It’s been several months since my first installment in this series, and it’s crazy that I just finished up my final module for the Interior Design Institute! Now, I have all the knowledge to share with you and I can’t wait to jump in.
This is going to look a little different though. The thought of having to go through 6 more complete modules in this post, quite frankly, has me bored already. And I’m sure you don’t want that either. So instead, I’m going to do an all-encompassing, comprehensive review of my experience. I’ll be rating the different aspects of the course from 1-10. Spoiler: my ultimate conclusion is that it was worth it.
If it’s your first time here, feel free to check out both of my previous posts where I talk at length about modules 1-6 (the first half of the course). And if you’re dying to know any specifics that I haven’t covered, feel free to email me any questions at email@example.com
Now that all the housekeeping is out of the way, let’s get right into it! Here’s my full review of The Interior Design Institute.
- Pricing – 9/10
- Rigor – 8.5/10
- Assignments – 9.5/10
- Feedback – 7/10
- Community – 10/10
- Preparedness to run a business – 8.5/10
As I mentioned in my first review, I was looking for a course that was legitimate but didn’t carry the burden of fully going back to school. I already graduated with my Bachelor’s in Communication, so I didn’t feel the need to go through it all again. That being said though, I didn’t want some shitty, $200 course that wouldn’t really mean anything on paper.
This course totaled $1000, or $1399 if you include the masterseries with Darren Palmer.
To me, this is the perfect price point for what I wanted. Not too expensive where I have to take out student loans. But just enough where I’m confident that I will get a good value.
You really do get what you pay for, so it’s not the same as going to SCAD or any other art school. But it definitely beats the $85 night class I took at a local college or a handful of skillshare classes.
Which brings me to rigor. One of my biggest fears going into this is that it would just be a reinforcement of everything that I taught myself throughout my life. This was definitely not the case, though.
The only reason the score is not closer to 10 is simply a matter of time. I wish that it was a longer course that had several different assignments for each module. That would more closely reflect the education you get in an Associate’s program.
From start to finish, it took me about 4 months to finish the course. However, it was only $1000, so I didn’t dock too many points.
I will say that I was pleasantly surprised. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about interior design. This is as a result of my upbringing, the shows I watch, things I read and podcasts I listen to. So I was surprised to discover how much I truly didn’t know. Which was great!
They really do drill pretty deep into lots of more technical aspects of interior design that are hard to understand fully without formal education. Things like electrical, drawing floorplans, color theory, among other things.
I truly am finishing this class with a great working knowledge of the field. But I do want to point out that while going through the course, I made a point to always look further into concepts I didn’t fully comprehend. They do a great job of explaining, but just like in school, extra research is always necessary to get the full value.
The time and effort it took to complete the assignments is probably one of the best compliments I could give to the course. These definitely weren’t some mindless tasks that you could get done in an hour.
Some were easier than others, but lots of them took several hours and several sessions of me working on them.
My favorite assignments were the floorplan for module 4, the mock client documents for module 10, and the materials board for module 11. These all helped me get hands-on experience with practical things that will benefit me in the real, working world.
Some assignments, like the one for module 2 and all of the history of different design periods, were less practical, but nonetheless helped to round out all my knowledge of design.
I thoroughly enjoyed them all (even if some did take FOREVER). So that helps to add to my point in the rigor section above that it would have been cool to have more to keep practicing. But then again, what better practice than real life, post-grad?
This was my biggest point of contention with the course.
Although my advisor, Wendy, was very knowledgeable and gave great advice for further resources for each module (I would highly recommend you take these suggestions!), it seemed like the assignments were rated very generously. She provided some feedback every time, but it was often pretty general.
I don’t think I got lower than a 9/10 for a single assignment. In fact I got 10/10 for the majority. And I would like to believe it’s just because I’m amazing at interior design, but the reality is I think the assignments were marked a little too generously for my preference.
The Interior Design Institute was just a little too nice. I wanted them to dig in and tear apart every detail so it would help me learn. Like I said, they did give a little feedback, but it wasn’t quite enough for me.
This is one aspect I really wish I would have known about from the beginning. There is an amazing, supportive, and most importantly active Facebook group of past and current students.
It’s helpful to go on there if you have any questions on modules, want someone to look over your work before you submit it, or even just if you need some motivation to keep going.
Beyond things just related to the course, people will post there about personal projects, share their instagrams/websites, ask for business advice, and recommend books.
It’s truly a great community and I’m sad I didn’t think to actually join until I was well over halfway through the course. They did mention it when I enrolled, but I didn’t thing it would be as active as it is.
But the good thing is you’re not kicked out once you graduate, so I think it’s a page I will continue to engage with for a long time. The Interior Design Institute has a really strong community.
preparedness to run a business
I can’t speak to how prepared I would be to actually be hired into an interior design firm, because that’s not my focus. My guess is it would be kinda hard to find something without at least an associate’s. But that’s just my guess.
But for me, I wanted to get the degree to do freelance work on my own, and I feel very well prepared. In addition to the tons of both practical and creative design skills that the course enhanced, they also gave lots of business advice. This was scattered throughout the whole course, but they especially focused on it in modules 10 and 12.
As a result of the course, I know the proper ways to visually communicate ideas, the different pricing structures out there, the typical workflow of an interior designer, skills for finding clients, and advertising advice.
The business advice isn’t all-encompassing, clearly, but it provides a solid foundation for how to integrate any prior business knowledge you have into interior design.
As I wrap up the course, I feel confident that I can confidently navigate a residential interior design project. I know the history of design, spatial planning best practices, how to draw up a floor plan, best practices for lighting, how to conduct meetings with clients, and so much more.
was the interior design institute worth it?
Overall, I think that this course is perfect for people like me who have a good general knowledge of design but crave more. You get what you put into it, so if you are on-board to fully immerse yourself in the experience, you’re going to get well over your money’s worth.
Hey my name’s Hannah Michelle Lambert, the voice behind homey homies. I’m an LA-based blogger and interior designer. I’m passionate about fun, adaptive, and affordable design that is filled with personality. And I’m a huge believer in a good DIY. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find the inspiration you’re looking for – and maybe a little extra 😉
First of all, thank you for your detailed review on the course. Everything was will written and full of useful informations. Like you said in your first post, it is hard to find reviews on the course and what you wrote is exactly what I was looking for. Obviously you are someone that knows about design and did some studies before signing up for this course so I am wondering if you think it is worth it also for someone who has never studied interior design (I do read about it, but very casually). I love design and I finally decided to channel my creative self but having a completely different background (business management) is really making my research of a good course quite hard. I am really interested in taking their classes but I am afraid it would be too hard for someon that has no academic knowledge on the topic.
Thank you in advance!
I’m so glad that this was actually valuable for you!
I actually only took one 6 part class (that was pretty uninformative) prior to the course, so I was pretty green to the whole design industry, too. Basically no academic background. So I think that you’d definitely be totally fine even without that background. As long as you have an interest in design and go the extra mile to check out outside resources like blogs, tv shows, etc., you’ll be able to catch onto everything pretty well
I am so so glad to have found this review! I am cautious with online certifications and really need honest reviews to feel confident in purchasing a course.
One question, though: do you have a discount link for Canadians?
Hey Alexis, I’m so glad that this was helpful to you! The discount link should work internationally.
This review was awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this as it really helped solidify my decision to sign up for the course. I had a quick question regarding any software that you used for designing etc. Having taken the course, would you recommend using a Mac or a PC for the software that they provide?
You’re so welcome! I’m really glad it helped you make your decision.
I’m an Apple girl for life, so I used a Mac for the whole course and had no issues. The only thing that was a slight inconvenience was that the SketchUp tutorial was only for PC when I did it, but they just launched the Mac course so that’s a non-issue now! For that software, though, I would recommend using a Macbook Pro vs the Air just because of the energy and space it uses.
This was the perfect information I was looking for, thank you! Can you tell me what you graduate with at the end of the course? I’ve read ‘Diploma’ in some cases and completion certificate in others. Thanks! x
Glad I could help! You get a certification at the end, so it’s not an Associate’s or Bachelor’s.
Hi!, I am enrolling in the program. Did you add the Darren Palmer workshop? If so, did you find it valuable?
Hey Chris! I actually did not take the masterclass, so I can’t provide any insight on that. However, I have heard some good things about it in the IDI Facebook group. The biggest benefit people say it has is that there are video modules. Which is great, because that’s one thing I wish the rest of the modules had.
Could you write more about the tutoring system? How did you get a tutor, how you kept in touch, what did they help with, feedbacks, etc.
Hey! When you sign up, you automatically get assigned a tutor. They are the ones that grade your assignments and provide feedback, but they’re also available for you to ask questions as you’re going through the assignments. Like I said, this is probably one of the weaker parts of the course; the feedback was pretty minimal. Granted, I didn’t have a ton of questions during the process, so I didn’t reach out to them and did just go to the facebook page for support. But the feedback on assignments was my main disappointment. I just got really good marks on every assignment, and while I know I did well, I felt like there was probably more feedback they could have given me.
I am having a little trouble figuring out which model for the Mac book would be better for the online course. Especially if I wanted to factor in extra Modules for AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, or SketchUP.
Would 16GB RAM be better than 8GB RAM? Or is 8GB RAM efficient enough? Any other info you could think of would be great!
Hey! Generally, I definitely would recommend a Macbook Pro over a Macbook air for any CAD software or SketchUp. I did have a 2016 Macbook Pro with touchbar with 8GB RAM when I did the course, and it was sufficient, but SketchUp definitely crashed and lagged sometimes. But it wasn’t unbearable. I have a 16GB M1 Macbook Pro now and it’s incredible. I definitely notice a difference in the speed and smoothness. But again, not a total dealbreaker. If you have it in the budget to upgrade and want the computer to last you a long time with advanced software, it’s worth it. If you’re trying to be on a tighter budget, you can definitely still make do with 8GB.