Residential Design

Harcum College offers the Main Line’s first Residential Design Certificate Program, offering men and women the fundamental principles of designing and decorating residential interior spaces.

Register online for Residential Design!

 Check back for courses/dates for Fall 2017.


About the Program

Residential DesignGood interior design solutions make people feel positive in their surroundings. Our homes are the refuge from the elements and the pressures of everyday life. Ideally, it’s a place where we are nurtured and fed, where we rest, sleep, entertain, and relax. Our goal as designers is to provide positive energy and support in the living environment, where our finest values are embraced and fostered. Courses in the Residential Design Certificate program provide the knowledge, skill set, and critical thinking needed to design living spaces that enhance peoples’ lives.

Through this program students will be able to design rooms from conception to completion. Discovery of personal taste and style will evolve as they progress. Using creative problem solving, they will learn how to transform a room into a welcoming environment that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Students will learn how to read and draw floor plans, to select fabrics, finishes, furniture, lighting, paint, and accessories.

Small classes allow for individualized instruction. Students will participate in field trips to local businesses, furniture stores, showrooms, and design firms. Courses are conveniently offered in the evenings. The program can be completed in two to four semesters or at one’s leisure.

Requirements for completion of the Residential Design Certificate Program: Successfully complete six (6) required Residential Design Courses. Courses do not have to be taken in sequence. Residential Design courses are also open to non-certificate students for personal enrichment.

Instructors: All courses are taught by professionals and educators working in the field of Interior Design, architecture, and art.

Course Fees, Registration, Billing/Payment and Cancellation Policy

Fees: Tuition is $425 per course.

Registration: Complete the registration form and return along with payment. Remember, registration is not considered complete until the full payment has been made. Classes will be offered on a first-paid, first-serve basis. Register online>>

Payment: Payments are due no later than the first day of class. This requirement applies to all students.

To ensure maximum results for each student, class size is limited. For further information call 610-526-6087.

Cancellation Policy: Harcum College reserves the right to add or drop a course/program according to enrollment. If you wish to withdraw from a course, cancellation must be received in writing five (5) business days before the class is scheduled to begin or a refund will not be granted. Refunds are subject to a $25 administrative fee.

Course Descriptions:

INTRODUCTION TO RESIDENTIAL DESIGN:  How do you begin to plan interior spaces? Using the principles and elements of design – scale, proportion, balance, emphasis, rhythm and harmony, you’ll learn to create engaging spaces that enhance people’s lives. You’ll explore space planning, materials selections and the methods used to solve interior design problems. Create a complete interior design project, from beginning concept through finished visual and verbal presentation.

FURNITURE STYLES & APPLICATION:  Explore important elements of furniture styles, the history of furniture (from Egyptian to Contemporary), and the relevance of style in today's interiors. Become familiar with scale, proportion, balance, and harmony as they relate to the selection and application of furniture for a space.

FABRICS & FINISHES FOR INTERIORS:   This course provides an overview and understanding of the selection of fabrics and finishes used in interiors on furniture, walls, floors, window treatments, and more. Particular attention is paid to the selection of materials that provide better indoor air quality and help to create a "greener" planet.

INTERIOR LIGHTING: Students will focus on the basics of lighting to enhance the impact of their designs. They will learn the fundamentals of task, ambient, and direct lighting. Projects will address designing and solving lighting challenges in any given space.

INTERIOR ACCESSORIZING: This course focuses on the art of accessorizing. Homes should be visually pleasing and emotionally satisfying. in this course, you will explore ideas for creative accessorizing by using designer sources, and will learn how much art impacts the living environment.

BUSINESS PRACTICES FOR DESIGNERS:  This course will cover the various aspects of business practices for the Interior Design professional, including business formation and structure, legal terminology, business forms, billing, ordering, contracts, and liabilities. Topics will include ethics, trade relations, and client- contractor- designer relations as well as today's marketing tools for interior designers. Guest speakers will include professional designers who own, operate, and manage design practices. 

SKETCHUP FOR DESIGNERS:  Come build the SketchUp skills you need! A must for any design professional, this free program creates immersive 3D walk-throughs of your design ideas. Create compelling presentations that give your client a real sense of presence. You’ll learn to create, animate and display your concepts with confidence in this course.

KITCHENS & BATHS: Renovating your kitchen or bath is one of the best home improvement investments that you can make! This course will present the fundamentals of kitchen and bath design. Though lectures, field trips, assignments, and projects, you  will learn to apply space planning to a kitchen or bath project -  providing storage solutions and creating a refreshing and nurturing environment. Technical issues such as plumbing, electric, appliances, material options, and specifications will also be covered. Prerequisite: Design 1

WINDOW TREATMENTS FOR THE HOME:  Beautiful and well designed window treatments are the jewelry of the home. Learn how to design and specify custom window treatments for residential and commercial settings. Explore the aesthetic, financial, environmental, and functional needs of window coverings. Learn how to select appropriate fabrics and materials for the project, how to place orders for window treatments, how to work with a custom window treatment workroom, and how to determine the best design for any space.

For more information please contact:

Julian Crooks
Assistant Program Director for Fashion Programs
Academic Center, 316
Phone: 610-526-6087


Heidi Techner, IDEC, Allied ASID
Program Director for Interior Design
Academic Center, Suite 225
Phone: 610-526-6095
Fax: 610-526-6082

Learn more about Harcum's two-year Interior Design degree program.