine in TAFE SA’s interior design courses.

Great interior spaces don’t just happen by chance. Creating a space that works well, seamlessly combining form and function with comfort and style, is at the heart of professional interior design. From helping a family renovate their home to envisioning the interiors of major commercial development, interior designers work alongside the client, the architects, the builders and many others to help bring interiors to life.

‘Our students learn from “real life” authentic situations, letting them experience the industry in a safe and supportive environment. This also allows them to make mistakes from which to grow and learn,’ says Andrew Foster-Johnson, Education Manager at TAFE SA’s Tonsley Campus.

TAFE SA offers a range of interior design and decoration courses, including a one-year Certificate IV and a two-year Diploma.

‘Industry engagement is key to our training,’ Foster-Johnson says. ‘The students are able to learn from professionals in their chosen field, experience the hands-on reality of the job, and make valuable industry contacts for the future.’

All teaching staff are industry professionals with experience both here in Australia and overseas. This knowledge and expertise is incorporated into the learning materials and class presentations, with TAFE SA offering a flexible learning environment where students can access a blended range of options including face-to-face, online and external classes.

Interior designers help make a house a home and an office more than simply somewhere to work. And it’s not just about choosing colour schemes and sourcing the furniture; it’s about understanding how the space will be used to make it both practical and aesthetically pleasing. It’s also about realising the client’s aims, developing and managing a budget, and incorporating any special requirements such as heritage elements, and period finishes and furnishings.

The skills needed go beyond creative flair and an eye for what looks good: planning, research, budgeting and project management are also important. And if students aspire to run their own design consultancy, even as self-employed solopreneurs, they also need skills in running a small business along with marketing and promotion.

‘We are incorporating new technologies and methodologies into classrooms to ensure that the students are as up-to-date as possible and “job-ready” upon graduation,’ says Foster-Johnson.

The TAFE SA courses share practical skills that can be applied immediately, including learning how to use colour and furnishings to create inspired interiors, and how to produce technical plans and drawings. Students also have the opportunity to learn about 2D and 3D design, technical drawing, lighting, furnishings, workplace interiors, and kitchen design – one of the most popular home renovation projects.

‘We incorporate regular industry site visits where the students learn about the latest trends in interior decoration including lighting, floor coverings, tiling, and kitchens and bathrooms.’

Good design enhances the built environment by making interiors more beautiful and embodying the client’s vision for their space. Interior designers strive to come up with design solutions that are both creative and practical.

‘Our students have access to the World’s Global Style Network (WGSN), which is the leading authority worldwide on consumer and design trends. They can use this to incorporate the latest styling trends into their assignments and projects. This really is about designing for the future,’ Foster-Johnson explains.

Studying at TAFE SA gives you the qualifications and confidence you need to launch your career in interior design and decoration. Find out more about the one-year Certificate IV in Interior Decoration [MSF40118] and the two-year Diploma of Interior Design [MSF50218]. Many TAFE SA graduates are now leaders in the field and have been recognised with numerous industry awards.

Applications are now open online for TAFE SA’s 2023 intake.

Dr Diana Carroll is a writer, speaker, and reviewer based in Adelaide. Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Woman's Day, and B&T. Writing about the arts is one of her great passions.