An About Face About Me?

This recent comment got PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER to thinkin’;

What’s your Blog about? | February 11, 2011 at 2:12 am | Reply | Edit


Is this a Blog about what it take to be a “Professional Interior Designer” or just another “mouthpiece” for the effort pass laws that “certify” Interior Designers.

I thought you were neutral on legislation?

I guess not.

OUCH!- That hurt…the thinkin’ not the comment. It does seem I have jumped on the legislation bandwagon as of late. For someone who claims not to support government regulation as a means to distinguish the professional interior designers from those who claim a birthright to the profession I sure have been touting the virtues of the ID regulation effort. To be clear-  I still do not support regulation of any form that infringes upon the ability of people to call themselves “interior designers” and their occupation as “interior design”.  If Barbara Streisand wants to call herself an “interior designer” I support that.  If Venus Williams wants to call herself an interior designer I support that. If Joe Blow carpenter wants to be on HGTV and proclaim to the world that he is an interior designer I am fine with that…especially if he has killer pecs-but I digress.  The initial ID battlefront was between interior designers and interior decorators. The battle then shifted between interior designers and “certified” interior designers. Well now it appears that the new battlefront is between “certified” interior designers and architects.  Although it may seem that I am splitting hairs with a surgical laser the legislative paradigm is evolving- much like the profession.  Again, I will not negate, nor impugn, regulation that recognizes those vetted professionals who are “certified” by education and/or experience and examination. Let me put this another way.

If you want to call yourselves interior designers please be our guest. If you want to call your effort interior design you are guaranteed that right by the constitution. Please go on your merry way and decorate the living hell out of your world. But recognize that you make that choice and to malign, impugn, denigrate or otherwise bitch and moan about our effort to raise the standards of “certified” or “registered” interior design is nothing but sour grapes. And frankly I enjoy pointing those envious tantrums out. You really need to take your interior designer mantle and put some faux antique never to be read faux leather bound books between some faux alabaster bookends on it, charge your unknowing client twice list cost, and just go away (I know you won’t…if you did this would not be ½ as fun).

That said if legislation or regulation of any sort appears that infringes upon your rights as an “interior designer” I will tacitly support you. I also acknowledge that the profession is blindly headed into a professional turf battle that will make its divorce from interior decoration look like a children’s tea party. Stay Tuned!

5 responses to “An About Face About Me?”

  1. Leave it to the Private Sector Avatar
    Leave it to the Private Sector

    Why not an Interior Design World where if you want to market your credentials you do it without the “blessing” of State Capitals.

    If ASID, NCIDQ, IIDA, IDS, IDPC, NKBA or any other group wants to create a certification that includes education, testing and work experience (or none of the above) let them do it. They can then market their certification to the public to help the designers they’ve certified compete for more business.

    Then ASID and NKBA can layoff their lobbyists and “legislative affairs” staff and put the money to good use helping their members find more clients.

    Otherwise it is going to become an arms race that will only enrich the lobbyists, legislators and legislative staff at the assorted trade groups fighting over this.

    Never mind a consumer that’s going to be turned off by all of the angry designers, decorators and architects blogging away on the web.


  2. Hi, the NKBA already self certifies- with education and testing and the like. It is the CKD, CBD, etc. To take those tests you need a mix of education ( from them, and experience, used to be 7 years of such). They are against any type of legislation that infringes upon their right to make a living. Years ago, in the ID world it was decided by the assorted factions ( ASID, etal) that the way to fight the AIA was with legislation, not self-certification, in order to be considered a profession (designers) and not a trade ( decorators). In retrospect this may have been the much harder road to hoe. ID’s already have an independent certification in the NCIDQ, which is legally recognized in 26 states plus as the definitive test for determining minimum qualifications. As person who has successfully passed both the NCIDQ and CKD tests, I will state that both are equally difficult, one just tilts towards commercial and space planning (NCIDQ) and the other strictly residential, with a good base needed in residential construction (CKD).
    However after 30 years, the consumer still hasn’t a clue as to the difference, nor do the even care. I totally agree, it is time to put down the “swords” and use my dues money to a proper PR campaign, explaining why we are a viable profession, not just pillow fluffers.


  3. Wow both great comments THANKS!


    PROFESSSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER does not think so- hence my shift toward support of legislative efforts that do not infringe on the rights of those who have freely chosen not to evolve their professional status.

    I would be overjoyed if WE ALL could play in the professional sandbox without the oversight of Uncle Sam. I just don’t see it.


  4. That’s the new buzzword.

    The reality in the Residential Market is that Architects, Interior Designers, Interior Decorators, Kitchen Designers, Contractors, Design/Build Firms or whatever???? start companies and if they are good at what they do, they succeed and hire employees.

    Their employees could be any or all of the above.

    Let’s turn the Design World upside down. What’s your take on a Hollywoood Decorator hiring an Architect or a NCIDQ/ASID designer to do some CAD (and get her coffee at Starbucks) to execute a rehab in Beverly Hills, Miami or Kansas City, that is both “Green” and complies with “Aging in Place” standards.

    Professional Interior Design is supposed to be about building a Design Team that can actually execute great design.

    Unless you’ve started a Design Company you have no idea how difficult it can be.

    Architecture and Interior Design graduates have this fantasy that after graduation they can just show up, do a little CAD, and collect a paycheck.


  5. Sounds like the Hollywood Decorator in your upside down Design World understands that in order to realize his/her vision that he/she needs licensed professionals to obtain the requisite building permits and to take the actual liability for the safety of his/her clients. That is my take and that is why I am so passionate about supporting “certified” interior designers in their effort to achieve professional status and parity with other licensed design professionals.


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