Good Questions: Which Interior Design School To Choose?

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Dear AT,

I have read your book, share a strong conviction that interior design has a strong psychic component and am now looking into going back to school for interior design. The question is, where to go? I really want to study how to work with people to redo their homes, but will interior design courses teach me this or will they simply teach me a more straight forward trade approach? What are my options?

Thanks, Dalia

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Dear Dalia,

My own education was in working for an interior design company and then going back to school to become a teacher, which I did for seven years. My own approach was to take my formal teacher training and fuse it with my love of interiors. To round out my skills, I had to do a lot of interior design training on the job.

When Sara Kate went back to school for cooking, she looked at two schools, one very alternative and one very formal. Being more of an alternative person herself, she chose the formal training and really enjoyed it. It allowed her to focus on skills as she kept her more alternative thinking about food alive in the background.

There is no perfect school and there is no perfect solution. If your heart takes you more towards an alternative approach to space, we would recommend looking for a straight ahead interior design program where you can cut your teeth and learn the basic skills. If you are a formal person, you might want to look in the other direction.

It will be easier finding smart, traditional approaches and then supplementing the training with good books that speak to the more intuitive, psychic elements of design.

One book we highly recommend is Karen Kingston’s Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui. If you check this book out and also check out her links and connections within the interiors world, you will find a rich assortment of resources.

As to where to look, the schools that I’ve met smart, skilled folks from are Parsons and Pratt, though there are certainly others.

Can anyone add to this list?