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Interior Design

  • Available as major (B.S. degree) and minor
    Understanding people and creating spaces where they can learn, live, work and play. Designing functional, beautiful places that enhance individual lifestyles. Does this sound exciting and challenging to you? Then consider a career in interior design.

  • Generate and consult on design ideas. Illustrate and document your suggestions and solutions. Participate in construction and purchasing decisions. Contribute in important ways as a member of a team. Help create pleasing, functional, efficient and safe places for people to live, work and play.

    At Olivet, you can:

    • Be less than 60 miles from Chicago's Merchandise Mart and 350 West Mart Center, home to 120 wholesale apparel showrooms.
    • Learn the types and characteristics of furniture, finishes and equipment. Use that expertise to create aesthetically rich concepts for clients and developers. 
    • Learn the history and various styles of design, art and architecture. Use that knowledge to understand and educate your clients.
    • Learn to research the latest designs in furniture, lighting, flooring, paint, wall coverings, fixtures, art and accessories. Use that information to make educated selections for space compositions.
    • Learn about space planning for public and private facilities. 
    • Learn to write project specifications, paying close attention to sustainability factors; LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards; building codes; building and product standards for people with disabilities; ergonomic concerns; lighting; acoustics; and fire safety.
    • Minor in business or art and increase your career opportunities.
    • Work with clients in the real world.
    • And so much more!

    Putting knowledge to work

    Ugly Kitchen Contest — sponsored by TA Design, Kitchen Gallery of Bourbonnais — is held every other fall semester. This juried contest, judged by professional designers and architects, brings together students with clients from the local community who need ideas for renovating their kitchens. The top three winners receive cash awards for their work in specifying cabinets, lighting and finishes that meet National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) guidelines. Students get practical design experience as they interview their clients; measure the actual kitchens; design new plans and get their clients’ approval; and present their plans to their peers and the judges.

    Team projects are part of every semester. In the past, our students have worked together to:

    • Renovate the nursery and a classroom at College Church, Bourbonnais, Ill.
    • Help Habitat for Humanity build houses for low-income families in Kankakee County.
    • Design a Science Activity Bus for Shepherd Community Center, Indianapolis, Ind.
    • Design residential spaces, including 235 Van Buren, Chicago, and Lakeshore Towers, Chicago.

    Our students have completed internships with a variety of local and national companies, including: Heartland Cabinetry; Ethan Allen; RGB Architecture Group; df Design Inc.; Definition by Design; Renaissance Studio Inc.; Pottery Barn; Houston Structural Inc.; Kankakee Homebuilders.


    If you are:

    • people-oriented
    • one who easily sees and enjoys working with art, color and shape
    • excited by creative expression
    • strong in math and spatial reasoning
    • a person who makes a plan before starting any project

    then a career in interior design may be for you.

    A career in interior design requires both education and practical experience. Certification by National Council for Interior Design (NCID), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and/or National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) is also important. Our program prepares you for each step along the way.

    To sit for the NCIDQ exam, you need 60 credit hours and two years of work experience. Our program helps you meet those requirements

    Possible careers include: residential designer, commercial designer, procurement for a design firm, kitchen and bath designer, drafter, lighting designer, sales representative, general contractor

    Companies that have employed our graduates: HomeWerks, Orland Park, Ill.; Definition by Design, Grand Haven, Mich.; Holly Hunt/Luxury Home Furnishing, Merchandise Mart, Chicago; Getty’s Hospitality Design Firm; Lee Lumber/Smart Rooms, Chicago

    Interior Design is part of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences within the School of Professional Studies.

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  • Gain the skills and the knowledge you need to build a successful career.

  • Department Faculty

    Click on name
    for full bio.

    Catherine Anstrom

    Debra Kimberlin

    Complete list of faculty