We’ve been receiving numerous emails from readers who want to be interior designers, decorators and architects but just don’t know where to start. So we’ve decided to help them out by compiling a list of institutions that are renowned for their design courses. But before we get to that, lets discuss the difference between the three professions.

While many people use the terms “interior designer” and “interior decorator” interchangeably, there are key differences between the two. For instance, an interior decorator works with architects to design the entire interior of the space. They work in collaboration with the architects to decide on how the space should be divided, where the walls should be built and what kinds of flooring and ceiling material will work best.

When it comes to interior decorators, the general rule of thumb is that a home owner, developer or residential/commercial architect hires an interior decorator to help create a certain look or feel for a home or workspace.

And lastly, an interior architect combines the study and practice of interior design with architecture.

All three professionals work together or individually to ensure that spaces are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. We suggest you do a bit of extra research on each so you know exactly what you want to study. Once you’re done, locate a design school by using our list below.

All the educational institutions we’ve provided are approved and accredited by the South African Department of Education. All of them offer a minimum of a three-year full-time course in interior design, interior architecture or interior decorating. Also, like most good design schools, their three to four year diploma and degree courses consist of theory, practical work and compulsory work experience where students are placed in the industry to gain a bit of experience, insight and exposure before graduating.

Full-time Courses in Interior Design:

BHC School of Design
Western Cape
Phone +27 (0)21 447 7288

Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Western Cape
Phone +27 (0)21 440 2278

The Design School of Southern Africa
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)11 326 3830

Durban University of Technology
KwaZulu Natal
Phone +27 (0)31 373 6503/4

Greenside Design Center
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)11 646 1984

Inscape Education Group
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)11 327 2002

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Eastern Cape
Phone +27 (0)41 504 9928

Potchefstroom Akademie
Gauteng
Phone: +27 (0)18 294 5581

Tshwane University of Technology
Pretoria
Phone +27 (0)12 382 6163

University of Johannesburg
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)11 559 1111/20

Full-time Courses in Interior Decoration:

Inscape Education Group
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)11 327 2002

Potchefstroom Akademie
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)18 294 5581

Full-time Courses in Interior Architecture:

University of Pretoria’s Department of Architecture
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)12 420 4542

The Design School of Southern Africa
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)11 326 3830

Inscape Education Group
Gauteng
Phone +27 (0)11 327 2002

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