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Interior Design/Decorating resources for teen

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DD14 is interested in Interior Design/Decorating and would like to develop this further. She is artistic and creative, but she's young so right now her style is all over the place :).  She would like to learn about the basic principles of decorating/design. For right now, we are looking for no- or low-cost resources until she's sure she wants to pursue this on a professional level; then we'll be willing to invest a bit more. Does anyone have any suggestions or resources for starting out? If this were your daughter, how would you do this? (We live overseas.)

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Design has very little to do with developing your own sense of style, so don't worry if she seems all over the place. It is about color, geometry, and the psychology of teasing information out of customers who want their room to look a certain way, but don't express their preferences well. Designers must give the client what they want, within their budget, and as quickly as possible.


I'd do all you can to make sure that she has fantastic math skills. Our designers spend a lot of time measuring and calculating. It is absolutely essential that great designers know how much tile they will need, or whether a sofa will fit well in the room they are working on. I'd also encourage her to set up an account on Houzz and allow her the freedom to simply collect ideas.


She is still pretty young, but as she gets older you might want to encourage her to take a class in public speaking, sales, or cad.

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Google Maps has some virtual tours of historic buildings; they might help with learning about period interiors:


Here is one of Monticello in Virginia, USA -- keep zooming in, and it will eventually take you inside the house.


The Palace of Versailles in France.


The Castle de Fontainebleau in France.


The White House in Washington DC, USA.





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For interior design, I think she only needs basic math skills - geometry at the most. They need to be solid, but there's no need for calculus and the like.  


Now, as far as how to help her develop this interest now, here are some things she can look into: 


Color Theory

Drawing (to learn perspective, balance, etc.)




customer service


history of decor (I've seen several books on this over the years)

business math

webpage design


business planning





Check with your local community college as they may have some courses as part of their regular programs or as part of their adult contenting education programs (ours allows students 16 and older in the continuing education programs). She could volunteer to work on sets for the local theater group as well. Perhaps she could get a part time job at a nice furniture store. 


There are a variety of ways to get training and education in this field, from a four year university degree with a design major to an art school degree - just tons of options. Make sure she visits different types of programs to see which one fits her best. 


ETA - look at the various interior design books available on Amazon or through your public library as well. 

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She could also make her own design boards for part of a portfolio. That by itself would give her some good practice putting everything together into one vision. 


This is awesome, I bet the OP's daughter would have a blast doing this! I do design boards for my quilts, but alas, they only have fabric on them! It would be easy to play with design boards on pinterest as well, but then they wouldn't be ready for the portfolio. 


Oh, don't forget to let her rearrange her bedroom furniture at will, and even the rest of the house if you're up to it! 

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