Kitchen and bath professionals debate the pros and cons of interior design legislation and its impact on their livelihoods.

Reader Supports Interior Design Title Legislation

Dear Editor:

New York’s Interior Design Title Act is absolutely the right thing to do. Most other states require those that call themselves interior designers to be educated at an accredited university and have a certain number of years of experience. FIDER-accredited schools teach design principles that stress the safety and well being of their clients, as well as a functional and aesthetically pleasing environment in all spaces, public and private.

In addition to products used in kitchens and bathrooms, interior designers deal with materials and products not specific to those spaces. Kitchen and bath professionals can still call themselves designers and have their own certifications (CKD, CBD) to designate training and experience in their areas of expertise. There is no reason that not having the title of interior designer should impact kitchen and bath designers’ income, unless they had been claiming to be something they never were.
Please note: I do not call myself an interior designer. I have not taken the tests to earn that privilege. At this time, I do not feel it impacts my income to have the additional title.

Vickie Hrabal, allied member ASID
Kitchen & Bath Designer
Graduate of University of North Texas, FIDER accredited
BFA Interior Design

NKBA Wrong to Fight Legislation, Designer Claims

Dear Editor:

After reading your recent news article in the August issue of KBDN regarding the NKBA’s position against interior design licensing, I was irate. Upon further reflection, I am now amused and almost sympathetic toward Mr. Nagorsky.

Nowhere in his babble [against this legislation] does he ever make a point. Why does he rant without substance? If he stated that he had ordered a sample test, read it and therefore deemed it trite, it may have added credence to his stance. All credible professions pride themselves on research prior to action.

Mr. Nagorski talks about interior design organizations as if they are social clubs. Once again, though, he provides no research to back up this position. To be a professional member of ASID, you must pass the NCIDQ exam. Why would the NKBA want to be adverse to professionalism?

It is disappointing that a “Pied Piper” could sway a group that should be allies into becoming enemies of the interior design profession. If he truly believes that licensing is irrelevant in this area, why have it at all? Why not let anyone with a flair for numbers be an accountant, or who has memorized the Constitution be a lawyer? The reason is because this country has tried to adopt standards for its citizens to be able to discern the pros from the cons.

We are not perfect as a whole. There are incompetent interior designers that have passed the NCIDQ, just as there are incompetent lawyers who have passed the Bar Exam. It’s all about establishing a discernible separation between someone who is talented with furniture placement, color or CAD drawings from someone who has spent six years of combined education (at a college that is recognized as providing the most well-rounded background) and internship.

Every profession has developed a means and set of standards for accreditation. The NKBA’s “opinion” could only be motivated out of fear. What is the NKBA afraid of – the possibility that its members could not pass the test? The irony here is the most amusing part – the NKBA has hired a licensed attorney to fight licensing in another profession.

Katherine Kesler, ASID
Interspace Design Group
Miami, FL

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