Category Archives: Interior Design

SO IF NOT HS&W THEN WHAT?

Is there any limitation on the subject matter of the courses I take?

No. ASID is not imposing any CEU mandates for health, safety and welfare coursework at this time. We encourage you to select coursework that supports your own professional development plan and advances your professionalism as an interior designer.

Is it just me or does it concern anybody that the membership organization that supposedly represents the profession, vis-a-vis the “industry”, does not care to impose some sort of expectation for professional development and continuing education based on the entire reason we can claim that we are in fact a profession?

Hello……KNOCK KNOCK…..is anybody home?

But then again who am I to FAQ?

Architects vs. Interior Designers vs. Interior Architects

From the Society of British Interior Designers

and from the Interiorarchitect.com

Leading Interior Design Company Declares 11% Increase in Cash Dividend

OR WWEAD-

(What Would Ethan Allen Do?)

Offer free interior design service of course.

EthanAllen2

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER saw this article on Ethan Allen’s success (the furniture chain, not the statesman) I had to comment;

Ethan Allen Declares 11% Increase in Cash Dividend

DANBURY, Conn. – 

Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (“Ethan Allen” or the “Company”) (NYSE:ETH) announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share, an increase in the annual rate of 11.1%, which will be payable to shareholders of record as of October 10, 2013 and will be paid on October 25, 2013.

Farooq Kathwari, Chairman and CEO commented, “We are pleased with our continued progress and the Board’s decision to increase the dividend.”

http://www.fortmilltimes.com/2013/07/30/2855701/ethan-allen-declares-11-increase.html

Okay I have no problem with Ethan Allen’s success and actually applaud it. But when I read the following boilerplate P.R. bio on the company my ire was raised;

About Ethan Allen

It seems that membership in your organization is all one needs to become an Ethan Allen Interior Design Affiliate https://www.ethanallen.com/on/demandware.static/Sites-ethanallen-us-Site/Sites-ethanallen-us-Library/en_US/v1375331775361/pdf/IDA_Application_EN.pdf

Wow what an honor….members of your organization can contractually obligate themselves to give away free design service in return for a tiny portion of EA’s increasing profits.  Oh and also note that your sister organization ASID somehow is missing from the list of illustrious organizations.  You may want to have your credential removed from that list.  Just tryin’ to keep it professional- ya know.

PROUD TO DISPLAY THE NEW NCIDQ CREDENTIAL

Introducing New Benefit For Active Certificate Holders

On July 15, 2013 the appellation “NCIDQ” and a unique mark will be available for use as an additional benefit for active certificate holders. After completing the terms and conditions on their MyNCIDQ online account, active NCIDQ Certificate holders will have the option to sign their names “First Name Last Name, NCIDQ” and/or use a unique NCIDQ logo in their professional materials, which may be downloaded from the same online account.  Active NCIDQ Certificate holders are those individuals who are current with their annual renewal payment, and in addition to the benefits already funded by the annual renewal fees, helps support NCIDQ Examination development and operations to maintain the validity and integrity of the series of tests.

Kim Ciesynski, NCIDQ Examination Board President, praises the move, saying “This new option for all certificate holders is a great opportunity for interior designers/interior architects to promote the NCIDQ credential they have worked so hard to earn, and to market themselves as successfully passing the rigorous standards tested by the NCIDQ Examination. The NCIDQ Examination is developed according to credible industry standards and we take great care to maintain its validity.  Therefore, we are very proud of our certificate holders and so pleased that they will now be able to demonstrate that they incorporate the highest standards of health, safety and human welfare in their daily practice. Certificate holders have spent years educating themselves, earning work experience and studying for the NCIDQ Examination.  They deserve the ability to showcase their hard-won and unique achievement.”

The Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc., the corporate structure that provides resources to develop the NCIDQ Examination, is confident in the skills of those professionals who hold the NCIDQ Certificate, and is thrilled to promote those interior designers/interior architects who are the best examples of what the NCIDQ Examination stands for: health, safety and welfare within the spaces we use daily.

P.S. July 16: When I checked my Google Search results this morning I was expecting to see at least one press worthy item on the new credential. Instead Clare Danes mutters in Vogue that she thought about becoming an interior designer and the blogosphere ignites with joy;

Claire Danes, Interior Designer? http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/179483-claire-danes-interior-designer/

Why Claire Danes considered an interior design career http://wonderwall.msn.com/tv/why-claire-danes-considered-an-interior-design-career-25701.gallery

Would Claire Danes Be an Interior Designer Right Now if ‘Homeland’ Hadn’t Come Along? http://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/emmys/would-claire-danes-be-an-interior-designer-right-now-if–homeland–hadn-t-come-along–002810920.html

The NCIDQ credential is a much needed change for the profession but evidently we have a long, long way to go.

ANOTHER LOST OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERIOR DESIGNERS…or is it?

Okay off of my legislation/regulation high horse for a moment….”whoaaa Nellie…somebody get me a step stool…”  Even PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER missed this trend when it first became public over a year ago.  Seems some entrepreneurial real estate developers are trying to weasel in our Health Safety and Welfare trifecta by creating residential real estate that literally improves your HEALTH subsequently improving one’s WELFARE.  If we assume the residences to be SAFE you have to admit that they have a runner on all three of our bases….and these are real estate people…..people.

So maybe I am jealous I did not think of this first…my hats off to the folks at Delos.  First published in the Daily Beast here;

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/13/wellness-real-estate-for-the-green-1-percent.html

And then more widely publicized this past weekend in the New York Times here;

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/realestate/health-centric-homes-for-a-price.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1372771662-R3dJ91MTLtIa9m7apiBTLg

Why don’t we own this? This is all about interior space right?

Yes there is a bit of hucksterism and elitist sales pitching going on here, fortunately aimed at the uber-rich, but you have to admire the concept.  Who would not want to live in a house that does not merely keep them healthy it actually improves their health.  Granted most of the elements of Delos’ “health-centric” residences have been around for a couple of years…if not more. Anti-microbial self-cleaning ceramics, HEPA/Ultra-Violet filtration systems, Bio-Rhythmic LED lighting, and my favorite walls and windows -that attenuate outside sounds (duh!), are all tools that have been available to us (thanks mostly to USGBC). However, Mr. Scialla and his partners were the first to package it and they have even trademarked the concept.  Not sure how that works but I am sure we’ll find out when another less ambitious developer or one of our interior design brethren decides to mimic the idea.

I do think ID educators and researchers have an opportunity here to fully investigate this new marketing approach to validate its effectiveness….it seems to ring true but what is the evidence and how can we help make the concept more affordable.  I won’t get into the whole socio-economic bias here but let’s face it…eating healthy is more expensive than eating junk food or non- “organic” vegetables…so maybe this living healthy is a similar paradigm….another research topic no doubt.

This reminds me of the ” trend du’  2006 “aging in place” in which the National Association of Home builders capitalized on the benefits of our tried and true “Universal Design” and packaged that knowledge and skill sets in appeal to the obvious demographic opportunity in a credential known as Certified Aging In Place Specialist or CAPS http://www.nahb.org/category.aspx?sectionID=686 .

Again we, as a professional domain should own this concept…nay many ASID’ers also claim the CAPS credential due to its marketing potential- kudos to the NAHB

So yes it is easy for me to pontificate to the drivers of this profession from the proverbial back seat but I have to say for creative problem solvers we sure miss some golden opportunities to advance the professional domain…and these opportunities don’t involve a bunch of political and legal drama.

It simply is what we do.  Fail to define what we do and others will do it for us.

Carry on.

It was pointed out that the Delos health centric homes may in fact be too clean. Our ability to fend off certain diseases depends on the health of our immune system. Rob it of its exercise and one might actually find themselves more prone to illness…..crazy huh?

PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR DESIGNER HAS MOVED!

napid logo2

GO TO THE HOMEPAGE HERE….IT’S FREE!  http://napid.wordpress.com/

Lamenting the Message Part Deux

From the current issue of ICON obtained here; http://www.nxtbook.com/naylor/AIDQ/AIDQ0113/index.php

Doc1-1

Seems pretty straightforward right?  Now what semantic/title issue has this organization taken a stance against?  That’s right interior designers who claim themselves to be “Interior Architects” for no better reason than to avoid the interior decorator/design diva stereotype.  Then why promote such a degree granting institution?  Or are you now opening the door to acknowledge this title as a legitimate semantic alternative?  If you are then come clean- there are a lot of us out here (myself included) that would like to see that happen.  That is a minor concern though….

Better yet which allied professional organization is a very vocal and major financial supporter of the anti-regulation effort against one of the major advocacy efforts of this very professional organization?  That’s correct- NKBA.   Now if you share my concerns (bloviated as they tend to be…there I said it again) you see the irony….which if you really think about the conflict of interests here you may see red. It’s obvious why they did it…advertising dollars. I get that but are you that desperate for funds that you tacitly support our sworn enemy…you know the group that claims you are an evil cartel.  Or are you simply trying to keep your friends close and your enemy closer? If that is the case you need to fess up.

I did not want my most recent posts to appear focused on any one particular professional organization..particularly one that I am not a member of.  I have crossed the line into obsession and I am sure I will hear about it…at least that is the message I am receiving from my aluminum foil space helmet.  Unfortunately as our profession’s only public face they speak for me and every other independent professional interior designer.

With that I have two suggestions.  Either decide what your message/brand is and focus on its public dissemination with laser focus and consistency or limit your PR efforts to your members only.

Okay three suggestions. Trademark/Copyright both the logo and the acronym and start policing the unofficial use of your brand.  Steve Jobs may have been a jerk but he understood the value of his brand and he defended it with every breath. 

What is Our Message?

Ran across this missed opportunity this morning. Given this recent interior design professional organization newsletter article advising it’s members to be more…ahem…professional when they are communicating with the press ( http://icon.asid.org/index.php/2013/03/08/designers-mind-your-language/ ) I read this Associated Press article in the Washington Post with interest;

http://icon.asid.org/index.php/2013/03/08/designers-mind-your-language/

Did the author heed the newsletter’s recommendations? Did a professional organization have anything to do with the article? Well after reading it I am not sure. The article quotes two “designers” who do not claim any professional credentials- but they do point out ASID as a source for “interior designers”. If ASID had nothing to do with the article then they probably should.  If they did somehow/someway approve the content of the article that references then they missed a great opportunity to provide a clearer distinction between a professional interior designer and an interior decorator.  Instead we get this half baked description;

“Training varies: An interior designer “typically has a bachelor’s degree in interior design, and in several states must be certified,” Davin says. They can collaborate easily with engineers, contractors and architects, and should have a full understanding of color, proportion and other elements of design.

A decorator “might be just someone who has a flair for decorating and wants to hang up a shingle,” Davin says, and it’s possible their style will fit perfectly with yours. But they probably won’t have as much training as a designer.”

Those of us who struggle with earning the respect of the public for providing services that protect their safety while creating healthy environments that enhance their well-being find this to be the usual mixed message further confusing the public and disrespecting our professional status.  We need to do better.  If ASID is going to be the face of my profession they need to get a better handle on the message.

Those of you that think I am an over reacting arrogant bloviator with nothing better to do than impugn the hard work of a lot of well-intentioned volunteers and low paid professional organization staffers…well…well I can’t change your mind so I guess that is what I am.  At least I was able to use the term “bloviator” in one of my posts.

P.S. 3/28/2013 Several other news outlets have picked up on the above AP missive;  It’s spreading like a bad virus..

http://www.gosanangelo.com/news/2013/mar/27/help-the-interior-design-experience-flow/

Hey I Wanna Be a Lawyer

Another good example of the how the fine line between interior decoration and interior design often gets blurred by people who should know better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5yW6cjpclN0#!

She’s a decorator Bloomberg. She can’t practice as an interior designer in Washington D.C. unless she is licensed.

STOP YER KILLIN’ ME!

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/bling-it-on-vanilla-ice-turns-interior-designer-8482216.html

But there is hope:

http://www.chron.com/life/style/design/article/Texas-interior-design-is-not-about-fluffing-4257170.php?cmpid=hottopicshpatfpm

Oh THERE IT GOES AGAIN….DARN!

According to Martin Lawrence Bullard;

“Comfort is the hottest trend in home furnishings,”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/condiment/interior-design-trends-2013_b_2675342.html

Which of course means that the focus of the previous 10,000 years of trends was to have uncomfortable home furnishings.  Brilliant…simply brilliant.