Course Description

The certificate is designed to give you the skills you need to work in the industry as a professional. It will teach you how to interpret and respond to a client brief, how to integrate colour theory and how to produce industry-standard two- dimensional perspective drawings. You’ll also gain much of the knowledge you need to understand the legal, administrative and promotional requirements of establishing a small interior decoration consultancy.

What do interior decorators do?

While interior designers plan structural spaces and suggest alterations to the structure and dimensions of them, interior decorators mainly focus on decorating the space to meet the functional and aesthetic requirements of the people using it.
An interior decorator can undertake projects that include arranging the basic layout of spaces within a building as well as projects that require an understanding of technical issues such as acoustics, lighting and even temperature and location.
You could work in many different types of spaces, such as heritage buildings, corporate spaces, apartments, houses and other types of personal and professional environments. This productive and progressive course also provides pathways to further study in design.

Potential career outcomes

  • Colour Consultant
  • Commercial Furniture Consultant
  • Independent or Freelance Interior Decorating Consultant
  • Interior Decoration Consultant
  • Interior Decorator
  • Interior Stylist
  • Retail Assistant
  • Soft Furnishing Consultant
Course number E1120
Qualification name MSF40113 Certificate IV in Interior Decoration
Course duration Maximum 24 months
Delivery Method Online
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Knowledge tests, Portfolio, Presentations, Projects
Awarded by
  • TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010)


You will need to have completed year 10, or equivalent. Equivalency can be demonstrated by one of the following:

  • A qualification at Certificate II level or higher OR
  • 2 years of industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Printer and associated software
  • Scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processor (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processor (2GHz recommended)

Digital equipment

You will need access to:

  • A digital video recording device and/or a digital camera and associated software to save and upload video, image and audio files to OpenSpace. Many mobile phones and smart phones include this technology.
  • Software to view online videos and images. Software such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer etc. are available as a free download from the internet.


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
  • Accessing and searching the internet
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites
  • Uploading documents through websites
  • Participating in online discussions
  • Connecting digital cameras and downloading and storing images and audio files
  • Connecting digital video devices and downloading and storing videos
  • Compressing image, audio and video files.


Students will also require the following art and drawing material

  • Access to a high resolution colour printer (can be at a local copy shop)
  • Access to a high resolution, large format scanner (can be at a local copy shop)
  • Textile, tile, flooring and paint samples
  • Mounting boards (e.g. foam core board)
  • A selection of H and B-type pencils and eraser
  • Drawing pens, size .25, .35 and .5, and ink or felt-tip pens
  • A3 tracing paper – minimum thickness 70gsm
  • Materials, tools and equipment to make scale models of interior spaces
  • Visual diary and sketching paper for preliminary sketches of designs
  • Office equipment and resources including telephone, photocopier, scanner and printer.

For a full list of the art and drawing material required please download the course guide.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.

Note: Courses offered by Open Colleges on behalf of TAFE NSW North Region may include Units of Competency that are graded by TAFE NSW.

Student Accommodation

  • Source information on 2-dimensional design
  • Explore the creative design process for 2-dimensional forms
  • Communicate concepts or ideas through application of design processes to 2-dimensional forms
  • Prepare for technical drawing work
  • Create technical drawings

Antique bazaar

  • Plan research
  • Conduct research and document findings
  • Maintain currency with architectural styles and movements
  • Source information on 3-dimensional design
  • Explore the creative design process for 3-dimensional forms
  • Communicate concepts or ideas through application of design processes to 3-dimensional forms

The interior design studio

  • Evaluate and explore needs and opportunities
  • Develop a range of creative approaches
  • Refine concepts
  • Develop concepts to an operational level
  • Plan drawing work
  • Experiment to represent ideas
  • Create drawings

Decorate a residential complex

  • Source information on colour and colour theory
  • Experiment with colour
  • Communicate concepts and ideas through use of colour
  • Analyse the project brief
  • Conduct research for the design
  • Confirm the design brief
  • Generate decoration concepts
  • Translate concepts into 3D decoration ideas
  • Revise and refine solution
  • Present decoration solution to client
  • Reflect on decoration process
  • Confirm services with client
  • Determine client style requirements
  • Develop style design
  • Create visual impact by styling a space
  • Assess colour requirements for the project
  • Research colour schemes for interior decoration
  • Explore colour schemes
  • Present colour scheme
  • Assess colour requirements for the project
  • Research colour schemes for interior decoration
  • Explore colour schemes
  • Present colour scheme

Your resource library

  • Assess client product need
  • Source and assess suitability of products
  • Specify products
  • Interpret decoration requirements from project brief
  • Research furniture
  • Research accessories
  • Make recommendations to client
  • Assess soft furnishing requirements for the project
  • Research materials for soft furnishings
  • Research and recommend decorative treatments for windows and openings
  • Research and recommend soft floor coverings
  • Document and present decorative recommendations

Run your own business

  • Define the design challenge
  • Undertake research to inform the design solution
  • Communicate and collaborate with others
  • Generate ideas and responses to the design challenge
  • Select a design solution
  • Identify principles of WHS
  • Assess WHS implications for interior decoration and design
  • Assess safety implications for customers
  • Assess risk
  • Apply risk control measures to decoration and design solutions

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to effectively find out current resource use and carry out improvements, in own work area, including those that reduce the negative environmental impacts of work practices.

This unit of competency applies to operators/team members who are required to follow procedures to work in an environmentally sustainable manner. This maximises the environmental performance of the process and the organisation, ensures regulatory compliance, and aims to minimise environmental risks and impacts.

This unit of competency applies to all sectors of the manufacturing industry and members of its value chain. It may also be applied to all sections of an organisation, including office and warehouse. This unit will need to be contextualised for the industry sector, organisation and section.

This unit of competency applies to an individual working alone or as part of a team/work group and working in liaison with other shift team members and the control room operator, as appropriate.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

  • Develop operational strategies and procedures
  • Implement operational strategies and procedures
  • Monitor business performance
  • Maintain networks
  • Review business operations

Interior design technology

  • Establish structural components and materials used in residential buildings
  • Interpret plans and specifications
  • Specify the materials and methods involved in the refurbishment of wet areas​
  • Develop and maintain relevant and current reference material
  • Identify hard material and finishing requirements for project
  • Identify types and features of hard materials and finishes
  • Research hard materials and finishes
  • Recommend hard materials and finishes
  • Identify presentation requirements from project brief
  • Prepare materials board
  • Prepare for client presentation



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

Find out more

Chris Veness

For over a decade, Chris has been training industry professionals and interior design students at both University and TAFE levels, as well as working in the design industry and running his own design and 3D practice. His wealth of teaching experience covers all aspects of Design, CAD, BIM and 3D software. In 2011, he was awarded "Teacher of the Year" at the Canberra Institute of Technology and in 2014 received the highest student satisfaction rating at the University of Canberra. As a practising building designer and interior designer, Chris delivers the very highest quality standards to his clientele. He is a leader and pioneer of 3D visualisations and artist impressions. Chris is the Program Manager for the Building & Construction/Interior Design & Decoration courses.

Melissa Kenny

Melissa has been an interior designer for over 20 years. She studied at Enmore Design College while working full-time in her first design studio. Melissa contributed to many retail, hospitality, and residential design projects before going overseas and working in a well-established London design studio, making a base to travel through Europe. In 2001, Melissa started her own design company called holmes@home. She loves designing and sharing her skills and knowledge with students that wish to make design their passion and career. 

You will also be sent a student drawing pack which includes:

  • A3 Visual Diary - Black
  • A3 Visual Diary – White
  • A3 Sketch Pad 110gsm
  • A3 Tracing Paper
  • A3 Foam Core – White
  • A3 Foam Core – Black
  • Scale Ruler
  • Graphite Pencil Sketch Set
  • Glue Tape removable
  • Set Squares
  • Graphic Ink Pens (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.5)
  • Paint Palette
  • Brush Bundle Pack
  • Coloured Pencil 12 pack
  • 3 x Marker Pens (Grey, Sienna, Olive)
  • Gouache Colour CMYK
  • Colour Wheel


  • Interior Design Illustrated, 3rd edition. Ching & Binggeli, 2012.
  • Interior Design Visual Presentation: a guide to graphics, models, and presentation techniques, 4th edition. Mitton, 2012.
Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010). The testamur will be issued by TAFE NSW North Region.

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