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

Courses in Furnishings range from a few weeks to a few years depending on the trade and skills you are interested in learning. Courses can be full-time or part-time and there are even night courses available, so there is something to suit every schedule.

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

Further study

An undergraduate degree in the Furnishings trade is often the first step to go onto further postgraduate study often involving specialization in particular fields and areas of design, manufacturing, construction, and sales.

You may find that you have an interest in more specific trades of design such as Architecture or Technology to further enhance your skillset.


Are there any particular qualities you need to study Furnishings?

You should have an interest in design and how things are made. Creativity and practical skills are essential for furnishing design and production.

Good communication skills and people skills are good to have so that you can work with customers and clients on specific briefs with a clear understanding of what they would like.

Problem-solving skills are very important for furnishing production as 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?

Basic knowledge of tools and their functions will be beneficial but are not necessary as these will be covered in the courses.

Courses are designed for beginners so everything you need to know will be taught. Depending on the course you choose you may be required to have your basic toolset so please confirm this with the institution and course details.

Where can I study Furnishings?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· Throughout a sofa’s life, it will host roughly 782 visitors.

· The word table is derived from the Latin word “Tabula” which means a plank or a flat piece of board.

· The oldest bookcase in the world is located in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, which is also one of the oldest libraries in Europe.

· Charles Darwin is said to be the inventor of the office chair after he added wheels to his chair in the 1800s to get around his study more quickly.


Mariza Halliday

What is GAMSAT?
Graphic Art


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