COTE DE TEXAS: A Bit of Politics and Interior Design

A Bit of Politics and Interior Design

 

Please allow me to broach the subject of Regulation of Interior Design in Texas.    While I know this may not be a topic on everyone’s mind, it is a very important issue to those in this field who currently work in this state. 

A bit of history:   Way back in 2008, I wrote an article on licensing for interior designers HERE.  At that time, Kelly Wearstler, the legendary interior designer, was not allowed to practice in Florida – because she wasn’t licensed by the state.  Two other very talented and well known designers, Philip Sides and Juan Montoya, also ran afoul of Florida’s laws.   Worse, were all the others who were fined – people without national exposure and without deep pockets.  The state made quite on bundle on fining these designers.   The issue was shocking to me and others and for months, people left comments on this story – arguing their case for and against regulation. 

In Texas – at that time – we had our own laws to deal with.  You weren’t allowed to call yourself an Interior Designer unless you were licensed by the state – after passing a rigorous test.  Of course, most who WERE licensed had been grandfathered in without even having to take the test. 

How far did this law go?   There was a prominent designer here in Houston who was referred to by a magazine as an Interior Designer.   He was fined because of this.   Most galling was that he never even had called himself anything but a decorator.  That law has since been repealed. 

But, now, again, the ugly subject is being raised in this new legislative session in Austin.

A group of licensed interior designers and others in the field are seeking complete deregulation of interior design in Texas.    Unfortunately, this group “Texans for Interior Design Deregulation”  recently lost their first bid – out maneuvered by high priced lobbyists.  Now, this grassroots group is asking for your support of Sunset Bill, SB205 that keeps the exam requirement in place.   The bill would require those originally grandfathered in (the majority)  be required to now take the NCIDQ examination. 

The reasoning behind this bill is threefold.   First, grandfathering perpetrates a fraud on the public who rely on state information to be accurate.  Second, it puts non-NCIDQ designers at an unfair disadvantage competitively. 

And third,  the majority would not bother to take the examination because they either don’t qualify, don’t want to pay the fees, don’t want to take the time to study for it, or just find it unnecessary.  By forcing those grandfathered in to retake the examination, the number of registered interior designers would be greatly reduced – causing an economic burden for the state to fund the board  - thereby making it easier to get the repeal at the next session.

The issue is complex.  Basically – many in the field believe there is no need at all for regulation of interior design.   No one has ever been injured or killed by unregulated ID.  The profession does not pose a risk to the health, safety & welfare of the public – traditional reasons which are causes for regulation.  Yet, the few in power want regulation in order to maintain this power and control and to stomp out competition.  

As it is now, this elite group decides which schools are accredited and which are not.  For instance, if you graduate with an Interior Design degree from Houston Community College – a very popular school – you are not eligible to sit for the examination.  Only a few number of schools in the state are deemed worthy of producing interior designers.  Imagine.   What on earth are they teaching at UT that they aren’t teaching at HCC?  I dare say – nothing, especially for those who practice residential design. 

Deregulation is also important when considering the infamous slippery slope.  For instance in bordering Louisiana, their Practice Act laws are so Draconian that under certain circumstances, designing a house is not allowed by a decorator – it must be done by a registered designer. 

This lack of the need of regulation is further evidenced by examining Louisiana.   The videos of Louisiana's Interior Design Board meetings are available on the internet to watch.  One advocate for deregulation watched a year’s worth of these meetings where not one consumer complaint was presented against a designer.  Not one.  Instead the board spent over 90 percent of their time discussing how to educate the public on the importance of designer licensing. 

While there are certain laws involved in designing hospitals and hotels, regulating who can decorate a house is asinine.  No one has ever been hurt in their home by the work done by an unregulated interior designer.  But don’t think those in power haven’t tried to  make a case.  Those pushing for regulation searched for years to find a case of injury or death caused by a designer – with no luck at all. 

The activist in Texas leading the cause against regulation is Kelley Barnett who is registered and is a recent former president of the Texas ASID.  She has since let her membership lapse after learning how much of the dues money went to hire lobbyists for the regulation cause.  Barnett is well aware of the what goes on behind the scenes with these lobbyists, the ASID, and the examination board.   Kelley is also the founder of “Texans for Interior Design Deregulation."   - the grassroots organization with 1,000s of members leading the fight for deregulation.    

If you are interested – how can you help?  Kelley is asking that everyone who is fighting against Texas regulation of interior designers to please sign their petition in support of Sunset Bill, SB205, as received from the House of Representatives on 4/22/13, WITH the exam requirement in place.  Time is of essence.  Please sign this as soon as possible. 

Go HERE to sign the petition.   Remember, this is an urgent matter and the petition needs to be signed quickly.   You do not need to be a citizen of Texas to sign the petition.

To contact Kelley for more information -  email her here:

  kelley@kelleybarnett.com 

and she will be happy to further explain this issue to you.

 

If you ARE in support of regulation, please feel free to state your case in the comment section.  You may do so anonymously or you may leave your name – either way.   I know I would be interested in hearing your opinion on this issue. 

 

 

Thank you so much for reading this. 

303 comments :

  1. I work with so many decorators and designers who help people with their homes. There are very talented professionals in both categories. I think it should be up to the homeowner who they decide to use or not regardless of their credentials.

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    1. In Canada there is a big difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer. A designer could do residential or commercial projects including floor plans which would include fire egress and possibly some interior structural design. So lives could be affected by poor design! A decorator would be someone who suggests or chooses paint colours, fabrics, furniture, etc. I am glad to have interior design regulated!

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    2. All building construction & design related commerce in America is not only regulated, but there is government oversight and control of virtually every aspect of any business - including lemonade stands. And, do not forget that the American Trial Lawyers are ready and willing to take any case that can result in damage awards for injury, negligence or lack of professional responsibility. Interior design is already heavily regulated under the general laws of business and commerce. The history of "licensing" is much more about limiting access to a profession under the veil of "safety" and "liability" than it is about protecting the customer from fraud or incompetence.
      Most licensure movements are 1% about caring for the customer and 99% about protecting the existing professionals who will use testing and degree requirements to justify compensation and limiting / controlling the market against competition. Finally, never forget the importance of "campaign contributions" made to those politicians who sit on these most important committees and the power of the lobbyists who are paid to get laws passed that will keep them in business and keep the politicians getting re-elected to their cushy jobs.

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    3. Agreed. A monopoly can only exist in the presence of government intervention.

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  2. Joni, I completely agree with you! I believe our country is overburdened with regulation and it is only getting worse. I want every American to be able to hire the designer/decorator of their choice based on their own criteria for their own homes. Regulation boards are often more interested in maintaining their power and control and much less interested in "protecting" the public.

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  3. What do you expect?? It's the South.

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    1. The comments have all been excellent here today about this issue with the exception of Anon. 7:25. "It's the South" - Seriously??? Don't you think it's time you get out more and realize that blood thirsty lawyers and taxing authorities are at the root of this issue. This is not a regional problem and your comment only goes to show how low information voters are not only hurting this country, but hurting the economies of every region of the country. This is just one issue, there are thousands of other regulations just as insidious as this one.

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    2. It's not just the south, we have regulation in California too!

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    3. only 28 out of 50 states are regulation free. sorry, it's not about the south.

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    4. Hmmmm, "low information voter", yep, that is right!
      Texas might not have a state income tax, but regs and licensing can sure be a hinderance to small business.
      Keep Texas Business Friendly!!
      Texas Girl!

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  4. Garden Designers vs. Landscape Architects, same thing. Follow the money.

    Follow-the-$$$$$$$

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  5. Who has ever hired an Interior Decorator because they passed a school test? You hire an Interior Decorator because of the work they have done that you liked. This profession is more art which can not be quantified in a test. Did Picasso pass an artist test.

    Lobbyist are a big reason there are so many words of legal record that say nothing. Public school districts, health, roads all are hindered by lobbies.

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  6. Joni
    I am not a designer but this is very interesting to me. On one hand in any field I think regulation is important to protect consumers, it affords an aspect of accountability. Obviously licensing requirements also generate revenue. However, can one have an innate ability or be self taught in their field, I would venture to say "yes." I am often confused by the terms decorators and interior designers, they seem to be used interchangeably but probably are different. To me, a licensed interior designer has some training in "construction" such as understanding about load bearing walls, basic wiring/plumbing etc whereas a decorator has a flair for putting together a space. I could be totally wrong in this opinion. If I was undertaking a major renovation I would probably want someone who had some sort of credentials, more for my peace of mind that if the project was messed up in someway I had some recourse in recoupong my expenses: the licensed and insured adage. But then again, what do you call the person who graduates last (grade average) in a medical class: "doctor." So if someone is just a decorator but is self taught in "construction" or subcontracts the work I would use definitely consider using them. What is intriguing to me is the issue of licenses and credentials comes up in every field, at the moment I am exploring whether I want to spend several thousand dollars to complete a course which will give me letters of the alphabet after my name, the amusing thing is there are several different organizations which provide their accreditation for a hefty sum, all ensuring you are an expert in this particular field. I had to chuckle at your comparison of UT versus HCCAs my father used to tell me, going to a "prestigious" school might get your foot in the door to a job but once you are there, no one cares where you went to school, its what you bring to the table.

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    1. Interior Designer is the modern and elite title for an Interior Decorator. An Interior Decorator is the old school title. Going to a 4 year college for a degree in design does not confirm talent, style, or creativity and any talented, creative, popular, and seriously admired successful Interior Designer/Decorator without one knows that very well. I have seen some with degrees that had hideous taste and style. I have seen some that are self taught with Cart Blanche talent. The truth is beauty in decorating is all according to ones own taste, desires, and funds.

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    2. anyone who lets an interior designer make a designer about load bearing walls or wiring deserves what they get. That is exactly why there are electricians, etc. who are regulated because they work can effect saftey to the public. Not interior design. No matter how much they try to say id does affect the safety and welfare- they have yet to prove it. it's just b.s.

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    3. I think it is quite realistic to hire an interior decorator for their talent, and then rely on the expertise of the building contractor (if that applies) to deal with load bearing walls, codes, etc. In many cases, we are required to have city inspections when delving into structural changes, and that is out of the realm of the decorator/designers responsibility anyway. I agree that homeowners do, or should, have enough common sense to choose someone qualified before agreeing to tear down walls or add tricky electrical plans, etc. More regulations are just another money grab, unfortunately. I went to school with some people who may have been really sharp with structural safety, but had really bad taste.

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    4. I designed two houses (that I own/owned), had an architect draw the plans, and hired a builder to build them. My husband is an electrical engineer but was hardly involved in the process. I oversaw the projects, was on the job site every day, made sure there were no mistakes, designed the landscaping, and hired landscapers. I decorated (picked out everything)the house inside & out and came in on schedule and on budget with both houses. I have no design education. I am self taught. I've worked with fabrics and antiques. And I don't what know what my title should be. I always have a project going on helping friends. I have even helped friends redecorate their homes by skype. I agree with everyone who says architects and builders should handle the structural and code parts of a project. I had no idea until today that regulating interior design existed. It's seems nuts to me and unnecessary. Although I do believe there IS a difference between a degreed designer and a "decorator".

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  7. I went to accredited 4 year college, passed my NCIDQ and call myself an Interior Designer with pride. I fought hard for my 'title' and expect any other Professional to have the same type of schooling. This is something that I spent years working to achieve. There are many talented decorators out there, I agree, and I actually follow some of their work. However, I do believe that not everyone should be able to call themselves Interior Designer. I don't know about regulation per say, There has to be some way for us all to work together. There are CPA's and there are book keepers, there are Lawyers and there are clerks or para legals, this field is as much of a professional field as those aforementioned, the same respect should apply to Interior Design.

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    1. Dear anonymous, Same here. Accredited (and very expensive!) school. Passed the NCIDQ. However after 5 years of paying dues to ASID to maintain my credentials I found not ONE of my clients gave a hoot if I was certified or not. I found it was not necessary to continue to pay some lobby group (ASID) dues to maintain my profession. And now with over 25 years of experience I will fight tooth and nail to keep the regulators out of my business. Respect? I respect every designer out there with talent and integrity. I would argue that regulation is not about the title itself but the use of a title to give lobby organizations such as ASID and state governments the ability to collect dues, licensing fees or fines.

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    2. exactly. your portfolio should show your level of expertise. i don't get why you think that just because you went to school for 4 years an learned a bunch of things a residential decorator will never need to work - that you think you are more qualified to be a designer than someone with a god given talent. don't even ask me to list the most talented designers who never went to school for it.

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    3. to AnonymousApril 25, 2013 at 7:45 AM

      What about all of your 'grandfathered in' competition whom did not fight hard or pay for their title?

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  8. Here's a link I found that explains what you did so well here. http://reason.com/blog/2009/04/24/texas-interior-designers-dont I don't know if my link will be kept in the comment, but this legislation is just nuts. Even engineers can call themselves engineers without passing a licensing test. The test is only required to pass if you want to call yourself a PE (professional engineer, which most engineers are not.) Talent trumps education any day in design as far as I'm concerned. I know designers with degrees that have no talent, and talented people with no license or degree. Don't get me started on this.

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  9. I must disagree with you. As an architect about to start taking my tests so that I may become licensed, I understand that the process can be burdensome. I also think it is necessary. Daily, I find examples on design blogs and websites where untrained designers design dangerous things that are against code because it's "cute". Wood shelving too close to range tops, wood mantels to close to the fire box, stairs that are not up to code, the list goes on and on. So yes, I see real potential for harm. Fire hazards, trip hazards, design without thought to accessibility for the mobility impaired or the environmental impact of materials chosen. All these things matter in design. Sorry, but it's about much more than "having a flair" for picking out paint colors.

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    1. Again - anyone who lets an interior designer - registered or not - design stairs asks for their own trouble. that's what engineers and architects are for. sorry. you are just proving the point. trip hazards? omg. if you are wanted to design a house for the mobility impaired - you should hire someone with experience that field. i would never take on a job like that and no one would hire me to do that because i have no experience in it. If someone want to hire a designer who is registered, fine. but it shouldn't be mandatory. its just not needed. imo

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    2. You are so misinformed. I am a interior designer working at a architecture firm. Stair construction is something we are taught in school.

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    3. A interior designer may decorate but a interior decorator does not design. Learn what words mean.

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  10. My husband is a registered PE in several states. If you are an engineer designing anything...it needs to have a State Seal on the project. For most companies, my husband's included, it is a requirement after hiring to obtain your PE within a certain time frame. Granted, it's mostly for structural, mechanical and civil engineers. I know I wouldn't want to live in, drive on, or ride in anything that wasn't PE approved, but that's for safety. I do believe that Interior Designers for homes do not need to be regulated. It's ridiculous!

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  11. ...and here we go again! I'm so tired of having to fight for my right to work in the state of Texas! Correct me if I'm wrong, but it became a "right to work" issue when the title act was shot down. I can't see that anything has changed since then. I've got a M.Ed, tons of teaching experience and I went back to design school at 47....no way am I going to go work for someone for 2 yrs as a jr designer for $10 hr, take a hugely expensive test so that I can work in my artistic field. It's certainly not all about education. I only learned a 10th of the things I need to know in school to run an interior design company and work as one. I've owned my own company now for 14 years as a single woman, and regardless of what the state allows me to be called, I DO interior design! I am not a decorator although I have decorators on my staff. I can feel my blood pressure rising as I type this. I'll go sign the petition, write the legislators (again!) and fight this stupid battle again. Thanks Joni, for bringing it to my attention. You were the person I went to during the last battle over the title act, so I'm reading and following again to stay in touch. Geez.....

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    1. exactly - the two years servitude really is galling. and - hcc????? please! that's a great school. to tell those people they aren't allowed to even take the test? same in el paso. there are only 14 schools in texas that have this right. unbelievable. and sorry. but some of the worst looking design comes out of those schools. yes, i said that.

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    2. Well, as a consumer, I can honestly say I don't know the difference between a "decorator" or a "designer"... and so much of design (or decor) seems to be taste related... it's more like art. Less like accounting or law or science, where there are actual rules that have to be followed or you end up in jail. It may be my ignorance of the field, but it seems more of an ego thing... When the "design" affects function, such as handicap readiness, etc., then that does seem to have certain rules... but a contractor would be required to follow those, I would think. So it really gets down to whether you want your field regulated or not, and whether that regulation really provides any benefit to the consumer. I don't see it, personally... but I'm open to learning more, and hearing other opinions. But I am having a hard time seeing "decorating" or "design" as being any different than other forms of "art"... it seems more based on taste and preference than any real "rules" that could cause harm if broken. In fact "design rules" broken effectively are sometimes declared genius! Not so with creative accounting or legal services. So having "labels" in the profession really only clarifies whatever those labels say (is it education, experience, or what?)....same as RDA versus nutritionist... there again, is a big difference in terms of time and cost!

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    3. Oh, I would like to add that I do think that there is good value to having design courses (or degrees) devoted to interior design and/or decor (whatever the difference is there)... Just as taking art classes can be helpful, fun, or whatever.... Or writing courses for a writer. And getting a degree in Interior design shows a dedication to the profession, and probably would require a little out of box study (such as history of design or history of furniture, etc.) that one might not study alone without encouragement. Also, someone can get a degree in art or writing, but it doesn't make them an artist or writer. So I see interior design/decor somewhat like that. It is highly subject to taste and trends... very hard to regulate "skill" when it is so taste sensitive . Very easy to charge fees to get & keep those licenses. Unless there is a reason to regulate the industry (lots of fraud, etc.), then I don't see any reason for it.

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  12. Joni, This is another example of the government trying to put more controls on us. Where does it end?

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  13. I signed just because I know big goverment is killing us! The increase in gas and food alone is outrageous! Who can afford to decorate?!! I only get to look at your blog and dream.

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  14. If you want to make structural changes to your home/building, then you should hire an architect or licensed tradesman. The average American homeowner does not turn to an interior designer or decorator to build additions, move walls or change stairs - they either do it themselves (ha!), or find a professional in that field. Clearly the state could stand to do a little focus group research on whether or not anyone understands or CARES about the difference between "interior design" and "decorator" before it decides there is a massive problem in the land. Beyond that, however....

    Regulating the design industry just takes one more level of accountability away from each and all of us -- you don't have to be accountable for your own choices, use common sense, or heaven forbid, read. Since the state provides "licensed" professionals, just make sure you hire one of them. Then you can have someone to sue when you trip on your carpet someday.

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  15. Dear Joni,

    As you know I am well familiar with this issue. You were so gracious to provide me with correct and knowledgeable information when I was doing months of research in order to write a very lengthy research paper on this very subject as a graduation requirement.
    Here in AZ we also have a "grandfather clause" which is a bunch of malarkey. If the rule applies for one, it should apply for all. (I wish I could underline that last bit.) This is one of the key points of a democratic society.
    As you know I went to design school. I graduated with top honors. My designs won awards. In order to even be eligible to take the test I must have over 5000 working hours under a full fledged member. I have now spent 3 years looking for an individual willing to be such a mentor. I have even offered to do this as an intern ~ ie working hard for no money.
    Surprise, surprise. No one was/is willing to do this. For awhile I asked myself "Is it me? Do I smell? Do I do horrid work?" No. The bottom line is you either have to "know" someone, have $$$$$ or just forget it. The old girls club just doesn't want the new competition in an already busted economy.
    So, I am back in school. Again. Furthering my degree at ASU in the area of Art History. More education means less hours required for the exam. If need be, after I graduate I will work for a college where then I will earn my hours. At 45 I really don't want to be fighting such a battle.
    But it's the principle of it. The lobbyists have set up a system where it is almost impossible to succeed.
    In the meantime I continue to work for clients as an interior decorator. They are SO happy. I am happy to be doing what I love. I am licensed by my town, I am insured. I am trusted.
    Off to sign.

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    1. I remember when you were going through all this. unreal. i'm so sorry you can't find a mentor. that's awful. but probably typical.

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  16. Typical government overreach. Unless I missed it in an earlier post, I didn't see mention of the financial motivation for the state to regulate. Regulating would "create jobs". (Whenever you hear any politician talking about creating jobs, you know you're in trouble.) It is not the role of the government to create jobs; jobs are naturally created in a free market. A FREE MARKET. This proposed interior design regulation doesn't contribute to public safety, but it does limit the public's freedom to choose. Is that not the antitheses to what our country is all about? (Or to put it in less delicate terms: So we can choose abortion, but we can't choose who picks out our drapes?! Ludicrous.)

    Let's take massage therapy as an example (warning!) of what happens when a field becomes regulated in Texas:
    Just over the border in Oklahoma, massage is not regulated. Apparently, in spite of not being regulated, the therapists in Oklahoma are not injuring their clients, or making a living giving poor massages. Why? Well, for one, because you can't make it in something like massage, if you're not qualified. A thriving massage therapy practice absolutely depends on returning customers. And the massage therapy schools want to produce good therapists because that's good for business. Sure, I guess you could hang a sign on your door and call yourself a therapist without going to school, but you better be good and professional if you are going to last. The market regulates therapists, designers, and the like, better, faster and more efficiently than our government ever could.

    On the other hand, in Texas, therapists are regulated, but schools are not. A friend and I went to a massage therapy "school" in Amarillo and quickly realized we had forked our money over to a sham. We decided it was going to be on us, and we studies hard, sought out our own information, and traded massages to qualified therapist and chiropractors for their tutelage. Sure, we got our certificate of graduation from that school, so that we could then pay Texas to test us, but that school not where we learned massage. In fact, our teacher spent only a few of the 500 hours we were at school instructing us. (She was doing hair in the next room instead.) No matter, we found out she didn't pass the exam until her 4th try, so she wouldn't have been that much help to us anyway.

    Now, once you are a licensed massage therapist in Texas. Is there any follow up to make sure you are practicing safely? Nope. As long as you keep sending in that check to "renew" your license every two years, you're good. As one of my still practicing friends told me, "There is no massage therapy police."

    In fact, they don't even always check to make sure that you've done your continuing ed classes (which is supposedly the whole reason you have to renew in the first place). I don't know if any of the therapists that I know have ever been asked to show proof of continuing ed. (Supposedly those proof is required randomly.) And the approved continuing ed classes, what a joke!

    For those of you on the front lines of the interior design issue, I wish you the best and hope you are able to get your case in front of the right people. There are many who might not be tuned into the issues of interior design, but who are tuned into the issues of an overstepping government agency and the kind of precedent it will set for other industry.



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  17. It strikes me that in some (how many?) states, there are fewer regulations, fewer educational requirements, fewer certification, fewer testing requirements, fewer assessments of the qualification of the person's abilities and etc for buying guns than there is to be an interior designer. Why do we permit special interest groups to have this power over us? I simply don't get it. Joni, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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    1. The second amendment is a Constitutional right. Hence, the lack of regulation.
      Unfortunately, since the passage of the 17th amendment to the Constitution, we have given Lobbyists entirely too much power. Before the 17th amendment, Senators were appointed and were charged with protecting the Constitution, now they are merely redundant. They do the same job as the representatives, are swayed by public opinion and there is no one there to protect our governing document.
      We need to repeal the 17th amendment that has given Lobbies so much power and return to a Republic.

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  18. I totally support you Joni and all the great work you do so I signed the petition. Good luck in Texas.

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  19. I live in California which has to be one of the most over-regulated states in this country. That is the primary reason why so many California-based businesses are fleeing to Texas. As a Libertarian type, I am against government regulation unless it is absolutely necessary for public safety.

    Beth AM (the architect about to get licensed) made a good point about wooden shelves that are too close to open flames but the "trip hazard" and "Environmental Impact" comments are over-the-edge. Any homeowner stupid enough to let a "decorator" or "designer" put a combustible material too close to open flames would probably place a lighted candle too close to combustible items during the Holidays. As to trip hazards, again homeowners create those themselves every day. (Childrens toys, small dogs on the floor, extension chords run across walkways, a 4" to 6" raised hearth, etc.) I am certain there are millions of trip-and-fall accidents at home that are NOT caused by unlicensed interior designers. Should the government be able to come in and fine you if you have a trip-hazard in your house? Should the government regulate how low a hanging fixture should be? (If the tallest person in your home hits his/her head, it's too low - duh!) Should Home Depot, Lowes and Target be required to see your prescription from a "Licensed Interior Designer" before allowing a homeowner to purchase anything related to home decor? Would it be illegal for a homeowner to buy and install an airswitch for their garbage disposal?

    Please don't get me started on Environmental Impact. These stupid flourescent lights that "save energy and last 20 years" have a rapid flicker which causes depression and headaches in many people. They contain heavy metals which are VERY hazardous to the environment. Natural fabrics versus synthetics made from petroleum? Well, for comfort alone, I prefer natural fabrics when they will touch the body. However, for drapes, synthetics such as polyester and acetate are superior because they are resistant to sun-rot and fading.

    I say if it goes on the surface - walls, ceilings, floors, countertops, furniture - no license should be required. If it requires installing something below the surface larger than 1 square foot (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, new rafters, etc.) then a license should be required. But hey, those professions are already licensed!

    Shame on the "University trained" designers who are primarily looking to protect their investment in education. Shame on them for wasting the legislature's time! This issue is almost as stupid as the California Legislature spending a month to debate the length of a dairy-cow's tail. And yes, when eveything else in California is swirling around the drain, they passed a law to regulate that!

    BTW - I am signing the petition!

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    1. Businesses are leaving CA because taxes are too high. Lower taxes and better incentives elsewhere.

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  20. Uhhhhh, I have two cousins that are designer/decortors, one in Dallas and one in San Diego. One is a college grad the other is not. But I'd bet a Benjamin that neither has hung a shelf in a kitchen, installed a mantle over a fireplace, or built stairs of any kind. Isn't that left up to the builder/contractor to decided/inform if there is s conflict of code? There are too many lobbyists and too much unnecessary regulation in this country.

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  21. You will only be allowed to specify for prisons, and mental hospitals. No decorating as we know it will be allowed, under penalty of death in an electric chair- upholstered in fire rated brown vinyl, which was subjected to a 50,000 rub wyzenbeck test in the laboratory...

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  22. I am an interior designer in Oklahoma and am awaiting the results of the practicum portion of the NCIDQ. In Oklahoma the title act has been repealed and you may call yourself an interior designer, but only those who have passed all three sections of the Q can be referred to as Registered Interior Designers.

    I am for legislations for many reasons. I feel that decorating a house in no way requires a licensed professional. There are a lot of men and women who just have a talent for color, scale, pattern, etc. BUT, I work full time in the commercial industry and 97% of what I do is based on codes and the health, safety and welfare of the public. About 3% of my job is selecting materials for my projects. The work I do outside of my full time job for residential clients does not typically involve the same codes. While I am required to know about electrical, structural, plumbing and HVAC for my job I feel it has made me a much more qualified designer in the residential field. I have an understanding of budgets and limits that some decorators will not have. After speaking to many residential clients whose budgets have been overrun by unforeseen issues (that a decorator was not able to catch), I have been told that hiring a registered professional was a relief. I in no way think that decorators should lose their ability to work.
    I do however think that there should be some clarifications as to what a designer vs a decorator is and their responsibilities. For example, just recently, a decorator suggested to a commercial client that they install a wood floor on the wall. The square footage of that wood wall was close to 2,500 square feet in a public area. That flooring material is not rated with a Class A fire rating and therefore cannot be used on the wall. If a fire were to occur in that space, the flame spread and smoke index would be terribly detrimental to the folks trying to leave the building. I think decorators should understand their limitations of knowledge on codes and systems. If they have that knowledge there is no reason they couldn't take the test (while costly) and be able to take themselves to another level of professionalism. Trust me, I have nothing against decorators, but I do have an issue with people telling me that my profession as an interior designer (specifically commercial) does not affect the health, safety and welfare of the public when it very much does. Architecture and Interior Design firms get sued right and left when materials fail or people or injured due to poor design and planning. I think most residential decorators have not seen that type of lawsuit and believe that the liability is not there. It is most certainly there, and if they knew how much (financially speaking) that they can be held accountable for, they'd be concerned. Licensing is in place to protect the designer as much as it is there to protect the clients. I think a better distinction must be had on what responsibilities a licensed designer can have vs. a decorator. But I do not foresee that going over well either. It’s a touchy subject, everywhere, not just Texas and I understand the concern on both sides of the fence. I think this is an area where compromise will have to be met, otherwise one party will lose much more than if both sides were to give a little.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Id be interested in seeing these law suits against designers concerning health and safety. this has been a real sticking point because there actually aren't any. please send me information on these law suits that happen "left and right." About the flooring material - I see houses all the time with wood added to the walls repurposed from old buildings, barns, etc. When designing hospitals and hotels, that is a different beast. Let those who want to do that type of design take the test. Again, anyone who would hire a rookie with no experience in hospitality design is a fool.

      Delete
  23. It is always about power and money. I was glad to sign the petition. This is just crap!

    ReplyDelete
  24. The same thing is going on in Mississippi. In Mississippi, the architecture board is overseeing the interior design licensing. The fees are astronomical, and very few universities are approved to offer the degree they are requiring. IT seems to me that architects are worried that interior designers are going to start building homes and structures, which is absolutely ridiculous and reeks of personal insecurities.

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  25. Don't get me started about conservative government overreach. I grew up in Oklahoma and live in Kansas (I know, a world of sorrows). I do find it ridiculous that we can't do background checks—or heaven forbid, have a national registry of gun owners—but we can spend government time/money trying to regulate interior design. I know bad design can kill, but really?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are no absolutes, but conservatives typically believe in limited government. Liberals and Progressives believe in an expanded government role. Your phrase "conservative government overreach" is a bit of an oxymoron.

      Delete
    2. Good catch, Patty M. Another low information voter. No wonder we are in trouble when people can use conservative and government overreach in the same sentence.

      Delete
    3. Here in Kansas, I know of which I speak. Our republican dominated legislature & governor have passed/signed a bill that states that life begins at conception. Kansas now has one of the most restriction abortion (which is legal in the US) laws in the nation. Oklahoma & Texas are not too far behind in this matter. We're the state that has had its state board of education decree that creationism must be taught in schools. And, of course, gay rights are nil. Conservatives continue to reach/over reach into the the private lives of its citizens and have continued to devalue the rights of women. Over 90 percent of America wanted background checks before gun purchases, but the NRA, another lobby in the business to preserve itself, has whipped up the "low information" voter into thinking it's about 2nd amendment rights. I don't think deer have evolved so much in the last 200 years that assault weapons and 100 round magazines are required to put venison on the table.

      Delete
    4. your statement "conservatives typically believe in limited government" is 100% inaccurate; in fact it reaches a "Emperor's New Clothes-level of inaccuracy and delusion. Conservatives continue to act as tho any thing to do with women's health (physical or QOL ) is *NOT a health issue is slow-killing millions of women. _ The medical term is "morbidity"._
      that and insisting that hardworking americans, regardless of which industry they work in, do not deserve to have their wages/salaries keep pace with ....reality.

      Delete
    5. Agree with home before dark. There is a gulf of difference (no pun intended, Texans) between republican ideals and Republican ideals.

      PattyM and Anon11:11, your statements actually represent low-information followers that are ruining the former and supporting the latter.

      Joni, good luck on your quest.

      Delete
    6. It didn't take long for the sweet refrain of liberalism better known as the Republican War on Women would raise it's ugly head here. If you low information voters want to read about the Emperor of Government Regulation (and by the way, he has no clothes either), please enjoy:

      "One week after he signed Executive Order No. 13563, mandating that all executive branch agencies “identify and consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens,” President Obama delivered his 2011 State of the Union Address: “When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them,” the chief executive declared on Jan. 25, to applause from the joint session of Congress.

      Yet over the course of the year that ensued, a new study finds, the Obama administration enacted 32 new “major” regulations – rules that carry an estimated price tag of $100 million or more. These measures stand to cost the U.S. economy $10 billion a year, along with an additional $6.6 billion in first-time implementation costs.

      ENOUGH SAID !

      Delete
    7. Oh, please. There are more than a few ways to look at government spending and regulations. Believe what you want to believe.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57400362/is-obama-really-spending-and-regulating-more/

      "Enough said."

      Delete
    8. Anon.l:13, when you site reliable news sources I will certainly consider reading. CBS is not one of those. It is just another appendage of the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party. I would say an increase from 5 trillion to 16 trillion (and ticking) in debt in four years is about all we need to know about Obama's spending. I have attempted to be fair. I did not include his million dollar golfing week-end in Fla. with Tiger Woods.

      "Enough said"

      Delete
    9. Sure thing. Got it. Thanks for your input, Fox News.

      Delete
    10. Nice try, but it's not working. Try the BBC, the London Telegraph and Daily Mail if you really want to know what goes on in this country. Got that?

      Delete
    11. Actually, conservative Bobby Jindal fully supports Louisiana's overreaching regulation of I.D. People accuse him of hypocrisy. He is a republican who believes in less government yet he is behind their regulations. States with liberals in control have vetoed attempts at regulation - for example, New York, Colorado, California, New Jersey, and Ohio had liberal governors who vetoed. It's not so cut and dry as you might expect.

      Delete
    12. Frankly, California, Illinois and New York have the most egregious, fascist overreach and they are run by democrats. (Super size soda, anyone?) As a Libertarian, I see the inherent flaws of the two party paradigm. Let's stick to the issue and can the partisan name calling, shall we?
      We have more in common than we think.

      Andie

      Delete
    13. Bobby Jindal???? What a joke!!!

      Delete
  26. Just signed the petition. I noted that in this instance, regulation equals strangulation of the industry, benefiting the few in power and control of the licensing rules and protecting no one. For those instances of poor service and overcharging, we already have courts for litigation; regulation and licensing of designers will not help. What are they afraid of, death by damask?

    ReplyDelete
  27. Just read a few of the comments and I have to add...

    I get that, as in applying wood to a wall, that there might be issues of fire hazard. The specific issue is specious though, in that virtually everything one puts in a home will burn. Further, there is no regulation against silk wall covering or curtains, and yet silk, when burned, gives off a very poisonous gas. If we worry about every little thing, we will all have to retire to plastic bubbles.

    It is common sense that decorators cannot and should not make structural changes without an architect's oversight, just for safety concerns. As for any further control, the current grab by some architects of the entire design process smacks of these people trying to turn back the clock to pre-Revolutionary France, when architects controlled the interior as well as the exterior and structural aspects of buildings. They gave up that control in the 19th century, and there is no going back. They see now that money is to be made, especially in a world where more clients are renovating instead of building anew. If designers must take expensive classes and undergo an onerous licensing process, to prove knowledge and compliance with building regulations, then architects should equally be made to take courses to instill basic tenets of taste and design - a much harder skill to master. Perhaps they should be forced to anyway, so we all do not suffer from the Architect deigned cookie-cutterhome sthat designers have to work so hard to make livable...

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  28. Dear Joni,

    I am a recent graduate of an accredited interior design program and thought I could add a different view to this topic. While I feel that anyone that loves design and creating beautiful environments deserves to do what they love, I am all for regulation. There are reasons why it's important to be registered, and it's not in reference to red tape and politics. Designers which have chosen to go to school, learn the fundamentals and the programs necessary to work along side architects and engineers should be recognized. There are codes, even for residential, that designers must follow. I have know since I was in middle school that I wanted to design, but knew that I needed to learn the standards at which to design. I find that the biggest myth in interior design is that we just 'Fluff" the space; in reality, the majority of my day is spent reworking blueprints I receive from architects (and I work in residential.) I think that regulation scares the designers/decorators that chose to go into this profession without schooling; the idea that a future client would have the option between a designer that has been certified and one that hasn't could definitely hurt business for them.

    I think it's important to see both sides. While it may not be fair to those who didn't go to school for interior design, it's just as unfair to those of us who did. I want the recognition that I met the requirements and excelled. I don't care whether or not I'm called a decorator or designer. But I don't want to be lumped into the category of decorators/designers out there that got bored one day and just decided to start adding pillows to houses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lets see what your attitude will be after 5 years of picking out fabrics for custom bedding, drapes, sofas and chairs, wood finishes on case goods, accent items, and fluffing pillows for dozens of clients.

      Delete
    2. "I don't want to be lumped into the category of decorators/designers out there that got bored one day and just decided to start adding pillows to houses".

      I don't blame you. There are far too many bored housewives who after raising children decide it's now time to do what they have always dreamed of doing - decorating. Some in fact do take a few courses at community colleges, form a limited liability company, get a tax ID and a van or SUV and they are in business. I know one such person who did this and immediately started charging design time fees commensurate with designers who had years of experience. After a couple of clients were burned, these so-called decorators seem to work only for family and close friends. To this extent, I believe there should be standards applied to any profession. However, if government is going to regulate designer/decorator standards, how can they adequately do so unless they conduct inspections of these professionals' work much like plumbers and electricians are inspected on their jobs.

      It is a difficult issue and unfortunately no one seems to want a compromise.

      Delete
    3. We need to make a distinction between aesthetic and knowledge. I know a lot of bored housewives with a lovely eye for decorating, but cannot find an accredited designer whose style is even close to what I'd like in my home. I'd only hire an interior designer to be sure any remodeling changes followed code and was absent of functional flaws that I hadn't already identified myself in my home. Interior designers would (should) have this knowledge.

      What's doing more to ruin the careers of interior designers is the fact that bored housewives have access to many of the trade suppliers, the Internet and other previously sacred resources of designers. If you've worked in interior design for more than 10 years, ask yourselves what factors have influenced your profession the most? Government regulation is the least of your worries, folks.

      Delete
    4. Maybe we should regulate the bored housewives who write design blogs. Let me be clear, I am not speaking about Joni as she is a decorator. You all know the ones who make a weekly reveal of their latest little design update and think we are all waiting impatiently for the next tidbit of wisdom to fall from their pursed lips. It's gotten so bad on the blogs, one blogger recently had a two part series on how she organizes her kitchen drawers - really folks you have to sometimes laugh. Then when you read the comments you really understand that some of these blogs nourish the mental sleepers. Imagine one taking the time to comment on the unique and cheap little willow baskets that hold the knives and forks.

      I think there should be a third category entitled What I Want to be When I Grow Up. You wouldn't need any testing for that one, only a keyboard and a few phrases like "pop of color", "eye candy", and let's not forget "I'm drooling".

      Delete
    5. Obviously your drawers are messy!

      Delete
    6. The drawer organization series isn't done. It's actually a trilogy with part 3 now in production.

      Delete
    7. Oh boy, I can hardly wait to see what awaits. Let these scales fall from my eyes.

      Anon. 3:02, the reason I am poking fun at the "drawer post" is how serious some blog authors take themselves and the ridiculous subject matter that often gets covered. My drawers actually have custom fitted dividers and I store my kitchen equipment as close to the work area where I am likely to use it as I can. I also have drawers built to hold pots and pans based on their size and height. As a result, there is a place for everything, sized in a compatible way and therefore not in the least messy.

      Sadly, cheap baskets from WalMart have become news worthy at least in some circles. I can't wait for Part 3, it has to be either dog food storage or perhaps recycled plastic wrap and foil. I am sure that our Elsie deWolfe of kitchen drawer fame will not disappoint.

      Delete
    8. Anon 12:41, you make some very valid points. Internet sales of high end fabrics is very simple. Once you have the name, color and sku number, you can go to countless resources on line and purchase fabric. For people who actually know how to reupholster sofas and chairs, make window treatment, bed linens, etc., it's a windfall. These fabrics are not seconds, they are first quality fabric from Scalamandre, Brunschwig, Schumacher, Cowtan & Tout, Jane Churchill, Manuel Canovas, etc. You can buy a memo sample and when ordering fabric the price is close to 50% of what designers would charge if they charged you full retail. I do think the fact that you can get a price quote from these companies even while working with a designer is helpful in knowing whether you are being over charged.

      You are still buying from the trade, but a company doing enough business that it can offer the discounts.

      Delete
    9. Please!! someone tell me what blog is doing the kitchen drawer, please! i want to read it. i actualy like drivel like that. the problem is the constant need to publish a blog. i don't get that. I don't publish just to publish. if i dont' have something to share, i dont' think u p something to just publish every single day or 5 days a week. try doing it for six years. my god. Friday Favorite Foyer or Thursday Makeover Day or whatever. it's so ridiculous.
      About the decorator who works on architectural blueprints all day - i don't believe that. there is no architect who would like an interior designer rework his plans without him signing off on it first? what is she doing - changing what the architect drew - and then what - he has to make all those corrections. i don't get what she is saying?

      OK i want to knwo what blog you are talking about.

      Delete
    10. by the way - if you like to make fun of bad blogs, you might appreciate this blog: http://getoffmyinternets.net/ it's pretty funny and puts everything into perspective.

      Delete
    11. The site is on your blog roll. In addition why do design bloggers do "Foodie Fridays"? The next thing will be Toilet Bowl Tuesdays. I agree with you Joni, unless you have something meaty to offer, don't waste your time and bandwidth on dog bones.

      Delete
    12. The "drivel" blog would be mine Joni- "for the love of a house". I do not publish a "pretty picture" blog with photos borrowed from the internet, nor publish daily. I only show photos of my own home, which yes, includes my kitchen drawers, my gardens, my mantels, my bathrooms, my Christmas lights, my paint colors, my kitchen, my New England fall foliage, my sweet pound dog- Ella, our tractor, our porches, antiques, etc.etc etc... . It appears that anon. read all of the posts AND all of the comments from said posts except for the part that they were inspired by my niece who wanted to know what was in my kitchen drawers; not to mention the emails I've received where readers literally asked me what I had in my drawers next to my range, and my kitchen sink. Considering the number of comments and Pinterest pins that both posts have received (which include the"cheap little willow baskets" from Walmart) I am guessing that not everyone has the lovely, orderly drawers that anon has and some are in want of inspiration. I will sleep well tonight knowing that anon has kitchen drawers that are "sized in a compatible way and therefore not in the least messy." Is my blog drivel? I am certain it is to some. I find it curious why anon would be so caustic (though not to name me out right, only say that I am on your blog roll) and still read my blog- life is too short to read blogs you don't love. I write from my heart, about my life and my home. If my voice doesn't ring true to someone I assume they will go elsewhere and not return. I have no illusions that my decorating style, my post topics or my blog are for everyone (trust me, I have a sister who doesn't even get it) but I am truly honored to have been brought up in this post on Interior Design regulation on Cote de Texas. (And to anon- I "do" work as a decorator.) I have signed the petition, and wish it the best of luck.
      all my best,
      joan

      Delete
    13. I am flummoxed by the arrogant attitude of those who choose to hide their identity. Does it make you somehow superior to mock people while you hide your name? I think it makes you a coward and a "mean girl". You don't like those blogs? Guess what? You don't have to read them! The same concept applies to designers...you don't like their work? They don't have the experience you require? DON"T HIRE THEM! It really IS that simple.
      Frankly, I think it is FAR more pathetic to mock an individual under cover of anonymity than it is to write about organizing tips. That's just me. I never liked bullies.

      Andie

      Delete
    14. As you said Joni, if you don't have something to share that is meaningful and worth the effort, you don't blog. Seeing literally every drawer opened in someone's kitchen so we can see how the corkscrew, the silverware, the cookware, the plastic wrap, etc, etc, is stored is the work of someone seriously in need of attention. This was by no means the worst one. There was another one on how to make your own teflon pot scrubbers and the author's favorite cleaning products. We have been promised round three of the trilogy which will be a red carpet viewing of the inside of the cabinets and drawers by the sink area. I am not sure I will be able to take all of this practical knowledge in, but it does lighten up the day. Drivel for sure. Thanks for the effort you make to enlighten and educate your readers, the large pictures so we don't need magnifiers (another pet peeve), and a well thought out and researched subject worth writing and reading about. At least the referenced blog doesn't give out Sunday night supper recipes for grilled chicken served over spring greens with balsamic accompanied by the admonition "now it's your turn to talk". I am always tempted to respond by sharing my recipe for Campbell's pork and beans, served on a bed of over cooked collards and washed down with a six pack of Bud Light with a parting salvo "now we're talking".

      Delete
    15. Joan, we would love to see some of your design work. Do you work for paying clients or is your design work strictly your own home? It seems that as you describe your blog, it is a chronicle of your life and environment. Does that make you a designer. If so, the internet is full of designers. On second thought, maybe we do need regulation.

      Delete
    16. Wow. I've found a few blogs whose content wasn't useful to me. All I did was stop visiting them. It really wasn't that difficult to do.

      Yes, I'm posting anonymously because I work in a profession in which I don't want my name to appear on google searches. I'd speak the same words if we were sitting in a room together. But I'm saddened that some people choose to spend their time criticizing blogs when all it takes is simply to stop clicking on them. I'm pretty sure Joan doesn't want you as a visitor to her blog any more than you regret her posts about drawer organization. Just don't look.

      Joni, I enjoyed your blog, and I tried to understand this post. It's content is beyond me as a reader. The hatred it produced, though, means I'm going back to magazines and other non-blog sources for design inspiration. The comments here are too distracting to me as a curious reader who can't help but read this trainwreck--but who regrets that I spent any time doing so. So I'm taking my own advice here. I'm just not going to look anymore.

      Best wishes to everyone, even the haters.

      Angela

      Delete
    17. Elsie de Wolfe was a bored housewife without a degree. How could you DEIGN to mention her name?

      Delete
    18. I DEIGNED because Elsie was hardly bored. You must dig a little deeper into Elsie's life.

      Delete
    19. Kudos to you Elizabeth for going the extra mile. You should in no way be compared to someone who did not take the time and money to learn the trade. I did the same, in my profession. It was hard work. There were life lessons learned, that were unique to those of us with an education. Whether it was HCC, UT or wherever, it was that extra mile that so many others like to overstep for convenience sake. I would hire you over anyone who tried to promote the "self-taught" education.

      This blog seems to have taken a turn for the ugly. From the rants of a designers "look" to this topic of regulations. Now, I think this blog post itself was quite informative. I can't really offer an opinion, however. I would be considered mere clientele. But, once I got into this comment section, things got ugly. Brought on by the author herself. Joni, you must enjoy conflict as you have so often invited it to your blog.

      It's design...not science. Lighten up alittle.

      Delete
    20. PLEASE PROVE YOUR POINT THAT THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG BROUGHT ON ANY CONFLICT. She is kind enough and smart enough to allow free speech which seem to be your basic problem. It's you that needs to lighten up, but not a little - a lot.

      Delete
    21. Angela, lighten up. The world is not a friendly place if one is always looking to be validated in their opinions. You sound like a "wuss".

      Delete
    22. Seriously, Angela? I find it completely bizarre that you would stop reading a blog because you didn't relate to one particular post and found the comments (the comments!) to be too distracting. I'm not trying to be mean, it's just that I find your comment to be completely illogical.

      Delete
  29. Someone mentioned public education upthread. What a great comparison. In Texas, homeschools are considered private and therefore not regulated. And yet, by all available data, homeschool students thrive. Unfortunately in many areas the majority of publicly educated kids struggle. The politicians answer to this? More regulation of course. "Reform"

    The lesson? Regulation doesn't always equal quality, and it certainly doesn't always equal safety. Therefor, public safety and quality control are poor arguments for encouraging regulation on dressing out a home.

    PS) The semantics of design vs decorating might be defined one way to those in the business, but as a consumer I interpret them differently. To me, a decorator would focus on making what you have visually appealing, a designer would do the same, but also address functionality. Maybe a home owner should swap their dining room for their living room. Surely you don't need a license to push a couch into another room, or to suggest to your client the idea of turning their spacious laundry room into a family closet. Like someone else said, the person installing the cabinets should be weighing in on issues of safety and feasibility. Anything beyond that I tend to think would be the job of an architect, if one was needed.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Joni, I applaud you for deviating today and taking a political stand. I do not have anything at risk in this conflict, but I will support anyone who is fighting against government regulation. It seems obvious to me that the purpose of the regulations is to limit entrance into the field and therefore, limit future competition. No doubt, the revenue for the state and the power and prestige for the board members are bonuses. The following excerpts are taken from an essay entitled Assault on Integrity written by Alan Greenspan and are still relevant today.

    “Bad protection drives out good. The attempt to protect the consumer by force undercuts the protection he gets from incentive. It undercuts the value of reputation by placing the reputable company on the same basis as the unknown, the newcomer, or the fly-by-nighter. It declares, in effect, that all are equally suspect and that years of evidence to the contrary do not free a man from that suspicion. Second, it grants an automatic (though, in fact, unachievable) guarantee of safety to the products of any company that complies with its arbitrarily set minimum standards. The value of a reputation rested on the fact that it was necessary for the consumers to exercise judgment in the choice of the goods and services they purchased. The government’s ‘guarantee’ undermines this necessity; it declares to the consumers, in effect, that no choice or judgment is required – and that a company’s record, it years of achievement, is irrelevant.”

    “Furthermore, the possibility of dishonesty applies to government employees fully as much as to any other group of men. There is nothing to guarantee the superior judgment, knowledge, and integrity of an inspector or a bureaucrat – and the deadly consequences of entrusting him with arbitrary power are obvious.”

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  31. I am proud to say that I am a "decorator" not a "designer"
    I never went to school for design. My husband, Steve, is an architect. He told me that I should never go to school.
    He said that he spends most of his time trying to unlearn what they taught him in Architecture School.
    Most of my favorite Interior Designers/Decorators never went to school.
    Their design talent is instinctual.
    Regulation is ruining the entire building industry here in California.
    We can't even have real fireplaces any more! What happened to "hearth and home"?
    And don't get me started on florescent lights!

    xo
    Brooke

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    Replies
    1. Hi Brooke, I live in California, too. Amen to your comment on flourescent light bulbs and fake fireplaces. We have stockpiled incandescent lightbulbs. No doubt the Lightbulb Police will come after us one of these days.

      Government regulation is ruining our ENTIRE State. Beautiful as is our weather and geography, many people (including me) cannot wait to leave before Governor Moonbeam and comrades impose an "Exit Tax" (which they are discussing right now.)

      Charlotte

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  32. It seems there's more here than meets the eye on both sides. The saddest and most telling part for me is we've reached a point where a majority are at least skeptical or just plain don't trust government period. Is it any wonder, nope. Long gone are the days where most felt government was there to protect us. I think as a whole most people are reasonable and understand there's a need for certain regulation but unfortunately when you follow the money, some regulations become just a code word for power grab. For me personally, I try to follow the credo "consumer beware". Meaning do your research and apply some common sense. Not all people with "titles" are necessarily qualified or competent as they would lead you to believe in any trade or profession. It comes down to personal responsibility for our choices but again this too is another sad commentary of our times. Government bureaucracy may raise red flags but at same time we can't ignore the litigious society that has resulted because of those who aren't held accountable for their bad choices. I would venture to say those who don't know the difference between an interior designer vs. decorator are the main culprits creating and feeding into this issue.

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  33. I'm also a decorator, not a designer, as I never went to design school. I feel that you either have it or don't. School cannot teach what is innate. Thank you for your post. I did sign the petition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Partly true, mostly ignorant. You may be able to match colors and mix patterns but if you've never been to school, you just don't know what you don't know.

      Delete
    2. Your clients must LOVE your attitude! Does that cost extra? :)

      Andie

      Delete
  34. Signed. If a designer does a project that is large, city permitting/inspection and possibly an engineer is required... THAT is the protection, not a silly test.

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  35. I can see both sides of the argument. But any leg the so-called Design Community had to stand on was lost when they "Grandfathered" in all who made their living in design without benefit of education. They know as well as we that a Monet as no assignation beyond his signature. That is why it is ART as opposed to MEDICINE. If I want to go to a witch doctor I can. Let their be the educated Designer with an assignation and the uneducated Designer. Beyond that the consumer makes the call, the simple truth is that the cream rises to the top every time just like with Mark Hampton and Charlotte Moss who I don't believe had an ASID approved education into what was their life's work. And if I am wrong then feel free to fill-in the blank with the myriad others who are extremely successful despite certification.

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    Replies
    1. Architects as well as other professions grandfathered as well. No one talks about that.

      Delete
  36. Done, signed the petition.

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  37. First, let me begin by saying that licensing an interior designer should in no way be compared to the licensing of an attorney, engineer or CPA. Let's make sure we compare apples to apples in this discussion to avoid looking silly and full of overblown egos on the value we bring to the table. And to those commenters above like Elizabeth, I assure you that a talented designer or decorator does much more than begin adding pillows to houses because she got bored and that is rude and disrespectful to those who are part of this field you supposedly love so much. I am confident that we could place a photo of two rooms next to each other and if either one of those decorators were talented you would not be able to tell who went to school and who did not. And speaking of school, are those who attended a four year university going to say their education is more valuable than those who attended and completed a community college or online course? In my opinion, those designers that choose to work in the hospitality field should pass some sort of test as their choices could affect the safety of the public but, in most cases, whether you are a designer or a decorator, it is the architect and general contractor who are in charge of adhering to building code, safety issues etc.

    This will certainly be an interesting topic to follow as the outcome will affect all of our states and I whole- heartedly support Kelly.

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  38. I well remember you 2008 post on this subject, Joni, and am glad you are bringing it to the forefront again. As Spencer Howard said, every larger project I have done has required an architect, an engineer, a licensed contractor, and/or the passing of very stringent city inspections, so regulations to protect the public are already well in place. To my knowledge, nobody has been harmed or killed by clashing throw pillows, other than mild mental trauma, perhaps. And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one stockpiling incandescent bulbs! We are in Oregon, but already the higher wattage bulbs are getting harder and harder to find. And believe me, having sufficient light is crucial here in the Pacific Northwest for the nine months of the year when natural light is lacking. Why are there more regulations regarding what kind of light bulb I can purchase than a gun? Talk about Big Brother!

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  39. As a licensed architect and sole practioner in the state of Tennessee who chose not join the AIA to lobby for me, I see both sides of the coin. I have three interior designers that I work with who have impeccable taste, style and talent. Two have interior design degrees, one does not, and one of the three has passed the NCIDQ. So according to TN regulations, two are interior decorators and one is an interior designer. I think of them all the same for residential applications, but technically only one has the qualifications to work commercially. In the grand scheme of things I do see where the general public that appreciates good design finds the entire discussion ridiculous. As a libertarian politically, I don't promote additional government regulation. However, I also see where there is some type of need to define realms of qualification and what type of work can be performed by whom. You wouldn't want a person who had a great mind for science diagnosing an illness, and you wouldn't want a person who loved to read legal cases defending you in a court of law. And, in my humble opinion, you don't want a person with a great flair for decorating to direct a contractor to move a wall without proper understanding of what that decision entails. So, I don't know what the right answer is here. I wish I did.

    Is there a problem being called an interior decorator if you don't have professional qualifications?




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    1. As a registered interior designer, I appreciate your comment! There is a lot of misunderstood and incomplete information floating around. Talent is not the issue. It's like you said..."defining the realm of qualification" of those that work in code regulated spaces. Residential design has always been exempt from any legislation in Texas. Unfortunately, no one mentions that.

      Registration is voluntary not mandatory for those that want to take advantage of the opportunity. It is attainable by anyone that really wants to earn it.

      Government entities, hospitals, schools, etc. require "Registered Design Professionals" to work on projects. Registration gives qualified designers the opportunity to compete for work as one element of the design team.

      Where are the comments and outcry about the "unfairness" and disrespectful name-calling of those of us that freely chose the registration path?

      Registration is desired by those of us that are registered and it's not mandatory for those that are not so what's the harm in leaving a system in place that was never a problem before this deregulation trend? Interesting that no one is talking about that? I'd like to know what the real motivation is behind this movement!

      Delete
  40. Wow, the irony! Boatloads of new government regulation under the current administration was just fine by you, but when regulation hits home and affects you, there's a problem? Unbefreakinglievable!!

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    Replies
    1. again - as proven by the history of id regulation, you might want to check into what states veto regulation versus those who didn't. here like louisiana were are a republican state yet both have regulations. states with liberals vetoed regulation. so get the facts straight, please.

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  41. The issue is terminology. You want to keep the moniker “designer”, when the people you are opposing would prefer that you call yourself a “decorator”. There has to be a distinction. Currently the interior design spectrum is VERY long on which a myriad of project types fall. They range from picking out the superficial elements that finish off a space, wall color, pillows, artwork, etc., to the very technical designing of say a surgical suite where appropriate lighting, mechanical, finishes, etc must be applied or the health of a patient would literally be in jeopardy. I agree with much of what everyone has said. To be a good decorator you definitely have to have a knack for it. You cannot go to school for that. Not everyone has it. As a decorator though, you are not being asked to have input on matters that affect the HSW of your clients. But I ask you Jodi, if you were asked to be the lead Interior Designer for a hospital would you feel comfortable and confidant doing that? As a professional, I would hope you would say no. That job would require you to know everything about that building from the moment you walked through the front doors. HVAC, plumbing, lighting, electrical, through floor pattern design and the artwork on the wall, all so you can make an aesthetically pleasing space while still maintaining the health, safety, and welfare of the people who will one day enjoy it. As a registered Interior Designer that is exactly what I was expected to know by my bosses to do my job successfully. That takes training, knowledge of codes, and experience in the field all of which cannot be attained through a knack. Would you feel comfortable checking into a hospital that was designed by someone with no formal training, no regulation, no continuing education? Not me.
    Do I think that residential decorators should be regulated, educated, and tested? No.
    Do I think that people who are designing spaces where their designs have an impact on health, safety, and welfare be regulated? Absolutely.
    And, there is a huge difference in the curriculum of an accredited university and a community college just like for any field. To say there is not is ignorant and ridiculous.

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    1. i said i would never accept a hospitality job nor would anyone hire me for the job. i'm not qualified. i have nothing against ids taking the test and passing it and advertising it. i can see the value in that.

      Delete
    2. Aside from my general bitchiness about an episode I had decades ago with the ASID (comment below), I do agree with you on all points, Katie D. It is really just good common sense in all these matters. Thankfully, most decorators/designers seem to see it this way, too. Still though, the ASID in general does have some kind of major internal issues and they always come across as asses. Why is that?!

      Delete
    3. Katie,

      Only a Fascist would remove the choice from the consumer.

      Delete
    4. I doubt many ASID people know anything about HVAC or electrical. They do have have some impact on safety, but I would not delude myself by thinking they understand the guts of a facility, and don't presume your architects do either. Some do some do not.

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    5. The issue is not just terminology in this case (although it is an issue in general). The majority of the grandfathered Registered Interior Designers in TX haven't ever taken the NCIDQ, nor were they required to have an education in interior design. The requirements are only for more recent applicants. This particular legislation says that everyone who didn't take the exam must in order maintain their status as Registered Interior Designers. If there is going to be regulation then the same rules should apply to all who are being regulated. That protects the consumer.

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    6. Then the same should be required of architects and other grandfathered professions. There are several TX architects that grandfathered without an exam or architecture degree.

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  42. For those of you who believe governmental regulation is a burden, please look at the recent tragedy in Bangladesh as an example of no regulation. Look at the horrifying pollution in China, or the contaminated dog food and milk in that country. Look at American companies hauling toxic waste to Mexico for disposal. Are you willing to allow those kinds of situations in the United States? I, for one, am not.

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    1. The tragedy in Bangladesh was due to arson...NO amount of government regulation would have stopped that. As far as I know arson is illegal in every corner of the planet.
      Let's take a peek at regulation in THIS country that CAUSED the Housing Bubble and subsequent crash...or the gun regulations that make VICTIMS of law abiding citizens.
      I do not need a nanny telling me how to live my life. Do you. Really? Do you really believe that government intervention in the Free Market will make you safer? Please cite examples of how such overreach has helped anyone but the individuals whose pockets are lined by the fees and fines.

      Delete
  43. Have we, as a government, as a populous, as humans forgotten the meaning of the word "Reasonable"? The reality of this decision to regulate interior design in whole is not reasonable. The option of regulating commercial interior design, however, is reasonable. Sally Homeowner likely won't have the tools necessary to check credentials of said "Registered Interior Designer" should it be presented at the first meeting or consultation, so conversely, who is to say that Sally Homeowner won't run into a slew of talented decorators, who in order to compete, say they're "Registered Interior Designers"? Afterall, haven't we all met someone who said they were one thing, when in fact they were not? Ultimately, if Sally Homeowner wants to hire Dilbo the Decorator over Debra the Designer, who gives a s#!t? It's not your home, likely not your problem, and even less likely to pose a financial burden to the tax base. I mean - who the #ell can afford a designer/decorator and not insurance? As someone else commented, how is this regulation monitored? Who would be charged with the inspection of pillows, and, further would their design aesthetic clash with the homeowner, the decorator? Does this mean it's kaboshed, and forever held hostage by the fees and penalties until Debra the Designer stops mixing her chintz and pinstripes? Reasonably, which perhaps is a fleeting quality, one would say that a person who chooses a contractor, whether it be for garden or interior, would have the ability to make the decisions that they want to live with on their own. Reasonably, if a designer were hired to work along side an architect for a commercial application, such as a hospital, restaurant, or office, one would expect that the person would be able to understand the codes and restrictions and the jar gain of that engineering field, and I'm sure, be educated in those areas so as to not waste the millions of dollars that would be funneled into the project, or potentially cause harm to the lay, uninsured, @$$#0l3 who would slip, fall, and blame it on the rug.
    My biggest bit of advise to all those who tout interior designer, slam those who do blogs about kitchen cabinets, and throw the word decorator around as though we're saying pedophile or incarcerated; get of your high-horse. Anyone with a computer and a keyboard can be a total idiot, and many of you have proven that here today.

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  44. Kelley wanted me to make a few changes to what i wrote:

    First - here are her credentials:

    Kelley Barnett, NCIDQ Cert. #12479
    B.S. Interior Design UT Austin
    Texas RID 1993-2010
    ASID member 1986-3/2013
    Immediate Past President ASID Texas Chapter
    Founder, Texans for Interior Design Deregulation

    What I said about the houston designer being fined - that law is actually still in place, not repealed. It is our current Title Act, but it was modified to add "registered".

    FACT: out of 5,000 RIDs in TX, 3500 are NON-Q qualified! SB205 forces TBAE to give accurate info about the RID ranks.

    About the grandfathered RIDs = they don't "retake" the exam, they have to pass it. They never took it in the first place.

    Watch these groups: IIDA and TAID (lobbying coalition of ASID and IIDA members) The leader of TAID is from Houston, and it was claimed that she did this work for "free". IRS statements proved this to be false. She is paid $35K p/yr whether or not the legislature is in session, and even then only 140 days. She also spoke at a recent HCC event and told the ID students, "I will NEVER hire an unlicensed designer!" Those kids will never be able to attain licensure even if they wanted to. HCC is not an approved ID program.

    I misspoke - Kelley is no longer licensed or registered.

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    1. You need to fact check again. You can sit for the NCIDQ exam if you attend a non accredited program like HCC, you just have to have a higher number of hours of work experience. Very fair I think as the programs are not on the same level.

      If you finish the HCC program for instance you recieve an Associates Degree...From the NCIDQ website:Associate’s Degree (60 Hours) in Interior Design (Route 4)

      Education: No less than 60 semester [90 quarter credits] of interior design coursework that culminates in a certificate, degree or diploma.
      Experience: 5,280 hours of qualified interior design work experience. This can be completed in approximately three years if you work full-time. All work experience must be earned after the education program is completed.
      Associate’s Degree (40 Hours) in Interior Design (Route 5)

      Education: No less than 40 semester [60 quarter credits] of interior design coursework that culminates in a certificate, degree or diploma.
      Experience: 7,040 hours of qualified interior design work experience. This can be completed in approximately four years if you work full-time. All work experience must be earned after the education program is completed.

      Delete
    2. thank you for clarifying this.

      Delete
    3. Actually, anyone could take the Q as there are now 6 pathways to do so. However, even with Q passage, this person would never be able to become "registered" because to do so you must have a 4 yr degree from accredited program (only 14 in TX) PLUS 2 yr internship under a RID, AND Q passage. This rule however, does not apply to grandfathered individuals, who could have had as little as "6 years in design" which is undefined.

      Delete
    4. Kudaily - Please note that TBAE requires Texans on the path to registration to apply to take the NCIDQ through TBAE (check their website) and their requirements to qualify to take the test are more restrictive than NCIDQ. That's the part that baffles me.

      Delete
    5. Yes Kelley, looking back on it now(this was was 30 years ago!), I remember my issue with the ASID was the" 6 years in design thing" - I knew it to be true and she (ASID lady) really tried to discourage me and she was very condescending - there was not a test - I remember that now!

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  45. I am assuming Dumbo the author of the above post, that you meant to say "jargon" as oppose to "jar gain". I am also assuming that you are probably the same kind of @$$#ol3 who would find his way to the nearest lawyer were you to slip and put another crack in your hind parts. You would sue Debra the Designer faster than her computer could spit out a bill for those chintz and pinstripes. I actually think you probably use those nasty looking baskets in your drawers (not sure which ones we are speaking of here). As to throwing around the word decorator as though we are speaking of pedophiles or incarcerated, please tell me how you find either of those words or their definitions remotely congruent with the word decorator. Sounds like you might be on a truth serum. As to anyone having a computer and a keyboard being an idiot, well congratulations it took only one comment for you to prove your point.

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    1. The above post is not referencing Joni, but Anon 6:39

      Delete
    2. You seem very unhappy. Wow. That is wholly unnecessary. My goodness. Is that how you behave when no one knows your identity? Can you disagree without being disagreeable?

      Andie

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  46. What a lot of baloney! Signed and hope it helps!
    Best,
    Mimi

    ReplyDelete
  47. I briefly skimmed the comments, so forgive me if some of what I say is redundant. We're seeing a push for regulation here in South Carolina right now. I'm a residential designer...a member of both the American Institute of Building Designers and the American Society of Interior Designers. I went to accredited architecture and interior design schools. I have mixed feelings on the regulation of interior design. On the one hand, I can understand the desire of designers who have invested years and many tens of thousands of dollars into their education to feel the need to "protect" themselves, or distinguish themselves, from the bored housewives with "good taste" who hang out their interior design shingle once the last kid scurries off to university.(forgive the generalization) On the other hand, some of the most talented designers I've had the pleasure to work with have educational backgrounds that would NOT qualify them to be licensed. When I think back to my education, I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. But in terms of real world knowledge that applies to my job, it was next to worthless. The examples cited of combustible materials, trip hazards, etc. were never "taught" in college courses. They are learned in the real world, and a designer who makes those kind of mistakes won't need the government to force them out of business. (Not to mention, in most cases, those would be caught during the permitting process and building inspections.)The majority of life safety issues I can think of apply to commercial design--certainly the materials that go into hospitals and schools need to be selected by someone with knowledge of those materials, but does the government really need to regulate the work of someone who's focus is helping homeowners pick their countertops and window treatments?

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    1. Even though I made a bitchy comment (below), I do agree with your well rounded view of - I also agreed with Katie D (above), both of you have very valid points. I know I could learn some things from you and I (who did not get a degree, not in the ASID, but have practiced residential interior design for 30 years and worked (hands on!) in many of the trades involved) maybe could enlighten you, too. Its a collaborative effort - always. I will say, I have learned the most from the tradesmen and tradeswomen - builders, woodworkers, bricklayers,electricians, plumbers, historical experts, furniture sellers and antique dealers, window people - the list goes on and on and I always learn something - even after 30 years! Have fun in your design career - it is rewarding.

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    2. 0h - I can't forget the upholstery experts (miracle workers) and seamstress (ditto) - managing yards and yards of fabric for great length of curtains - all of it takes such skill!

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    3. caught in the permitting process... talk about passing the buck--- poor design corrected by a government county employee. maybe you should have gone to school for training or a CE Continuing education class for UPDATES to the code residential only has children living in them our most precious resource . all the tradesmen that taught this poster are LICENSED and regulated certified and some times Union members. I hope builders of homes are licensed a well built structural sound house is not always good design , they let their unlicensed wife/partner/sister do the decorating thing

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  48. Wow. About 30 years ago, I managed to actually contact the ASID here in Illinois - I wanted information. The woman I talked with was so condescending, so snobby to me, I actually cried after the call out of anger...and I'm not a crier. I won't go into all the details, suffice it to say, I knew if I put in the time (6 years), I could take the test and become a member of the ASID. Six years of working at a legitimate place in the design field - I could take the test - period. She knew it too, and she did everything in her power to cut me down,belittle me and really just telling me to throw in the towel - ya aint't gonna be a designer, kid. Very discouraging and it did affect me - I was young then. Anyway, the laws have probably changed in Illinois since then - I pay no attention to them. No one else seems to either. I've done all kinds of things in the design field. I had contractor ask me about flooring for a senior care facility - I went to a flooring store (I used to work at a flooring store myself), told them what I needed and they produced about 100 sample books for this type of application...that was really hard - I better get a degree for that - jeez! I just have such a bad memory - can't help but be a little sarcastic back! I do know I could never design a surgical unit and thank God there are those who can - but we are not really talking about that intense of a situation usually.

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    1. The law in Illinois is egregiously anti-First Amendment and utterly supportive of the Design Cartels. Ain't it just like the government to enact a law then not enforce it, though? This is Barack's home state, by the way...so much for the myth of the freedom loving liberal. ;)

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    2. Now President Obama is responsible for an idiotic Illinois state law???? Regarding design? Don't you think that pushing it just a little???

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  49. As a large "L" Libertarian, I agree that government intervention in the Market is not only unconstitutional but also causes more harm than good. Unnecessary and needlessly high licensing hurdles don’t protect public health and safety—they protect those who already have licenses from competition, keeping newcomers out and prices high. Proponents of such intervention and legislation are usually self serving.
    The Institute For Justice is a Libertarian civil liberties firm that fights such injustice. http://www.ij.org/about This is their forte. They have been fighting this battle for some time now. You may already know of them.

    xo

    Andie

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  50. As for the designers who fear competition from "bored housewives"...one wonders if you are as awesome as you may think you are? Do you NEED the full weight of the government to secure your job?

    NOT ANONYMOUS

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  51. Wow what a great read at 12:55 AM. I am amazed that Joni's blog comments went around the houses in so many different directions. No wonder we are having such a hard time in our country. Manners, civility, kindness, has ever one forgotten these tenants. People are so polarized on everything. We are truly a divided nation on everything, or so it seems. I signed the list. I am glad I did. I am an antique dealer of decorative objets here in VA. I had never heard of this bill before or anything remotely like this. This has been very educational and a lot entertaining to see people so verbal about their feelings on the subject. I enjoy your post so very much. There are bloggers and then there are people with true talent, that do research and bring something very special to the table. You are one of the few who ring the bell each time. In my humble opinion we need less of everything. We need a quieter, calmer, nicer existence. I hear the fear in each post. There is enough to go around for everybody. Being a design entrepreneur maybe a good title for those that do not want to be in the ASID and go the school route. Don't get stuck on titles, just change things so they work for you. Let the rest of the people work it out for themselves. I'm going to bed. I just closed my antique shop today as the owners of the mall where mad at me for not discounting to customers more than 10% which was my agreed upon discounting percentage. After I heard the owner of said mall gave the customer a check out of his pocket for the additional 5 percent the customer wanted, I knew it was time to pack my boxes and go home. Night Gracie! Cheers, Melinda Bennett Sorry I am anonymous I will try and get one of those fancy names sorted out.

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  52. Very Informative! This blog is great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much for sharing this!
    texas hunting

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  53. Anon on April 25th, 12:44 P.M. said the following, as part of his/her response to Elizabeth of April 25th, 10:21 A.M.: "What's doing more to ruin the careers of interior designers is the fact that bored housewives have access to many of the trade suppliers, the Internet and other previously sacred resources of designers." I'd like to discuss this issue.

    Why do so many businesses operate "to the trade only", and/or give special discounts to designers/decorators only? I've never understood the concept. I completely understand why designers would want it this way (mark-up, exclusivity), but I don't understand why the whole business model is set up like this. How does one justify two tiers of pricing: one to the consumer and one to designers? Especially when the designer isn't doing anything "extra" for the manufacturer (a consumer and a designer can both walk up to the counter, order the item, and have it delivered to them). I say this from the perspective of a non-professional, a design aficionado who knows what she wants, but cannot get it from a manufacturer because it is "trade only", or has to pay a designer in order to get it (even though I don't actually need the services of said designer). It's a discrimination of a sort: selling to person X but not Y, or selling to X at a certain price point but not offering the same to Y. We wouldn't allow this kind of thing in any other business (can you imagine going to Target and paying more than the guy next to you?). And I am confidant that when Pam Pierce or Charlotte Moss order fabric for their homes, they do not tell the manufacturer "please sell this to me at the retail price, as I am using it for myself, not a client".

    I can understand a price differential when a manufacturer sells to a store: i.e. I will discount the price to the store because it is carrying my inventory and paying overheads (rent, electricity, sales staff). Or "to the trade only" when selling items in bulk, rather than individually. I do not, however, understand "trade only" or 10-20% discounts as applied to designers. The designer isn't part of the manufacturer's sales staff, or should be making a "commission" for choosing its fabric. Rather, the designer's loyalty should be to his/her client, selecting the best fabric for the job regardless of its source. Thus I would ask, why can't a designer make his/her living from the client only -- i.e. the person who is actually contracting for the service? Just charge the client an hourly rate or "by the job" rate commensurate with the service rendered (selecting, ordering, dealing with the fabric). Sever the manufacturer-designer link and thereby open all of the design resources up to everybody (no trade only, no differential pricing). It would seem a far more transparent and equitable way of doing business for everyone.

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    1. You make some excellent points and I agree with them completely. What you have described basically is an anti-trust issue. I have a friend who is a decorator. She charges $75 per hour when working with a client. This is a per hour cost over which the client has no control. The friend spends countless hours shopping for fabrics, furniture, etc., but at $75 per hour probably has no incentive to spend the clients money in an efficient manner. When I asked what she then charges for fabric, she said cost plus 40%. It doesn't take long to figure out that at that rate and with a decorator who doesn't have the best skills, a client could end up paying more for a job than if they were paying full retail. I would prefer to work with designers who charge retail as I know exactly what I am paying for and I don't have to worry that my monthly bill is being padded because the decorator is shopping for more than one client at a time. Internet commerce is indeed hurting some of the design business as a result, but perhaps for the consumer it is a very fortunate.

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    2. If you understand the difference when they sell to a store, then the designer is the next step between a retailer and a client. It's all about volume. To manufacturers, retailers offer the biggest volume, designers then offer the volume of multiple projects, while consumers are often a one-time or one-project purchase. The second difference is that trade sources often require a lot more work from a designer to get a product from A to Z. Many items are custom and the choices seem limitless. They also often involve more than one vendor to create a custom item. All of that is coordinated by the designer. If only it was a simple as walking into a retail store, ordering and receiving. I also don't think it is wrong to mark up a product when you are a re-seller, which is what designers legally are. Most businesses do, but we hold designers to a different standard in a sense. For example, when you hire a plumber, they are marking up the fixtures and you pay for their service. I do agree though that the lack of standardization in designer billing is very confusing to the consumer.

      Delete
  54. Oh my, if this is going to be the tone of the comment section, I will read Joni's posts and skip the rest. First, after Joni's last blog, comments from "anonymous" and others were malicious. Now on an important topic which deserves a blog post--how can the design/decorating business be regulated reasonably and fairly--we have running political commentary in comments. (By the way, I read the comments after The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles for political opinions.). Now after this post, we have catty comments about other bloggers. Where is kindness and tolerance? What someone chooses to cover on their blog is their choice. If you don't like to read their topic that day, skip reading it, but don't bash it. None of us want to sound like "The Housewives of...." Maybe we should go back to having comments edited by the author before they are posted.

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  55. As the Program Coordinator at Houston Community College, I can not tell you how thrilled I am about this article. I feel that many designers do not understand how the laws have changed here in Texas regarding Interior Design legislation. While NCIDQ offers multiple pathways for becoming licensed, TBAE has chosen to only recognize one and it requires graduation from a CIDA Accredited School. The days of different combinations of education and work experience are long gone. Many two year programs such as ours were CIDA Accredited but CIDA will no longer accredit any two year program.

    In Houston, this means to become a licensed interior designer my students must complete their four year degree at a private college that costs $100,000 for the four year degree. How is this fair? I am not against a testing requirement for interior designers, but everyone should have the opportunity to take that exam not just the limited amount of people that can afford a private education.

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    1. This is so unfair to these students and demeaning to our community colleges. Why is this happening? Who are the people making these decisions? Both my sisters work at the same community college (shout out to OCC - Olney IL!) - we all went to OCC - our kids all went to OCC and then transfered on to bigger universities - OCC was a excellent start. I am a huge supporter of our local community colleges!

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  56. Great article, I must agree with several other readers when I say that unfortunately the overriding feeling I walk away with after reading the comments is sadness. How strange to read such vitriol for women who have had enriching and well spent years raising a family. I speak only for myself when I say that for me,learning about and playing with home design has meant more to me than a cure for boredom, or finding a new use for my now empty SUV. For the first time in twenty years my time and interest are dictated by my desires, and for me this has meant reading, exploring, and yes emulating what I believe to be good design.
    I do not look at men and women who have spent their adult lives in the pursuit of a career in design as soulless hucksters who wasted their lives shilling unnecessary and overpriced knickknacks. That would be far reaching and more importantly unkind. Shelter blogs are vast and varied for the same reason that ice cream is available in vanilla and chocolate. Take what you need and leave the rest. End of story.
    The insight and opinions of your readers is so impressive and more importantly for me enjoyable ( I don't include Anonymous, simply because I think that is what would bother him or her the most! What a weenie). I do believe that the tone of many of the "designers" is why we the uneducated masses feel outside of, and less than when it comes to using professionals to guide us in the design process. Something to think about in an industry where people with a need are a central part of your business model.
    For those of you who tout the term interior designer, and feel free to degrade a blog that would deign to talk about kitchen cabinet organization, and to quote another commenter "throw the word decorator around as though we're saying pedophile or incarcerated; get of your high-horse". Those things are worn well by no one.
    Joni, you are a true class act, and it has nothing to do with your exquisite taste in fabric. Many of your fellows in the design community could and should take note. Training, education and ASID, can never take the place innate style and grace. Pretty is as pretty does.

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    1. So well said, Traci! Thank you. Why we all can't disagree without becoming disagreeable is beyond me.

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    2. Traci, you obviously did not read the last sentence of Joni's post:

      "If you ARE in support of regulation, please feel free to state your case in the comment section. You may do so anonymously or you may leave your name – either way. I know I would be interested in hearing your opinion on this issue."

      There are obviously both designers/decorators and consumers weighing in on this issue and its absurdity for all the reasons often pointed out in the conversation. Who is the ASID, the State of Texas or any other state for that matter trying to protect?

      Delete
    3. Er... Anonymous isn't one person, it's anyone replying who doesn't have a google account, etc. The vast majority of anonymous posters are respectful and entitled to their points of view. Labelling all of us "weenies" isn't exactly what I would call a class act, Traci.

      Delete
  57. A couple of thoughts - first, Joni, it's been so long since the comment section has been this spirited. I thought the spewers had moved on, but it seems they are back. How refreshing. Secondly, isn't Interior Design an art? Yes, working with building codes, fire egress, etc, is a science, but really, is that what any designer went to school to do? If you want to be a Designer or Decorator or whatever, aren't you doing it because you love the art? Should we regulate artists--tell the ones that work in watercolors rather than oil that they can't call themselves artists? And if the board says it is for the protection of the consumer - going to school and taking a test doesn't mean you can actually do anything. It just means you can take tests. When I was in med school, and we would look at some of the students there that scared us to death of the idea of them actually becoming doctors- the joke was "What do you call the person who graduates at the bottom of the class?". The answer:" Doctor". Regulations don't protect anybody, it just allows lawsuits when someone fails to do a good job.

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  58. very interesting....they regulate interior designers but not fertilizer plants, and the governor brags about the lack of regulation in the state to attract new companies which obviously are looking for lax oversight. Get rid of a bunch of politicians in your state. We need to in Ga, also .

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  59. I'll sign. Read back through your comment thread, and wow. :(

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    Replies
    1. I've been drawn to this like a moth to a flame. Whether or not someone favors regulation over deregulation is never a good excuse to put the work of decorating bloggers, decorators, at-home-mothers, and the public down. The comment about the cabinets is just plain mean. If you don't like the blog, don't read it. Can't we just be civil? You don't have to criticize the work of others to make your point for or against regulation.

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    2. Earlier this week a well known blogger made a comment in her post that "bloggers are a force to be reckoned with". I really had to laugh out loud when remembering one of this particular bloggers best buddies posting a youtube singing rendition of "Bloggers Are Here", a virtual diatribe of having not been accorded the public recognition she felt bloggers had deserved while visiting the Nate Berkus Show. This is another blogger laughable moment. It would seem to me that bloggers should be self-regulating against stupidity and self incrimination. When you have scraped the bottom of your design barrel to the point you must open your kitchen drawers to post something, you are at the last stop on the railroad to creativity. Artie, get your little compassionate heart out of the sand and face some reality. Don't blame others for seeing the obvious and speaking out.

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    3. My intention isn't to blame, but to stick to the point of regulation vs. deregulation in regard to Interior Design in Texas, and not hurt people's feelings by getting off topic and digging at other people who don't have anything to do with this topic. That's all.

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  60. my reply does not mean i'm for regulation of interior designers/decorators....it's a bunch of bull. I'm only saying there are some things that need regulating, and some things that don't.

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  61. I have a college degree, not in design, but consider myself a designer. Self taught, with lots and lots of study, seminars, and what friends and clients call "a gift" for color and design. I read, read, and read more, learning and admiring the work of those so incredibly talented, some formally schooled, many not. This licensing to me is like trying to license artists. How many great artists are totally self taught....it is a gift. Should I only purchase art from a graduate of an art school??? The whole idea if licensing is workable, in my opinion, only if it allows for the self taught, who stand on their portfolios as it is. That said, I feel the government needs to butt out in this case. I signed the petition by the way.

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  62. No regulation for guns or petroleum industry in Texas, so why interior designers???!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Like I said before, what do you expect?..It's the south!!! And yes, SERIOUSLY,

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    2. As someone who grew up in Texas, and now lives in New York - I can guarantee you, guns and no regulation on toxic industry isn't a southern problem. Seriously.

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    3. Anon 9:17, let me break some news to you. YOU ARE A CERTIFIABLE IDIOT! It is clear you know nothing about the South. If you are referring to the recent explosion in Texas, I can assure you the plant was regulated. Companies push the envelop on regulations sometimes particularly when a state has infrequent inspections. While I cannot say with certainty that this was the case in the West, Texas explosion, the chances are the company was not abiding by the regulation in place. That would not be the fault of the Texas statutes nor regulations, but the management of the fertilizer company. Now crawl back into your narrow minded hole.

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  63. Just an aside. It has amazed me that there has been more mentions of gun control in this design post than when I read blog posts after the sandy hook massacre took place.

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    Replies
    1. ZoeB, read the author's post. It isn't about gun control. You need to be reading at Huffington Post.

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  64. Interior Design is art. It is in the eyes of the beholder. One might have all the education necessary, but doesn't the client have to see something in the designer's work that resonates with them to choose that particular designer. Architects and Builders have skills that are discernible and measurable, but decorators are like artist. Art is not measurable through reason. It either resonates with you or it does not. Granted you have to have knowledge of colors, lighting, scale, furniture periods, building structure types etc. and the ability to work intelligently with architects and builders, but ultimately it is art. I am not from Texas, but I am rooting for you Joni.
    Janice

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  65. Being a designer/decorator is an art form.

    I was so upset to read the negative comments directed at my dear friend Joan. Although the mean spirited comments are foolish and not worth responding to, I did want to sign on and say that the only ‘drivel’ being written on blogs are in the form of unkind and anonymous commentary.

    Joan is brilliant at what she does and anything she graciously decides to share with us is an absolute honor to read.

    Kitchen drawers, closets, living rooms, dining rooms...It's all connected, each detail is woven together.

    Best, Trina

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    Replies
    1. Showing one's closets, drawers and private storage spaces is drivel no matter who does it. Face it, Joan has run out of meaningful material.

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    2. Going to WalMart to buy woven baskets and posting their pictures is brilliant - where in the world are you living, sista?

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    3. Amen and amen! I love reading "For the Love of a House", too. I only wish Joan would post more often. Yes, I want to see what Joan's kitchen drawers look like, I have kitchen drawers too! I like reading anything Joan posts about because what I'm really reading about is the graciouness and sweet spirit of the writer. "A Country Farmhouse" is another gentle blog that reflects the sweet nature of the author. At the end of a stressful day, I look forward to the gentler, kinder world of my favorite blogs. Keep writing ladies, reading your blogs is a haven for me.

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    4. I whole heartily agree Trina. I didn't say her name here, but I think anyone reading the comments knew who it was directed at. I think Joan is a wonderful designer, or decorator, whatever she may wish to be called, and whatever she chooses to share with the world should be her choice, and if people don't like reading it - move on.

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    5. Joan claims to be a decorator. If so, then every housewife in America is a decorator.

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    6. Artie you are so right, if someone doesn't like a blog then move on. Joan always has original content, she isn't snagging pics off the internet and reposting them, she shares details of her life and home. She is the eptiome of graciousness. I have never noticed her saying she had "clients" or advertising her services. Also every house wife in America is a decorator, if she wasn't then there wouldn't be choices or mass reproductions of art etc. Whether she has good taste is personal preference. How a post which started out about regulation digressed so much is amazing!

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    7. "Imagine one taking the time to comment on the unique and cheap little willow baskets that hold the knives and forks" and yet YOU took the time to comment on Joni's blog about Joan's blog???? Anon-You are a hypocrite and a coward. You have obviously spent a great deal of time on Joan's blog to be able to name stories that, from my memory, go back a year or two. If you don't like a blog, don't read it. You know what Albert said- insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Your life must be quite void to continue to revisit a blog time and time again that makes you so mad and angry. Try reading a book or listening to music. That you are so annoyed by and yet so informed on her blog is creepy, something akin to being a peeping tom. Joan has always been kind, informative and generous with her home and her sources and I for one am grateful for the organizing tips and the source. If you don't need that help/inspiration fine, but you don't need to be a rude, hypocritical, creepy coward about it.

      Deb

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    8. Please let me clarify a couple of misrepresentations for you Deb. I do not read Joan's blog. It caught my attention when I was scrolling through Joni's blog roll which I often do in the interest of time. When I saw the heading which read something like "Kitchen Drawers, Part II" I decided to read the blog to see its content. After reading it and discovering that there had actually been a Part I to this enlightening series, I also read it. I did not and have not ever posted a comment on Joan's blog. How am I hypocritical when I am expressing an outright opinion that it's pathetic that people need to read a blog to know how to organize drawers. This isn't the only blog out there that show a void of content. The narcissist who post pictures of their closets, drawers, bathrooms, and swatches of paint samples asking their readers to help select etc. are generally lacking in real content. My comment was about one story on Joan's blog and that story is current not two years old. Foodie Fridays, etc., was a general term seen often on several blogs and was not a reference to anyone. In the meantime, don't be surprised if we don't get a few photo opts on how to change a diaper. Somehow I think you could probably use that one!

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    9. That's bullshit. You are sad and pathetic.

      Delete
    10. Wow Deb, I must have hit a nerve. You really are taking diapering lessons as witnessed by your extensive vocabulary.

      The truth makes you angry doesn't it or the fact that you need some blogger you don't know to give you lessons in what most people consider rudimentary or common sense. Happy organizing. BTW, WalMart is running a special on woven baskets.

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  66. So much conversation regarding the difference between interior decorators and interior designers. Ironically being a Registered Interior Designer in TX doesn't help the consumer differentiate, as the majority of RIDs don't meet the current requirements! There is zero guarantee that an RID has a degree in interior design or took the NCIDQ (if that's your argument). Many RIDs lobbied against deregulation (they won), but are now fighting legislation that would require them to take the NCIDQ like everyone else (why since they want everyone else to have to take it)! This is about evening the playing field. They will realize how cumbersome TBAEs paths to registration are and why we need change if we are going to have a title act. It is one thing to require an exam, it is another thing to make it so difficult to take it. There is only one school in all of Houston that meets TBAEs requirements--The Art Institute. Just doesn't make any sense. I signed the petition. Hope this passes!

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  67. Signed, sealed, and delivered!
    Great lively discussion.
    xo xo
    PS The chair controversy is nothing compared to this lol

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    Replies
    1. Valorie, your profile indicates that you are "an interior decorator-designer". Since Louisiana apparently has some of the same regulatory issues as Texas, did you have to take a test when you moved to New Orleans or do you work under the licensing of Perch?

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  68. Joni,
    Why, oh why do you have to bring up these topics of discussion on your blog? It prompts so many unscrupulous people to post hateful comments. I don't want to subscribe to a design blog to get information on politics, laws, controversial subjects, etc. Isn't this supposed to be just about design? If I wanted heated topics on all of this, I would subscribe to blogs that focus on these things. Let's try and put forth positivity ....there's enough hate going around in this world today, don't you think?!!
    Linda

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    Replies
    1. Linda - This is all about design! Her post is important as many are trying to restrict who can practice interior design or can call themselves by a certain title in interior design. Many of the talents featured here are affected by such legislation across the country. If you want to be able to enjoy interior design, this is a relevant topic. Thank you Joni!!!

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  69. Linda, if you read Joni's post you would understand how pertinent to design this subject is. Yes, unfortunately it does involve politics because it is about how the design industry/profession is regulated in the state of Texas. Joni is making her readers aware that these regulations are in other states as well and sadly have little to do with the ultimate work or qualifications of members of the industry. It has been a real education for me as I had no idea the long arm of government had now infested how an individual can or cannot identify themselves when starting a business. I also had no idea that the ASID were such a strong lobby. I'm sorry you don't get it. Most of us do. While I can appreciate both sides of the argument, the ultimate truth is that for most consumers, it's not germane. This is the second time Joni has written on the subject. The first time was in 2008. I really don't believe she should be chastised for bringing up a subject once in five years. Maybe those homespun, Henrietta Homemaker Decorators we see in blogland will be more to your taste.

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  70. Ooh, you got me Anon 9:59 AM. Are you proud of yourself? I truly feel sorry for those designers who feel the need to put others down in order to feel better about themselves. I believe you are one of them. Funny how you won't sign your comment with a name. It's easy to hide behind the anonymity of the computer, isn't it? Let's see if you will reveal yourself & still post hateful comments? I don't think so. I am sure, though, that you will retort with another spiteful comment & post anonymously. I know your "type".
    Linda

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    Replies
    1. "I know your 'type'" - just a little bit of introspection here Anon. 11:58? You actually did post as Anon. right? lol

      Now go back to your blogging, Henrietta

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  71. Let's clear up one misrepresentation... The regulation of interior designers does not prevent interior decorators from decorating! Shouldn't there be a distinction between a decorator who selects finishes and furniture, and a designer who carefully determines the placement of walls, restrooms, stairs, as they apply to building code, fire safety, ADA? Then the designer is responsible for selecting finishes and furniture not just based on aesthetic, but also considering the durability, flammability, sustainability. These are only a few of the things that professional interior designers do that impact public safety. The commercial architecture world has made the distinction between decorators and designers by hiring those who are licensed or on the path to licensure, and are qualified to do this type of work. Do you really think that decorators and designers should be held to the same rules and standards? Or in the case of deregulation... no rules and standards at all.

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  72. Some university programs in architecture with a speciality in Interior Design are new referring to it as Interior Architecture. This distinguishes these graduates with a university degree from interior designer and decorators, whether self taught or with a 2 year degree. It is understandable that someone who has completed a rigorous university architecture program does not want to have the same title as one who is self taught.

    This distinction is beneficial to the consumer--the Interior Architecture graduate can do interior design work but is trained in structure, codes, etc, which are necessary for some jobs. On the other hand, if the job is redecorating, formal training may be irrelevant. For redecorating, I would choose someone whose past work I admire, regardless of their training.

    New titles are needed, as the jobs are different. I believe that the Interior Architect (who may also be a talented designer) should be registered, as structure and safety may be involved. It is hard to see why the Interior Decorator/Designer, whose primary work consists of colors, fabrics and furniture choice and placement requires state involvement.

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  73. I agree with a distinction in titles, however, as the various university programs are organized, you cannot currently determine the coursework involved based on whether the degree is called "interior architecture" or "interior design". Many programs by both names are CIDA accredited and teach code, construction, safety, etc.

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  74. As the owner of a retail home furnishings store who is also a decorator, I have had experience with this issue of designer/decorator. The ASID, or at least the local chapter of it, lobbied at one point a few years ago to get the Dallas Market Center to only admit designers with ASID credentials. (As a store owner, I would have still had access.) As you might imagine it didn't go very far because the Market Center had no desire to commit financial suicide.

    We rarely see designers affiliated with ASID shopping in the store. We offer a generous discount to the design trade (more than almost any other straight retail store) for reasons mentioned above - volume, repeat business, resellers. Even with that, ASID designers do not want to shop for their clients in a place their clients can shop - either they don't make enough money or it's not exclusive enough to continue to justify their jobs. But on the flip side, I'm happy to say we have lots of GREAT design customers that we love who serve their clients well!

    As a decorator, some of my favorite projects have been working in conjunction with an architect &/or builder. Having been in this industry for 20 years, I can sometimes bring suggestions or changes that are more functional & practical for the client who ends up living in the space - every once in a while an architect or builder gets so focused on his craft that some of the design isn't living-friendly! (Although neither has ever asked me to do anything that needed to meet code - they have the right people who are qualified for those jobs.) I have also done several office projects for clients, but again, in the scope of what my qualifications bring to the table.

    So as with most things, the free market reigns. If I don't offer customers in my store inviting design & attractive quality pieces for their home, they won't shop here. As a decorator, if I don't do the things that please my client, they won't continue to pay for my services. Competition makes me work harder & be better, not letters behind my name. My store isn't, & I'm not, for everything - I can't be all things to all people. But I enjoy the challenge of always improving in my little piece of the market. I have looked into taking the NCIDQ, just for my own enjoyment & education - since I didn't go to an accredited school I couldn't ever be in ASID anyway! - but they sure don't make it easy; it's only offered maybe once a year & in random small towns around North Texas. Weird - it's like they don't really want you to take it :)

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  75. It's a racket. This has been a battle in my state for my field. The bottom line is the same though...money. The group that really scared the public was the Universities. People didn't realize the leaders fighting for regulation are also in charge of the department at the schools. They need numbers or their programs will get cut. Not only is it a racket they misinform students how much work is out there. When a young person approaches me for advice I'm very honest. I provide a service same as your field. If people aren't happy with your work it doesn't matter how many certificates you have. Your name is mud. Also those required classes to maintain your certification also benefits the schools again. As far as comments saying for safety it should be a certified person. Then why are we paying building inspectors? Universities are now huge, political business. None of this has anything to do with....we have to look out for the little guy. Just wait until they decide they want to go union. That was another thing they were fighting for in my field. Please, the people that tend to scream for that are the people that don't give a hoot about the service they provide. It's just job security.

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  76. I decided to check again - what a lively blog discussion - aside from the (rather entertaining) nasty and weird comments , there are any good (intelligent) points of view here concerning this very hot topic. I think all the interest here, shows your readers are not "bored housewives." We enjoy this blog because overall, it can be informative, original, and free spirited with lively debate, thanks Joni for all your hard work - I do keep coming back to Cote de Texas!

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  77. So, let me get this right: in Texas, one is allowed to carry firearms, but they want to MANDATE licensing of interior designers/decorators? What is wrong with this world? Are the inmates running the asylum? I'm not from Texas but I will absolutely sign the petition. Where has common sense gone?

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    Replies
    1. So what are the laws in your state?

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  78. Wow..Joni you do know how to stir the pot! I normally do not read the comment threads but I have to say Joni always sparks lively discourse.I will preface my comment by saying I agree with Brooke. I practice "interior design" which is now the catch all phrase for everything. I started out in Interior Design in school back in the day and could not draw, got frustrated and switched majors. However once my children were grown I first began helping friends with houses and then went on to help others and have a fairly successful practice. I do not consider myself an interior designer. I consider myself an interior decorator. I do not draw plans and I do not design spaces. I figure out what can go in the spaces ie via furniture placement, selection etc. I do not know what the answer is but some of our most esteemed "designers" happen to be self taught. Thank you Joni for having the guts to take a stand. I am not a fan of over regulation. And...one more thing why on earth to people read blogs that they don't enjoy? I frankly am fascinated by Joan's organizational skills... and her ability to make something that seems so mundane interesting! I wish my drawers looked like hers!

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    1. Trying to make the mundane interesting. You nailed it! (without meaning to) Anyone with half a brain can have organized drawers. You don't need a blogger to help you edit, organize and use your space efficiently. You just need to take the time to think through the process yourself. I suppose the next post will be a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Spoof posts like drawer organization are made relevant by people too ignorant to think for themselves.

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  79. When is the ASID going to come after design bloggers who give advice via email and the posts they publish. Can Texas actually control what advice a resident decorator says on a blog. This is another large issue that may gain traction if the ASID continues to weld as much power and influence in the state house of Texas as is currently apparent. Wait until the government decides to regulate the internet and you will see all kinds of sited copyright violations of downloaded pictures and articles not to mention interstate commerce. It's coming unless we are committed in our efforts to fight the growth of intrusion on business via excessive regulations.

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  80. To much regulations and the free market cant work.....ASID is a union that wants to make money and does not care about home owners or designers...they are ruining the designing field and putting a lot of craftsmen and designers out of business. If I lived in Texas I would sign the petition ....I'm sure they are trying to do their best to put California designers under regulations also...so many of our top designers could not qualify to join ASID...Joni, keep up the good work!

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  81. I think I am pretty qualified to have a very strong opinion on this. I am a decorator. I know of no legal difference between a "decorator" and a "designer" of interiors. I graduated from college as an English Literature major; and have been a decorator for 43 years. I learned plenty from English Literature (Edith Wharton, anyone?). I started to take
    one course in New York City from a very prestigious Design School.

    There was so much ridiculous misinformation: ("never have more than one mirror in a room"), I dropped out.
    In my state, (California); anything structural or anything that could create a danger requires permits, architects, engineers and/or inspections!
    As Brooke said (I couldn't read all the comments; some are truly sickening.), most of the top interior decorators (the VAST majority) have not been to design school.
    The remark "if you haven't been to design school, you don't know what you don't know" is about as incorrect as it can be!

    Sister Parish, Mario Buatta, Bunny Williams, Billy Baldwin, and the list is endless; call themselves "decorator"; and that is good enough for me!

    I continue to learn more every day; I love what I do, and all my work has been by referral only. No one has ever asked me if I am licensed . They see my work (now on my website); never have I had a listed business number; and I have enjoyed great financial success, as well as truly loving what I do.

    I do not believe that I have missed learning anything I would have been taught in school. Proportion, color sense, practicality, and appropriateness are a the base; and aesthetics are vitally important as well. I have taught myself by studying (and truly studying) the work of decorators I admire. Often with magnifying glasses!
    I do not consider a "decorator's" job a "public service"; however, creating a beautiful and comfortable home for families to raise their children has been a wonderfully fulfilling job for me. I feel incredibly lucky.
    I have never been sued, I have never sued, and I have never been accused of accepting any part of a job I am not qualified to do.

    I collaborate with architects, and engineers and have never had one single problem. 43 years.

    My website is www.mccormickinteriors.com ; see for yourself under the "work" category. See in the "press" category. I have been published in numerous national magazines. I am not meaning to brag; I am meaning to support Joni in this very important case. I signed the petition. It is simply WRONG!!!

    Believe me, not licensing decorators is not going to "punish" the people who went to design school. The "proof is in the pudding!" I think it is a bit like writing. It is a "gift". I was born with certain "gifts" that have enabled me to succeed. No one cares if a novelist has his degree in "writing"! It's all about the book, or article, or whatever he is writing! Does a writer need a "license"?

    TALENT is not teachable. and should not be "licensed"!

    It is just plain wrong.

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    1. IBC determines that you must be recognized by the state you live in as a design professional before you can pull plans. It is significant for the RID that owns their own firm and actually does planning for construction for projects that don't require an architect. CEU's are so important for the commercial and healthcare designer. If you want to do residential design and don't want to be registered go for it, Many of what Miss Barnett calls Grandfathered took the NCIDQ, her numbers are inaccurate. When the interior design profession became a part of TBAE everyone they registered was called grandfathered. The other point you guys miss is that the RID's want the regulation for themselves. You are free to do what the law allows; so Kelley and Joani are totally off base. Follow a designer around that has the responsibility to know that all regs and risks are addressed in a healthcare facility and you will find that the CEUs for Healthcare are very significant and important.

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  82. "If you haven't been to design school, you don't know what you don't know" is really a logical and well founded statement about education in general. I don't think it negates native talent in the least. Actually a design education would enhance native talent. While I agree with Joni and with you that decorators don't necessarily need a license, I do believe that convincing someone that you are talented because you studied magazines with a magnifying glass is quite a stretch. These are your words and while they may be true and you have 43 years of learning and making mistakes, think if the much younger person just entering the profession who tells a prospective client that they were born with talent and studied magazines and English Lit. There has to be something more by which to measure competency, not necessarily talent. I don't believe, however, that it's the ASID's job to limit who enters the profession.

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