Tag: Celebrity Designers

In Defense of Interior Decoration?




On the surface the above blog post ruffled my PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER feathers….Mr. Stolman clearly blurs the line between interior decoration and Interior Design which is a particular sore point with moi……..but.

While I appreciate Mr. Stolman’s impassioned plea for relevance I wonder if interior decoration just might wither away.  Maybe interior decoration will become crushed under the weight of its inability to add anything resembling real value to our increasingly harried and techno-focused lives in which the quality of those lives is getting harder and harder to manage.  Certainly it has always been an elitist pursuit and with the redistribution of wealth in the world, eliminating the middle and upper middle class, the market for pure decoration-as-art services is getting narrower and narrower.

Case in point http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/business/interior-decorator-pascale-duwat-closes-showroom-palm-beach/SRcBfTX2WbuL3EpM8oMI1N/ 

As Mr. Stolman notes technology has actually lowered the standard for entry into the interior decoration occupational domain.  Why pay when you can do it yourself?

With no real technical skills or body of knowledge to master before proclaiming oneself an interior decorator the occupation of interior decoration has always been more of an art than a necessity.  I now see a bleak future for the occupation of decoration.  Maybe that is just me hoping…….

Now we, the professional Interior Designers, have to make sure we do not suffer the same fate as predicted in this article;





But there is hope:



According to Martin Lawrence Bullard;

“Comfort is the hottest trend in home furnishings,”


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

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER Ranks 26th on Hollywood Reporters List of 25 Most Influential Interior Designers!


Dang! Maybe next year.

Well Double Dang….if all the Hollywood stars become interior designers, because they can, then PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER does not stand a chance of making this list…….Wah!


Guess I am going to have to DABBLE at becoming a Hollywood Star……oooh oooh I wish upon a star……..

Interior Design Dabble Psycho Babble


We have to figure out a way to separate the professionals from those who merely dabble.  I have students paying dearly for the right to practice as “interior designers”.  This is an insult to them, current practicing professionals and it continues to taint the future of the profession. Cue the music video first then read the Huffington Post link below.



And we wonder why our effort to regulate is such an epic battle….Duh!

And no I disagree that we can change the perception of the public one person at a time.

And yes I do have better things to do with my time….like convince my students that their pursuit of a degree in an occupation that others simply dabble in is worthy.

And stick a fork in me I think I’m done.


Thanks to HGTV interior design will forever (well our lifetime’s at least)  be defined as the ability of overly dramatic people with a creative flair to take a white box, or poorly decorated room, and to turn it into something all together different in an unreasonable time frame with very limited funds.  Here the Washington Post has been promoting the DIY makeover via this popular (read the comments) ongoing feature;


This unfortunately is what many HGTV fans and DIY decorators across the land think of when they hear the term “interior design” or “interior designer”.  Here is an example of the same white box syndrome being used as a marketing tool by a Maryland based residential designer;


Actually I am impressed by the renderings and a few of the solutions….no really.  The question I keep asking myself as I scroll through image after image of before and after white box (and a few green box) make-overs is “Is this really interior design”?

And the answer I keep coming back with is “Yes”!  Can the designer, who apparently has no credentials or professional affiliations, call herself an interior designer?  Much to the chagrin of many who have endeavored to prove their professional interior design status via education/experience/examination and legislation the answer is “YES”.

I know we want to be respected for doing more than simply making a room “cozy”.  I don’t have the answer….well yes I do….read my 250 previous posts….but as long as we sit back and let others define our profession we need to accept our fate.

“Can you really paint that fake brick paneling we put over the fake knotty pine paneling in our basement rec room?”

Rant over. Peace Out


Interior Designers at Work

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER was reprimanded recently by a LinkedIn group page manager for making unprofessional comments in an off topic debate about the profession of interior architecture; http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&gid=956917&type=member&item=131084231&commentID=88314209&qid=7cb61ab1-2cde-4f62-9d96-ef7cd961a04f&goback=%2Egmp_956917#commentID_88314209

I was provoked and I lost my typical PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER literary cool- I am sorry.  Unsure if I offended only the group manager or the entire profession…well okay the dozen or so professionals that actually follow that forum, I am now hesitant to post my real and honest thoughts on any public forum not of my own making.  Not to mention the possibility of garnering a reputation as an obsessive compulsive  self-righteous ego maniacal jack-ass with anger management issues and nothing better to do than hog any online discussion pertaining to the profession of “Interior Design”.

I should know better.  On to my point.

I was just about to post a comment in reply to a new thread on the Interior Design Educators Council LinkedIn group discussion page http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=969667&trk=anet_ug_hm&goback=%2Egmp_969667  which links to this blogpost; http://www.disd.edu/wordpress/2012/07/31/putting-the-id-in-idec/?goback=%2Egmp_969667%2Egde_969667_member_141039624.  I appreciate Ms. Homme’s supportive words about the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) but when I scrolled to the picture of who I assume is Ms. Homme (I do not know her) sitting in her resource library I began to feel my  blood pressure rising and my qwerty fingers twitching.


The little censor guy in my left ear convinced me to chill down and not comment directly on the thread as it would undoubtedly be misconstrued and potentially offensive to the author. Fortunately the anarchist guy in my right ear was sleeping off a 3 day bath salt huffing bender so I acquiesced to the responsible voice.

That’s where this blog comes in handy.

So I got to thinking.  If we want so desperately to free ourselves of the decorator stereotype (not that there is anything wrong with decorators) why do we continue to portray ourselves as such?


Well of course I am overreacting but the former question remains unanswered.

So in the interest of vitally important research I Google Image searched “Interior Designers at Work”. Go ahead try it. Now Google Image “Architects at Work”. ID’ers are typically female and surrounded by paint chips, paint cans (not sure where that came from), fabric samples and the occasional simplified floor plan. There are no images of interior designers on construction sites wearing hard hats, pointing to some impossibly unresolvable mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems clash with a burly contractor hanging on every gesture and word.  We all know that maybe 5% of our work involves finish selections…but I guess images of overworked and overstressed design professionals nodding off in front of their computer because it froze up on the 2 terrabyte rendering file they were trying to correct is not very visually appealling…I digress.

Of course typical images of architects at work show them wearing hard hats and leading interested groups of awed subordinates and clients surrounding large sets of complex blueprints on some monumental construction site.

PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER finds this dichotomous imagery both amusing and frustrating.

What should a professional interior designer at work really look like?

or this?

I think it can if we want it to.


PROFESSIONALINTERIORDESIGNER must admit a fascination with the AMC show Mad Men. It is just too good. So when I learned that the actor who played Sal Romano was in town promoting himself as an interior designer my interest was piqued….a bit…Okay a lot…..I tore apart the paper to get to the usually hidden House and Home section.


Turns out Bryan Batt is multi-talented. He is an accomplished actor, a respected author, a successful retailer and of course an interior designer. Why? Because he can be- even in Louisiana which is one of 3 states that licenses the practice of interior design. Guess as long as your mother and grandmother were stylish the title is a birthright.

I am not mad….jealous maybe….amused….heck yeah.