Interior Design Education Orinda CA

How to Choose the Right Interior Design Course near Orinda California

Orinda CA residential designed kitchenOnce you have decided to enroll in an interior designer degree program near Orinda CA, it’s time to begin the process of choosing a school. Even if you have always had a gift for designing commercial or residential interiors, it’s imperative that you receive the right training to put your natural abilities to work. And since a number of states do require that interior designers be licensed, depending on your state of residence you may need preparation to pass a licensing examination as well. So it’s very important that you perform the appropriate research in order to evaluate and compare each school that you are reviewing prior to making your final selection. But exactly where do you begin? A number of prospective students will begin their research by searching for interior design colleges near their residence and then comparing tuition expenses. While cost and location are important variables when making a determination, they should not be the only ones. Qualifications such as accreditation and reputation should be considered also. We will address those issues and other important questions that you must ask the interior design schools you are looking at later in this article. But before we do, let’s talk a little bit more about what interior design is and what degree and class alternatives are available.

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Interior Design compared to Interior Decoration

Orinda CA commercial designed board roomSome people mistake interior design for interior decoration and conversely. The primary difference between the two is the amount of education required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior areas. On the other hand, doing business as an interior designer requires a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Bachelor’s or Associate Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or living areas functional as well as attractive. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two broad categories that an interior designer in Orinda CA can specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers typically work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design basically any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for instance bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Commercial Designing. When dealing with public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus predominantly on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but pay attention to both. As an example, business meeting rooms and reception areas are areas where aesthetics may be stressed over function. Designs for hospitals and banks may focus more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer must learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. They have to be able to read blue prints and use graphic design in order to produce their visions. From picking carpeting and wall paper to incorporating Feng shui concepts, Orinda CA interior designers implement a wide variety of skills that contribute to their final designs.

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Interior Design Training Programs

Orinda CA interior designed bathroomThere are four degree options offered in interior design to acquire the training necessary to start your new career in Orinda CA. Your choice will no doubt be driven by your career objectives as well as the time and money that you have to invest in your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, be sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam required in some states. More will be covered on additional accreditation benefits later. Following are short descriptions of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees provide the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take roughly two years to finish and programs are offered at a number of California vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor’s Degree. Bachelor’s degrees are four year programs that supply more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They cover the creative and technical facets of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to obtain an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master’s Degree. These two year programs supply advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor’s Degree. Master’s Degrees provide choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. Many students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who desire to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are typically completed in 3 to 5 years.

In order to work as a professional and use the title of “Interior Designer”, a number of states require that graduates of accredited colleges become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be called for before an applicant can sit for the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Schools

Orinda CA student attending online Interior Design CourseFor those who wish to study in the comfort of their Orinda CA homes, there are accredited online interior design degrees. Attending classes online can be an excellent solution for those students that are employed or have busy schedules that make attending classes on campus problematic. Classes can instead be accessed on a home computer or laptop when practical for the student. For a number of students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more conventional options. Added costs for such things as commuting or study materials may be decreased or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the school you enroll in is accredited by a highly regarded accrediting agency, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on online or distance education. If you have the dedication to obtain your degree without the confines of a physical classroom setting, then an online interior design college may be the right option for you.

Topics to Ask Interior Designer Programs

Questions to ask Orinda CA interior design schoolsOnce you have selected the interior designer degree that you wish to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your college options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the campus needs to be within commuting distance from your Orinda CA residence. Naturally if you have decided on attending an online school, or are able to move to attend classes, then location might not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will decrease your options as well. But selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to home are not the best ways to make your decision. There are other variables that you need to look at also, including the reputation and accreditation of the program. Following are a few concerns that you may want to ask the colleges you are considering to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Design Degree Program Accredited? It’s imperative to confirm that the interior design program and college that you choose has earned accreditation from either a national or regional agency. One of the most highly regarded in the industry is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a demanding evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are outstanding, it might also help when obtaining financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, a number of Orinda CA employers will only employ graduates of accredited colleges for entry level jobs.

Does the School Ready you for Licensing? As we previously mentioned, some States do require that interior designers become licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam as well as a degree from an accredited program. And in some of those States calling for licensing, two or more years of occupational experience may be required also. Therefore aside from providing an outstanding education, the Orinda CA program you enroll in should also provide the proper education to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for California or the State where you will be working.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and attained your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly need some help in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are looking at if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the school and its programs are highly regarded within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also signify that the college has a sizable network of Orinda CA business relationships where they can refer students to obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Contact the financial assistance offices for the Orinda CA colleges you are evaluating and find out what kind of aid they offer. Many of interior designer programs offer financial aid to their incoming students. Various schools offer partial scholarships while others provide help in securing federal student loans or grants. Again it must be stressed that selecting an accredited college is important for qualification in most cases. In some cases a school that has a higher tuition may effectively be less expensive than its competitors because they offer more generous financial aid.

How Large are the Classes? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are large, you probably will receive minimal individual attention from the teachers. Ask the Orinda CA colleges you are looking at what their average student to teacher ratios are. If practical from your Orinda home, go to the college and monitor a couple of classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their backgrounds are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Accommodate your Schedule? Last, make sure that the interior design program you choose provides classes the fit your busy schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evening or on weekends near Orinda CA, confirm that those classes are available. If working full-time means you can only attend part-time, verify that is an option also. Finally, find out what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Interior Design Education Orinda CA

beautifully designed Orinda CA homeSelecting the right interior design program is an important first step toward starting your career in this creative and rewarding profession. Locating a college where you will receive your education and develop your skills in a particular area of study is a daunting job regardless of what major you have chosen. As with any endeavor to acquire an advanced education, there are several factors to consider before choosing a school, program, or course. At a minimum, check that the program and design college are both accredited and highly regarded in the business. You originally came upon this website because you had an interest in Interior Design Education and wanted more info on the topic Online Course Interior Design. However it is still important that you complete your due diligence analysis. By doing so and following the rest of the suggestions provided in this article, you will be able to properly evaluate and compare interior design schools so that you can make the ideal ultimate selection. And with quality training and your drive to succeed, you can reach your goal of becoming an interior designer in Orinda CA.

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    Orinda, California

    Orinda is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 17,643 at the 2010 census, and was estimated in 2012 to have increased to 18,342. In 2012, Orinda was ranked the second most friendly town in America by Forbes.[8] The city is located just east of the city of Berkeley and is home to many affluent suburban professionals who commute to larger cities in the Bay Area such as Oakland, San Francisco, and Walnut Creek. Its location provides for a more rustic landscape, and Orinda's many parks and trails make it a destination for many Bay Area hikers and naturalists.

    Present-day Orinda is located within four Mexican land grants: Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados, Rancho Acalanes, Rancho El Sobrante and Rancho Boca de la CaƱada del Pinole. The area was originally rural, mainly known for ranching and summer cabins. In the late 19th century, the land was named by Alice Marsh Cameron, probably in honor of the poet Katherine Philips, who was also known as the "Matchless Orinda".[9]

    In the 1880s, the United States Surveyor General for California, Theodore Wagner, built an estate which he named Orinda Park.[10] The Orinda Park post office opened in 1888.[10] The post office's name was changed to Orinda in 1895.[10] Orinda was also the site of Bryant Station, a stop on the failed California and Nevada Railroad around the turn of the 20th century. In later times, the area around Bryant Station was known as Orinda Crossroads.[10]

     

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