Category: HGTV Design Star

Design Star or Design Scourge

 We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Analysis of Interior Design Regulation To Bring You This Important Announcement!

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER told himself not to continue punishing his hyper-sensitive identity complex by subjecting himself to another season of HGTV’s Design Star series. But lo I cannot avoid it. The HGTV juggernaut is omniscient- it is like being forced, with eyes propped open, to watch a slow motion train/school bus collision. The promotion of the series and its impact on the profession of interior design is unavoidable and in my not so humble opinion……devastating.

If you are a professionally educated and/or trained interior designer who has vetted your knowledge and skillset via examination, continuing education and a commitment to ethical business practices you know what I am talking about. If however, you consider yourself an innately qualified interior designer who dresses professionally and has a flair for self-promotion and fashion but has no other validation of competency then you probably think I am an arrogant poop shoot.  So be it.

I have ranted incessantly about the public’s perception of “interior design” and their subsequent level of respect and appreciation for our value to society. Many of us endeavor to distinguish ourselves from the publicity seekers and drama queens by clinging to acronyms such as “RID”, “CID” “NCIDQ® Certificate Number 000000”. Surely the public must understand and respect those credentials. But many professional designers do not fully understand the litany of abbreviations and letters posing as credentials- how can we expect armchair home improvement enthusiasts (A.K.A. “general public”) to grasp the nuances? Well we can’t and we have to stop wasting our time trying to change the paradigm.

In order to avoid the incessant stereotyping some of us have even created our own terms such as “interior workplace strategist”, “interior environmental designer”, and the inevitable “interior architect”. But ultimately we are still “interior designers” and we are subject, by default, to all of its misperceptions. Unfortunately, until we demand better of our professional organizations, even with their limited resources, and apply some out of the box strategic public relations effort we will forever be judged by whomever, or whatever, has the broadest impact on our chosen profession. Take a guess what that might be.

Gotta go buy some Orville Redenbacher Smart Pop (I am watching my girlish figure don’t ya know) and get my snuggie ready. It’s going to be a great season of Design Star.

P.S. If you missed the casting call for this seasons’s Design Star fret not! You should try this one….AaaaaaaaRrrrrrrrrrrrrGGGGGGGGGGhhhhhhhhhh!



Who best represents you and your profession?

You can have this; 

You can have this;

You can have this;

In Florida you can have this;


In California you can have this;

AND/OR THIS- Who Really Knows? 


If you are fed up with the vitriole and petty turf and ego battles…………you can have this;


It is the nature of Humankind not only to use spaces, but to fill them with beauty and meaning.

Skillfully designed spaces can arouse in us a sense of purpose, or a sense of the profound.

In the spaces that are important to us, we experience not only a sense of place, but a sense of who we are, and of what we can be.

Thoughtfully designed spaces help us learn, reflect, imagine, discover and create.

Great spaces are indispensable for great creative cultures.

They encourage connections between people, ideas and entire fields of thought.

As design professionals, our knowledge enables us to form spaces that respond to human needs.

These human spaces are the domain of our competence, our passion and our work.

We use space responsibly.

We practice our profession with highest regard for engaging the world’s economic and natural resources in a sustainable manner.

We design for health, safety, well-being and the needs of all.

It is, after all, for Humanity, our ultimate client, that we design.

We shape the spaces that shape the human experience.

This is what we do, what we create, what we give.

It is how we earn our place at the human table.

It is why our work is important to our clients, to our societies and to ourselves.

It is the difference we make and why we choose this noble profession.

VALUE- “The profession provides leadership and utilizes an iterative and interactive process that includes discovery, translation and validation, producing measurable outcomes and improvements in interior spaces and in the lives of the people who use them. This process delivers economic, functional, aesthetic and social advantage that helps clients understand the value of their decisions and enables better decisions that are beneficial to users and to society.  It is recommended that the profession become a trusted voice and develop multiple research models in the context of physical, emotional and behavioural patterns of users.” 

RELEVANCE- “The profession defines projects at their commencement, and champions human experience at all levels. Interior designers and interior architects synthesize human and environmental ecologies and translate science to beauty addressing all the senses. The practitioner listens, observes, analyzes, improves and creates original ideas, visions and spaces that have measurable value.” 

RESPONSIBILITY- “The responsibility of interior designers and interior architects is to define the practice and the required expertise, educate ourselves and the public, and to position ourselves in the public realm as experts in the built environment.  The responsibility of interior designers and interior architects is to advance the profession and advocate for social well-being.”

CULTURE- “As a creative enterprise, interior design and interior architecture are a mode of cultural production. They are a place-maker that interprets, translates, and edits cultural capital. In a global world, interior design and interior architecture must play a role in facilitating the retention of cultural diversity.” 

BUSINESS- “The profession of interior design and interior architecture provides value to the stakeholders.  It improves well-being as a factor of economic development.  It provides strategic thought leadership resulting in multifaceted return on investment. Interior designers and interior architects advocate education for the ongoing benefit and awareness of the profession.”

KNOWLEDGE- “Theoretical, applied, and innate knowledge are fundamental to the practice of interior design and interior architecture. The confluence of environmental psychology and the science of anthropometrics are critical to the quantitative and qualitative knowledge that form the practice of interior design and interior architecture.”

IDENTITY –“Interior designers and interior architects determine the relationship of people to spaces based on psychological and physical parameters, to improve the quality of life.”

 Posted with permission of the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers a partner of The International Design Alliance


I would be interested to hear who you choose and why.

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!


PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER killed the last two remaining brain cells he had watching last nights Design Star episode. I really thought Tom Vecchione was a shoe in. Anybody that can rise to the top of the Gensler food chain has proven themselves to be a player on a global scale. But Tom seems to have met his match with an unknown painter/contractor from Boston. Unfortunately the camera preferred Courtland and we all know that the HGTV cameras never lie…….(that’s a joke son).

So our professions greatest chance at a widespread public relations coup failed. Good Luck Tom…I hope you kept your day job.

HGTV Design Star is…………


to professional Interior Design what lipstick is to facial reconstructive surgery.


Good grief I have to watch it to make sure I am hearing and seeing what they are actually portraying. PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER writhes in pain and agony….the train is wrecking in slow motion and I can’t take my eyes off of it. It is like one of those nightmares where you gulp for breath but can’t seem to breathe. Each bogus decoration problem carried out in the name of interior design sets our efforts back…..ohhh to the dark ages.  Aaaarrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I also watch Holmes on Homes-  Now here is a guy who is actually making a difference in the world of construction and the building trades. Why oh why can’t our illustrious professional organizations come up with a similar show focused on how interior design can actually improve people’s lives or livelihoods?  Holmes is completely devoid of any drama hence proving that point moot. It is possible-

So ASID and IIDA how about it?

P.S. Okay this is interesting……why can’t this effort be part of the show???????–designersoupkitchen,0,2878138.story

P.P.S. So Forbes thinks enough about the power of design to ask Architects, Furniture Designers and Fashionistas to contribute to this piece-

 where is INTERIOR DESIGN? Oh that’s right we have our own network…….AAAAAAAAAArrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Gensler’s Plans for World Domination Uncovered

So if you have been living under a rock, or you if actually have a life, you should be aware that Gensler, the largest interior design/architecture firm in the world, has a plant on the latest version of HGTV’s Design Star.  

That’s right Tom Vecchione who is a design director at Gensler New York is actually trying to become the next HGTV Design Star. PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has heard from his sources (who shall remain anonymous) that Vecchione’s plans are to win the show (I mean come on the guy has more experience in his left pinkie nail than all of the rest of the contestants combined) and get his own show on the venerable decorating network.  Thereby completing Gensler’s attempt to dominate global design culture. Rumor has it that Vecchione plans to take over the network and drop the ‘H’ from the network moniker so that it simply reads GTV- as in Gensler TV.

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER hopes his sources are correct…even though he can’t remember who they are or….if they even exist.

Tom Vecchione- Crosses Over to the Dark Side

Okay so PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER often laments the influence of HGTV on the profession of Interior Design.  98% of their programming is based on aesthetics and drama with no attention to the actual reality of the least as PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER knows it. Oh sure there are a few token shows that touch upon design’s ability to actually improve people’s lives. Unfortunately that does not sell as well as a bunch of over-hyped decorator divas flailing about in a 10 x 10 box traumatized by the fact that they only have 30 minutes left to reupholster their vanity stool. How can you not like Mike Holmes? And PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER has the utmost respect for Vern Yip’s design skills.  So it was with yawning interest that PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER read that HGTV’s wildly successful decorating show just announced its Fall line-up. What do you know from the usual line up of designer wanna-be suspects PROFESSSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER noticed that the design director of Gensler New York is a cast member. SAY WHAT? Is Art Gensler aware of this? Is this some sort of coup attempt by actual professional interior designers? Has Tom Vecchione let his good looks and suave self-promotion skills gone to his head?

Well this is going to make it interesting.  Is PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER going to have to eat a large plate of crow pate’?