Interiors student project: Designing early years classrooms

Considering a career in interiors? Our student Jade treats you to an insider’s take on interior architecture and design here at London Met. Read on as she whizzes through everything from how she decided on her degree course, to the techniques she’s gained, to an exciting design brief she fulfilled for not one but two early-years classrooms...

What brought me to London Met

Hi, I’m Jade, and I’m studying on the Interior Architecture and Design BA (Hons) course at London Metropolitan University. During the second year of my degree, I was really lucky to get a placement within the University itself. More about that in a minute, but first I’ll give a bit of background as to how I got here.

Before joining London Met I was actually offered a place studying set design at a university renowned for its theatre specialism. However, after some reflection (choosing your degree course is a HUGE decision), I realised I wasn’t quite ready to commit to set design. I decided that the art and design foundation course here at London Met would be a great chance for me to explore my options, so I switched. And I’m glad that I did!

Continuing on to undergraduate-level study

Upon completion of my foundation year I had the option to transfer onto a number of different art, architecture and design degree courses, and I went for interior architecture and design. Throughout this degree I’ve learnt and refined many skills, including CAD and Photoshop.

My approach to drawing has also drastically changed due to inspiration drawn from this course. I used to draw realistic portraits, but now my go-to style is one-lined pictures of locations and people.

Taking on a real-world design brief

Onto the exciting second-year project. I joined Helen, the Deputy Head of Development, Property and Space, and her team for an internship based on the Uni’s Holloway campus. Along with a few other students I was presented with a brief to turn two classrooms into suitable spaces that support modern teaching methods for early years learners (ie very little children). We were asked to include a space dedicated to art and reading, a central area, and even a wet area for the classrooms. The second classroom also included a science area, and both rooms needed adaptable layouts with suitable storage space.

Throughout this project I learnt that when designing any space, specific measures need to be made in regards to its target audience. For a classroom this means ensuring the room is not distracting or overwhelming to students. The design challenges I faced were to ensure that furnishings were cost-efficient, suitable for children and that they had aesthetic values, all while adhering to the chosen colour palette. I decided to stick with London Met’s own brand palette.

Before this experience, I hadn’t heard about modern teaching methods. My research highlighted an emphasis on technology over design and space. So I took inspiration from the local council where I grew up, as they’d also built a couple of new schools recently, and that gave me a better idea about what was required spatially. 

I feel I truly hit my stride during this interior design project. I only started using Photoshop since I started my degree programme, and these software skills were indispensable. I’ve continuously tried to improve this skill and so I’m happy to say that Photoshop is now one of my most significant and preferred design techniques.

Looking forward 

After graduation I’m hoping to get a job in a firm that’ll allow me the opportunity to continue expanding my skills and knowledge of interiors. A solid career growth is so important in this profession!


a CAD rendering of a classroom wet area, with sinks and flooring

"I decided that the art and design foundation course here at London Met would be a great chance for me to explore my options, so I switched. And I’m glad that I did!"

Hear more from our students 

You can also read about international student Hailey's experience studing interiors with us.

Or hear what Daniela has to say about studying in London.

You can also study an Interior Design MA with us. Here our award-winning grad Paz talks postgraduate study at our School of Art, Architecture and Design.

Want to find out more?

Visit the Interior Architecture and Design BA (Hons) course page for more details.

Early years classroom design - main area

by Jade Clarke

Early years classroom design - wet area

by Jade Clarke