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How short courses can enhance your interior design practice

Work produced during an Interior Design short course
  • Written byYusuf Tamanna
  • Published date 22 September 2021
Work produced during an Interior Design short course

When I spoke with Rebecca Ivy Rose Lewis-Knight, she told me she used to serve in the military as a trauma surgery practitioner, but then decided to hang up her scrubs and tend to her creative passions - specifically interior design.

It’s a big adjustment going from helping people in operating rooms to suggesting colour palettes for the living room, but Rebecca Ivy Rose has been busy laying the groundwork for her career in interior design.

In addition to recently completing her degree in interior design from the University of Wolverhampton – which she finished with First Class Honors - Rebecca Ivy Rose also has her own small interior design consultancy, aptly titled Ivy Rose Interiors

A Photo of Rebecca

“I specialise in interior design, spatial planning and styling with a focus on emotional wellbeing,” she tells me. “Balancing this work with my full-time studies has been a really rewarding experience and being able to help people remotely during the pandemic has helped expand my reach and help clients from further afield.”

Between the summer break from her full-time studies, Rebecca Ivy Rose decided to book  the Styling for Interiors Online Short Course. She says she wanted to treat herself, but also, she knew it would complement her studies perfectly.

“I wanted to study styling because it is so valuable to bring a whole scheme together and as an interior designer this was the perfect complimentary course to undertake,” Rebecca Ivy Rose explains.

Madina Masimova is another student who turned to our interior design short courses to enhance her understanding and experience of the field. A spatial designer, artist and creator, Madina recently graduated from Azerbaijan State Academy of Fine Arts with a BA Interior Design. She is currently planning to do a masters degree and is still debating between offers from both Parsons School of Design and Royal College of Art.

A Photo of Madina Masimova

Having already been a Study Abroad student with University of The Arts London, the short courses were already somewhat on her radar. In the end, Madina decided to study the Interior Lighting Design Online Short Course with Chelsea College of Arts.

“I wanted to do this course because I wanted to broaden my skills and knowledge as a spatial designer,” Madina explains.

Rebecca Ivy Rose says before even starting the short course she was excited and once it began, it exceeded all of her expectations.

“I couldn't wait to do the homework each night and start the next day! I was sad when the final day came and the course had to end.”

A Photo of Rebecca sorting through a colour palette

Along with the work she had to do for the course, Rebecca Ivy Rose appreciated the flexibility of the course. She was able to complete it remotely from home which meant no added stress or worry about trying to find accommodation.

But did the course itself complement Rebecca Ivy Rose’s study in the way she hoped?

“Yes! I use skills every day which were acquired on this course. They complement my degree in interior design so beautifully because they are perfectly aligned. I use them in my home, for my business, for photography, the list is endless.”

More than that, Rebecca Ivy Rose says the course has helped refine her interior design skills and see interior design in a different light. “The course undoubtedly helped me to develop my interior design skills. It’s made me really consider my interior photography compositions and how to develop my mood boards for clarity.

Likewise, Madina also learned a lot from the course work. “I loved the process of creating a lighting design for my interior space. I was also amazed at the science behind lighting and how it affects space.”

Accent Lighting Work by Madina Masimova

Work by Accent Lighting Work by Madina Masimova

Madina also says doing the short course prepared her for applying for her masters degree as she was able to demonstrate a wider and deeper understanding of different facets of interior design. “Lighting is an integral part of every spatial design project, and I am happy that I had the chance to study it in depth!”

More than just content, Rebecca Ivy Rose also says the course allowed her to network and connect with other students from across the world. “I managed to do some incredible networking and have forged some good relationships with those who participated in the course too!”

Rebecca Ivy Rose also had high praise for the tutor, Emma Morton-Turner. “Emma was just the loveliest, kind and sharing tutor, filling us all with excitement and sharing her nuggets of wisdom along the way. It's almost like there is a little Emma on my shoulder guiding my design process and styling work with her top tips!”

How to become a freelance Interior Stylist - Emma Morton-Turner | Tutor Advice

Since the course Rebecca Ivy Rose is happy to confirm that the skills and tips she learned on her short course have directly fed into her day-to-day work.

“I have a small portfolio of holiday cottages in the peak district with my partner Ben, which we love to make a truly special place to create memories for our guests. The short course really helped me to present our cottages in a much more appealing way and the new photographs we had taken really boosted our bookings.”

A Photo of Rebecca tending to a plant on her windowsill

Madina would happily recommend her peers to consider doing a short course to better themselves and their creative practice.

“Doing a short course has provided me with resources beyond the course and helped me to upskill in my spatial practice. I advise everyone wanting to improve their skills not to miss this creative opportunity!”

Similarly, Rebecca Ivy Rose is also encouraging people to consider short courses. “Do not hesitate and invest in yourself, your future and your happiness by doing a course. Make sure it’s because you want to not because you think you should. You will gain so much more than just the course content.”


Beyond styling and lighting, we offer a wide range of Architecture, spatial and interior design short courses where students can take their first steps into the field or complement their current practice or academic study. Take a look at our upcoming short courses information page for further details on what courses are coming up soon.

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