How to kickstart interior design career even if you are not an architecture graduate?

With all the buzzing in the real estate across the country, interior design and architecture careers are flourishing.

This demand is even pushed more with all the pretty images on social media of spaces, encouraging more and more people to hire interior designers for designing their new houses or renovation projects.

Sounds promising, but what if, academically, you don’t have what it takes to get onboard?

Well, you still have a chance to get right on-track to get into the design world. All you need is some talent, a lot of passion and a tremendous amount of studying.

So here are some online/face-to-face programs you can start with to kickstart the wonder journey of interior designing if you are a newbie.

Whether you are to design your own space, explore new business/career opportunities or develop your skills if you are already in the design/contracting world, you will find these programs beneficial.

None of these programs will promise that you will be a top-notch designer upon completion, however if the interior design field is for you, each will give you a different perspective of the design world and will get you hooked even more.

National Design Academy (NDA) Online Program

The NDA is a non-profit academy located in the UK and has a branch in Dubai. NDA’s wide range of part-time online programs include professional design diplomas, BA(Hons) and master’s degrees.

The NDA offers 3 kickstart professional diplomas, Interior Design, Garden Design and Soft furnishings & curtain making.  What I like about studying at NDA is that it is at your own pace, you just have to finish the diploma program within the 12 months.

In the Interior Design Diploma, you learn all basic skills needed for interior design, from styles, colors, floor planning, rendering, furnishing and lighting. The diploma does not promise that you will have all what is needed to be a designer, but it will guide you to the path. For me it hooked me with the design world that I cannot imagine myself working in anything else other than design.

I started the NDA’s interior design diploma with the covid lockdown started back in March 2020 and it took me 10months to finish. I already have a degree in computer engineering and business administration, but I changed directions 4 years earlier into the contracting world.  However, I always felt I needed to take some formal education, it was then when I started with the NDA diploma.

It was through this diploma that I got a leap in my career.

The total diploma cost for international students is $1,850 (approx. 29K EGP) if total amount paid at enrollment or $2100 (approx. 33K EGP) paid on 7 months installments.

HEDS Academy

HEDS is a local interior design academy founded by award winning designer, Hisham Elesawy. HEDS offers short track interior design diploma of 75hours over 15weeks and costs around 15000EGP

It would be a good start if you want to have a quick understanding of the interior design process and at the same time start building a design community network for your future career/business.

Online School of Sketching by Olga Sorokina

If you are looking at taking your design profession to the next level and at the same time stay away from the crowd and be authentic in what you do, try the “Online School of Sketching by Olga”. Olga provides well designed, easy to follow, hand-sketching courses for interior designers.

It doesn’t matter whether you have any artistic talents or not, you will be able to sketch a 3D interior space right from the first session.

The entire program is divided into 2 courses, Basic and Pro, each cost $448 (around 7000 EGP), and you get a $100 discount if you do bundle registration for the 2 courses together.

Olga also offers a 1-week free access to introductory course for 1- and 2-point perspective sketching and rendering. With finishing the first video of the introductory course, I had my first 2-point perspective hand-sketched interior space, so give it a try.


Professional Kitchen Design Course by Studio 38

Another way to get into the interior design world is through furniture design, and there is no more challenge in the furniture world than kitchens.

Maha Ragab, founder of Studio 38, offers a 40 hours professional kitchen design course that takes you through all stages of kitchen design, manufacturing and installation.

Maha has long years of experience working with major kitchen design and manufacturing firms. So you will highly benefit from this course whether you already have some experience in kitchen design or you are a novice.

The course costs 7500 EGP and it takes place at Creative Hub in CFC.


Published by Engy Samir

Interior Designer and Blogger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: