By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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. What are Furnishings?

Furnishings are all of the “things” that you have around you every day in your home and include everything from carpets, rugs, curtains to furniture, fittings, and other decorative accessories. Furnishings are all of the items that provide the backdrop to our lives and bring us comfort and utility. Our furnishing needs may change as we get older and our lives go through changes such as having children or getting older or even just having our tastes change.

What courses are available?

  • Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:
  •  Carpentry and Joinery – the study of the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to work to the high standards of the carpentry and joinery trades.
  • Furniture and Wood Technology – the study of furniture design and crafting with wood.
  • Furniture Design and Manufacture – the study of hand tools, woodworking machinery, and the design and construction of furniture.
  • Upholstery – a study of fabrics and textiles that are used as a soft covering on furniture such as chairs and seats.
  • Furniture Making & Restoration Skills – a practical study of furniture making and restoration with a large emphasis on project work.

Studying Furnishings in college

Furnishings courses can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, depending on the trade and skills you want to learn. Courses can be taken full-time or part-time, and there are even night courses available, so there is something for everyone.

Through Furnishings courses, students will learn the essential tools and techniques of the trades in a very practical and hands-on nature. Students will work on various projects for the duration of the course they have chosen and walk away with a solid set of both hand and machine skills.

Courses in Furnishings have a strong emphasis on process, design, and production for finished pieces of furniture or other furnishing items in a wide array of materials from wood to metal and textiles.

Students will work on a range of items and be able to build a strong portfolio of projects for future use. Exhibitions and projects to display skills will form a part of many courses along with theoretical work, assignments, and exams. Some courses may also require work experience where you will work alongside a professional of the trade.

Career options

Students who complete a course in furnishings open themselves up to an industry where their skills are in very high demand, especially for those with a blend of design and manufacturing skills.

Graduates may have opportunities in furniture or furnishings workshops or as self-employed makers of bespoke pieces after some time spent building their professional experience in established workshops. Many skills within the furnishings industry are transferable allowing makers to move between materials and trades with similar skill sets. 

Skilled makers may also use their skills to work within product design and manufacture or interior design.

Related jobs include:

  • Furniture Designer
  • Furniture Maker
  • Restorer of furniture
  • Home Furnishing Consultant
  • Interior Designer
  • Carpenter
  • Joiner
  • Product Design

Further study

An undergraduate degree in the Furnishings trade is frequently the first step toward further postgraduate study, which often includes specialization in specific fields and areas of design, manufacturing, construction, and sales.

To broaden your skill set, you may discover that you are interested in more specialized design trades, such as architecture or technology.


Are there any particular qualities you need to study Furnishings?

An interest in design and how things are made is crucial. Creativity and practical skills are essential for furnishing design and production.

Good communication skills and people skills are good to have. It will help you work with customers and clients on specific briefs with a clear understanding.

Problem-solving skills are very important for furnishing production. You may need to make adjustments or workaround unforeseen problems as they come up in the process.

Are any prior skills or tools necessary to take a Furnishings course?

It will be helpful to have a basic understanding of tools and their functions. These topics will be covered in the courses, so it is not always necessary.

Courses are usually designed for beginners, so you’ll learn everything you need to know. Depending on the course you choose, you may be required to have your basic toolkit. This must be confirmed with the institution of your choice.

Where can I study Furnishings?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • A sofa will receive approximately 782 visitors over the course of its life.
  • Table is derived from the Latin word tabula, which means a plank or flat piece of board.
  • The world’s oldest bookcase is housed in Oxford University’s Bodleian Library. The library is also one of the oldest libraries in Europe.
  • Charles Darwin invented the office chair. In the 1800s, he added wheels to his chair to help him move around his study faster.


Mariza Halliday

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