October 30th, 2009 § Leave a Comment
I am not a betting person but sometimes I wonder if I should take up poker since some client’s like to play it with me. Poker it seems is a game of not revealing your cards and is a game of chance, skill and never revealing your moves.
The problem with playing poker in remodeling is that it just doesn’t work this way if you want me to plan an estimate for you. “How much is it gonna cost me?” “How much do you want to spend?” I could bluff but that just wastes both your time and mine, doesn’t it? You can’t build your budget on a game of Texas Hold-em and I can’t plan a design for you unless I know your budget, pardner. Case in point: You want to buy cabinets from me and you want to know how much it’s gonna cost. You look at my corner 10 x 10 display and you ask how much would something like this cost in my kitchen? Well that’s like asking how much is a bag of groceries!
Estimating is time intensive and if you really want to know the truth, if you think you are getting a deal with getting someone to come out and give you a “free estimate” you just lost the game. Anytime someone says it’s a “free estimate” is playing poker with you. Chances are he is factoring his time into the cost of the project without revealing to you that the time to estimate, the drive time, the payroll expense to pay someone to layout the plans for your “free design” just upped the ante for him. He has to factor his time and labor into your cost. But not just your estimate, you are also paying for everyone else who asked for a free estimate with over all higher prices. Time is money, my friend, and no one is driving around town, spending time with each customer that calls for a free estimate and not building his costs into your estimate. If he isn’t, he won’t be in business for long.
Do I want to play poker with clients? Nope, I am a straight shooter. I don’t like gambling with my customer’s time or money. I can provide you the option of a free estimate if you bring me your measurements and I can do a take off with preliminary numbers to get you in the ball park of price ranges. A free estimate won’t be accurate to the penny because I have not verified the dimensions my self. It will remain a ballpark range within 10-15% until the dimensions can be verified and the details of your “wish list” versus “must have” list” clarified by you.
If you are not comfortable with measuring your own kitchen, I can do that for you but I charge a measure fee for my time to come out to your house and take accurate measurements of the space and you will get accurate pricing. This is rebated back to you when you purchase my cabinets, which is a fair deal. If you don’t want to buy from me, you get a few rendered concept views and those are for you to keep.
Come on folks, this is like going to see your Cosmetic Surgeon and telling her you want your face to look younger but you are not willing to reveal what part of the face you want worked on and how much you want to spend. A brow lift, a facial peel, a face lift, remove the bags under your eyes, remove the jowels, it all adds up. What do you want to do?
Likewise you can’t go to a Realtor and say “I want to buy a house” and escorted to several homes for sale without knowing what your price range is. Kitchens, like houses, like cars, like anything you want to buy are available in several different prices ranges. If you cannot reveal honestly what your investment can be, your service provider will not be able to provide you the best service or the best value for the money without these basic facts to work from. Mostly, I want to provide my clients a project and a product they are satisfied with. To do this well, communication is essential and this is no place for a game of poker with your wants and needs.
Also, if a client tells me she doesn’t need a design, she just needs to order cabinets, you can’t place an order for cabinets without a plan. A plan involves a design, a design involves exact dimensions, dimensions require accuracy and if I am responsible for your order, I need to be the one measuring for those cabinets. I suppose you can simply go to your local big box store and place your order with the order takers, but then you are responsible for your dimensions. I prefer not to be an order taker.
Getting an accurate design and paying a Professional Kitchen Designer will save you money in the long run. You can retain a Kitchen Designer to provide you a space plan so that you can get competitive bids from contractors or you may get a great price from that Kitchen Designer and buy from her. Whichever the case may be for you, working with a Kitchen Designer will add value to your project. Contractors will thank you for having detailed plans to bid from, as this saves them time knowing what the details are for your project in advance. There are too many details in cabinet design for a contractor to keep up with or even care about. Most contractors will advise clients to get their cabinets planned out and provide them a copy of the plans. A kitchen designer will be able to best advise on cabinetry, counter tops, lighting, flooring, best use of space layout, seating arrangements, appliances, storage solutions and so much more. Furthermore, an experienced designer that specializes in Kitchen Design will save you from the headaches of not pre-planning the details and not having the materials on the job when the contractor needs them. You can find a Professional Kitchen Designer by searching the National Kitchen and Bath Association website, NKBA.org.
How much is it going to cost? Moreover, how much will you save by retaining expert advice?
photo credit1: http://flickr.com/photos/latitudes/66492870/in/set-1442169/
photo credit2: Clint Eastwood, The Man With No Name
September 4th, 2009 § Leave a Comment
Ventura County, CA (October 18, 2009)- While the weather is “hot, hot, hot” in September, mark your calendars in October when balmy temperatures return that make living here in Southern California so desirable. A perfect time to attend the 4th Annual Tour of Kitchens to be held on Sunday, October 18, 2009 - 10 am to 5 pm, organized by the local chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. The Tour of Kitchens will be twice as fun in 2009 because we’re going to double our territory. This year will be TWO tours- One in Santa Clarita Valley and the other in Ventura County.
So how does one experience a home tour? Ronni Fryman, Chairperson of this year’s tour advises, “I always like to gather my favorite pals into a carpool to make a day of it. We start at one house and work our way through each and every one – stopping for a nice lunch in the middle. We always have a vote at the end of the day for which home was our favorite, which one we could move right into and which had the most innovative features.” Other people may enjoy meeting the designers, artists and contractors who planned and built the projects. “I guarantee everyone will walk away with several new ideas that they will want to incorporate into their own homes.” Unlike reading a magazine for ideas, the best part about attending our tour is you will see architectural styles that are likely to be similar to your home.
The Tour of Kitchens’ projects may be reviewed on the NKBA-ccv website and tickets for
the event may also be ordered online. Tickets are $20 for advance sales and $25 on the day of
the tour. For more information, please go to www.NKBAccv.org.
The Tour of Kitchens is a charitable event benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County and Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer. The 2009 tour will be held on Sunday, October 18 from 10 am to 5 pm.
About the National Kitchen & Bath Association
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is a non-profit trade association that has educated and led the kitchen and bath industry for more than 45 years. With over 40,000 members and growing, the NKBA owns the Kitchen/Bath Industry Show & Conference (K/BIS®). The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry. For more information, visit www.NKBA.org
May 16th, 2009 § 4 Comments
Continue reading the whole article click here.
With respect to the two most technical challenging rooms in the home, kitchens and bathrooms, the National Kitchen and Bath Association, NKBA, has function and safety guidelines that NKBA trained kitchen and bath designers follow. No legislation needed!
ASID and IIDA’s argument for limiting who can call themselves an Interior Designer stems from their principal argument in concern for the public health and safety. Not a shred of evidence has ever been presented which would warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy. As it is, in residential design, some homeowners will put themselves in jeopardy to save a buck by taking on home improvement projects without consulting with an NKBA trained designer, without pulling permits and without licensed contractors. This is precisely where professional design skills, made accessable for the working class, are needed the most. Professional design services should be more accessible to the public, and yet the very groups, ASID and IIDA, who strive to impose regulation on an entire profession in the name of protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public stand to do more harm to the public than good. Restrictive licensing laws will limit the right of the public to retain the services of a designer of their choosing and restricting NKBA members from practicing their profession. The pro legislation group will continue to bombard our legislators with arguments about their importance in protecting the public’s health and safety, (proven immaterial) and the importance of education, (they do not recognize other educational tracks), and disparage unlicensed designers as not taking their career seriously, (who has the right to make that assumption that because one does not hold a license means he or she is not as equally impassioned, experienced, or educated?)
Nonetheless, every year we see this small segment of the Interior Design community continue it’s efforts, state by state, spreading disparaging claims about their non-licensed design associates, bombarding our legislators with arguments in favor of changing legislation to prevent designers to use this title without a license. Their arguments continue to have flaws. The problem is that there can be no single point of entry into the profession. One size does not fit all by passing the NCIDQ exam. The educational requirements for licensed commercial interior designers is immaterial to the educational requirements for a residential kitchen and bath designer or to that of a restaurant/commercial kitchen designer. Least of all, the NCIDQ is not a measure of proving professionalism, nor talent. The most famous designers did not need an arbitrary test to prove their competency in the profession. If the First Family can choose an unlicensed designer, it should be good enough for the rest of America. A growing number of professional and business organizations oppose design legislation. The whole idea to add another layer of government bureaucracy to protect the public is duplicitous to codes already in place. ASID and IIDA are the only groups imposing their legislative force to limit other educated and experienced designers from practicing. The NKBA is not seeking legislative action to restrict licensed interior designers from designing kitchen and bath interiors before proving their competency by passing the CKD/CBD examinations. Although maybe they should as I have come across plenty of dumb designs from ASID licensed designers. The NCIDQ examination is flawed! It does not adequately test competency to become a kitchen and bath designer. To pass the NCIDQ exam costs thousands of dollars and several more years in education and intership under a lisenced interior designer. My efforts and clients would be better served by taking educational courses that would directly benefit my career, such as Certified Aging in Place certification made available by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or becoming a LEED Certified Designer.
The push for Interior design licensing has become a very devisive topic within the design community. It is anti-competitive and anti-consumer and an absolute waste of taxpayers money to impose licensing laws. Let the public choose who they want to hire.
Here is the NKBA Position statement:
Approved February 29, 2008
National Kitchen & Bath Association
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (“NKBA”), as the leading trade and
professional organization in the kitchen and bathroom industry, takes seriously its
role in educating our members and the public at large of the importance of
retaining the services of a professional designer when contemplating new or
remodeled kitchen and bath projects. It is only through education of the public
that they become familiar with the services that a trained kitchen and bath
professional can offer, and determine for themselves the level of skill and
expertise that is required to meet their needs and budget. Because of this, the
NKBA is justly concerned about the efforts of a small segment of the interior
design community, primarily those belonging to the American Society of Interior
Designers (“ASID”), to limit the right of the public to retain the services of a
designer of their choosing and restrict our members from practicing their
profession, a profession in which we have been engaged in for many years
without complaint or concern by the public. As a result of the limited success that
those interior designers have had across the nation, and our belief that their
anti competitive efforts will continue in the future, the National Kitchen & Bath
Association has developed this Position Statement to make clear where we stand
on interior design licensing and how this organization will react to any further
attempts to restrict the profession.
ASID has for over 30 years, conducted a campaign through local coalitions to
convince a small but vocal part of its membership along with various state
legislators that there is a desperate need for interior design licensing to “protect
the public” from those designers who they have decided are unqualified and who
do not meet the self-imposed standards which they have arbitrarily set. They
have had some qualified success in obtaining licensing laws, primarily due to the
fact that such efforts went largely unnoticed by the design community at large.
Members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association generally historically were
not concerned about “titling” laws – regulations that merely restricted the ability to
use a term such as “Certified Interior Designer” or “Registered Interior Designer”
– since our members did not consider themselves “interior designers” and had no
desire to use the regulated term. In fact, under the broad definition of interior
design which these bills regulate, our members do provide interior design
services and would come well within the proscriptions of the law.
687 Willow Grove Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840
Phone: 908-852-0033 Fax: 908-852-1695
March 19th, 2009 § 3 Comments
A small group of pro-legislation designers in Florida are resorting to mudslinging tactics and name calling on their new blog. In a desperate attempt to gain support it looks like they will alienate more members. Whining about outside interference from other states objecting to Florida’s anti-competitive and unconstitutional law, in an illiterate rant the authors of this anonymous blog have resorted to defamation and character assassination against Patti Morrow, the Executive Director of the Interior Design Protection Council. The IDPC is the only national association of interior designers exclusively dedicated to the task of protecting the livelihoods and rights to practice interior design.
You can read a copy of their unprofessional attack and a response from Patti Morrow at Interior Design Protection Council Blog. Please post your comments there. If one cannot defend his position intelligently and finds his only recourse in name calling and character assassination, proves his argument has no weight and has nothing left to offer in his defense but to throw personal attacks at his opponents. Further, the “writer”, (cough), coward of the attack chooses to remain anonymous.
If this is an example of the leadership within the ASID, it is no wonder why more and more interior designers are disgusted with ASID and resigning as members The resignation of allied partners, vendors and even former ASID chapter officers proves ASID is losing support over useless legislation that negatively impacts the industry at large and places the burden on the American taxpayer.
Why is this important?
While Florida is one of only three states with a practice act , a minority of ASID designers have a personal stake in limiting competition under “consumer safety” in all states and are continuing to lobby for government intervention though practice acts and title acts asking that individual States give a select few a competitive and economic advantage over others, including kitchen and bath designers.
What is their evidence?
Not a shred of evidence has ever been presented to warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy.
Further, interior design title and practice act legislation is not being advocated by the public through consumer advocacy groups, attorneys general offices or divisions of consumer affairs.
In fact, 12 government agencies have looked into this issue and concluded that interior design licensing does nothing to protect the public beyond the processes already in place. Click here for a list and access to all 12 government reports, including the 1999 Florida report recommending that the profession of interior design be deregulated.
Proving they have no evidence, even the leadership within ASID publicly admits that there are no known cases where an unlicensed interior designer created a safety hazard. Interior Designers Rallying for Rights.
With building codes in place for all local jurisdictions and building inspectors to verify that specific standards and materials are used in accordance to the local building and safety codes, the public’s health, safety and welfare is protected.
All states have very strict building codes in effect. In addition, there are codes that individual counties might impose above and beyond the state codes. Anyone practicing interior design (licensed or not) must adhere to these codes. Commercial buildings must be inspected and pass inspection by law on a regular basis. If a designer (licensed or not) specifies furniture, fabric, finishes, equipment or installations that aren’t up to code, the inspection will discover it. Any designer (licensed or not) that continually makes mistakes in this area will soon find themselves not getting work.
Alabama previously had a practice act. In 2007, the Supreme Court of the state of Alabama struck down their Interior Design Practice Act. In his opinion, Justice Parker stated: “Nor should this Court embrace the paternalistic notion that the average citizen is incapable of choosing a competent interior designer without the State’s help. The economic liberty of contract remains a protected right in Alabama, especially in a field like interior design that involves expressive activity.”
March 16th, 2009 § 3 Comments
Interior Design Protection Council
Take control your future…
Amended HB 1168 will still put you OUT OF BUSINESS!
Attend Hearing on March 17th
Dear Maryland design community and supporters of the Freedom Movement:
IDPC has received word that the sponsor of practice act HB 1168 will announce the following amendments AT THE MARCH 17TH HEARING:
On page 5, in line 11, strike “OR”; in line 13, after “SELECTION” insert “, MOVEMENT, OR ARRANGEMENT”; and in line 15, strike the period and substitute “;
(5) A CERTIFIED KITCHEN OR BATHROOM DESIGNER; OR
(6) A LICENSED CONTRACTOR LICENCENSED [sic] UNDER TITLE 8 OF THE BUSINESS REGULATION ARTICLE.”.
In addition, on March 11th, Deanna Waldron, ASID stated “because HB 1168 does restrict the use of the term “interior designer,” it does not align with ASID policy,” so it is very likely that this bill will also be amended to restrict the practice of interior to “licensed interior designers,” in order to maintain support from ASID.
Please note that these amendments would do
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to change our position!
There is no need, nor has any evidence been presented, that the UNregulated practice of interior places the public in any form of jeopardy.
If this bill passes, in order to continue practicing the FULL SCOPE of interior design — as you have the freedom to do now — you will have to be NCIDQ certified. That means you may have to close down your business and go back to school, or go to work under another licensed designer (if you can even find one willing to hire you) at little or no pay in order to qualify to sit for the NCIDQ exam.
We simply cannot stand by and allow the interior design cartel to monopolize all the business in Maryland and dictate to consumers who they may hire. We need YOUR help to stop it.
Please please plan to attend the hearing:
Room 230 of the House Office Bldg
6 Bladen St, Annapolis MD 21401.
This law would put many thousands of Maryland designers, decorators, contractors and retailers out of business without any demonstrable showing of harm to the public from the failure to license the interior design profession. If passed, Maryland would go against the vast majority of states which found such legislation to be anti-competitive and unnecessary.
If this law is passed, only 325 designers will have the freedom to practice as they like. Thousands will lose their ability to earn a living and contribute to the growth of Maryland’s economy.
There are only three states in the entire country that have interior design practice laws, and none were passed since the 1990s. Most recently, the Supreme Court of Alabama struck down and declared unconstitutional that state’s interior design practice law which was less restrictive than the one being proposed here.
At least twelve state agencies reports have examined the need for titling and/or licensing laws for interior designers and all found no benefit to the public, concluding that consumers already possessed the means to make informed decisions about interior designers. Click here to access all twelve reports.
In 2002, the Maryland Department of Legislative Services conducted a Sunset review of Maryland’s existing interior design title act and recommended a repeal of that law, stating that the regulation of Interior designers was not needed to assure the protection of the public as the interior design services offered by certified interior designers present no risk of serious injury or financial harm to the public. Nothing has changed since the date of that report.
Please note that under this bill, interior design is defined to include:
Preparing and administering interior design documents, including drawings, schedules, and specifications, in the planning and design of interior spaces involving:
There is NO grandfathering for those who are not already certified. You will NOT be able to continue practicing.
Click here to read the entire bill.
DC, DE and VA
Help your colleagues in the State of Maryland defeat restrictive design licensing in their state. If you do or plan to do business in Maryland you should take this threat to the design community seriously. If the most restrictive, anti-competitive law in the country is passed in Maryland, how long do you think it will be before the interior design cartel enacts or expands a similar law in your state?
Action must be taken now to let the members of the House Economic Matters Committee know about the widespread effect that such disastrous legislation would have, not only on your right to continue in business but on the rights of many thousands of employers and employees in the State of Maryland who will be negatively affected by this restrictive and unnecessary legislation.
In today’s difficult economic climate, the state should not pass legislation which would make it more difficult for its citizens to compete in the free and open market, unless there is compelling evidence that the public is being harmed by the failure to regulate. Clearly, no such evidence exists.
Click here for contact information for Economic Matters Committee
DON’T THINK THAT OTHERS WILL DO THIS FOR YOU —
Everyone needs to be involved to defeat this bill!
YOUR FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS.
If you are planning to:
Attend the hearing
Attend and testify at the hearing
please contact pmorrow@IDPCinfo.org on Monday, March 16th.
IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting your livelihood and right to practice.
Please join our crusade and become a member.
Interior Design Protection Council
March 5th, 2009 § 4 Comments
How many times have I heard that?
When you read the news about Design Practice Acts and think that it does not impact you, think again.
We simply cannot stand by and allow the interior design cartel to monopolize all the business in any state and dictate to consumers who they may hire.
At Issue: Help your colleagues in the State of Maryland defeat restrictive design licensing in their state. If you do or plan to do business in Maryland you should take this threat to the design community seriously. If the most restrictive, anti-competitive law in the country is passed in Maryland, how long do you think it will be before the interior design cartel enacts or expands a similar law in your state?
Click here for contact information for Economic Matters Committee for Maryland Economic Matters Committee. Email your protest letter today.
Interior Design Protection Council
March 3rd, 2009 § 4 Comments
You can change the future of interior design in Florida
- Examples of jobs you have had to turn down, like small offices, common areas of condos, community centers, hotel foyers, etc.
- How not being able to accurately describe what you do or market yourself in the yellow pages, website or search engines, advertisements, has cost you business because potential clients cannot find you
- How not being able to fully practice is making you less competitive
- Names of individuals or organizations that have recently emailed or telephoned you to do commercial work, but that you had to turn down
- List examples of any and all disciplinary actions inflicted on you by the prosecuting attorney, detailing exactly why you were cited
- List any fines you had to pay
- List any attorneys fees or legal bills associated with defending or answering disciplinary charges
- List any costs associated with being forced to come into compliance
- State if you had to sign an affidavit to avoid fines, basically signing away your right to ever practice interior design or call yourself an interior designer and how that has hurt your ability to earn a living
- List any particularly egregious charges, such as being disciplined for “referring to yourself as interior designer on a bookmark” or “listing yourself as interior designer on your application for licensure,” etc.
- If you live in another state, but are prohibited from working in Florida and contributing to the Florida economy through the products you would purchase and people you would hire to complete your projects, you should also write to the Governor and Senator.
Please email all letters to by Thursday, March 5th. You may sign them or remain anonymous using just your first name, initials, or pseudonym if you prefer privacy. Keep them to one page, and attach as a word document, if possible.
- Do you want to continue to let this cartel restrict you from performing services that you would be perfectly able to provide in 47 other states?
- Do you want to continue to let this cartel take away your First Amendment Right to accurately describe yourself and what you do?
Please email your letters to by March 5th.
August 12th, 2008 § 1 Comment
Interior Design Protection Council
August 7th, 2008 § Leave a Comment
NEWS UPDATE ON INDUSTRY LEGISLATION REPORTED FROM THE NKBA
New York Governor Vetos Change to Interior Design Title Act!
New York Governor David Paterson has vetoed Senate Bill 3659 which would have required that anyone wishing to use the term “interior designer” in New York be licensed.
The Governor agreed with the arguments made in our letter to him in opposition to the bill, and stated that “courts have found similar legislation restricting the use of the title ‘interior designer’ in other states to be overly broad, unreasonable, and vague”. He further concluded that the bill would also “limit new entrants into the field of interior design and, thus, restrain competition”.
Moreover, the Governor stated that no evidence had been presented to suggest that any harm was occurring to the public from the continued unregulated practice of interior design.
National Kitchen & Bath Association Opposes Restrictive Interior Design Legislation
The NKBA has been in the forefront in opposing the efforts of a handful of self-appointed interior designers who seek to corner the design market and limit the rights of our members to practice.
For well over 30 years, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has funded efforts to cause states to adopt laws which would limit the right to practice kitchen and bath design to only those whom ASID and their related affiliates deem worthy. The NKBA has been actively engaged in educating various state legislatures about the dangers of narrow interior design practice acts and has overturned restrictive laws that prevented or limited the ability of kitchen and bath design professionals to earn a living.
It is the belief of the NKBA that these laws do nothing to further the protection of public health, safety, and welfare as there is no showing whatsoever that a continued failure to regulate the design community causes harm to the public, which is not adequately protected by a state’s architectural and engineering controls and existing building codes and regulations. Furthermore, such laws lead to added governmental bureaucracy and increased consumer confusion about the capabilities of our members and the distinctive field of kitchen and bath design.
The NKBA has presented testimony and appeared before numerous state legislatures in opposing these attempts to prohibit NKBA members from continuing to work and will continue to advocate for the rights of our members to earn a living in their chosen profession. To read the full position statement, please click here.
What Is Our Purpose?
The NKBA works to monitor legislation and protect the rights of our members to practice their profession. Additionally, the NKBA works to keep members apprised of legislation and regulations that may impact their business.
One of the primary areas of focus is on efforts by interior design coalitions seeking to regulate the profession of interior design through legislation.
Why Is This Important To Us?
While NKBA members do not generally call themselves “interior designers,” the broad definition of interior design contained in these proposed laws clearly covers the services and work that our members perform on a daily basis. Our members would therefore be regulated by these laws.
What Are The Proposed Laws?
There are generally two types of interior design legislation which the NKBA is concerned about:
Title Act: A title act regulates the use of a title such as “Certified Interior Designer,” “Registered Interior Designer,” or, in some cases, even the term “Interior Designer” itself. Although a title act does not prevent anyone from offering interior design services, only those who have been licensed by the state can use the regulated term.
Practice Act: This type of regulation is much more restrictive and actually prohibits unlicensed persons from practicing interior design. As noted above, the kitchen and bath services that our members provide fall within the broad definition of “interior design” as defined in the law.
July 8th, 2008 § 13 Comments
AN ARGUMENT WHEN LEGISLATION BECOMES TOO MUCH.
Can you guess which of the four designs shown below became a criminal act, the GUILTY design firm slapped with a court order to cease and desist and faces criminal penalties and fines for design work?
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, a world class luxury resort, recently refurbished the Forum Tower Suites.
Atlantis Phase III, The Cove Tower, Paradise Island, The Bahamas
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia, Singapore
Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens Greece
The answer is none. These beautifully appointed and awe inspiring public facilities are the work of internationally known hospitality design firm of Hirsch Bedner Associates.
And yet, by designing equaling thrilling spaces in Florida and the same design firm faces criminal charges. Yes, criminal charges and fines for practicing design. And so it goes the highly acclaimed firm, Hirsch Bedner Associates, joins the growing list of design firms and other notable national designers, namely Kelly Wearstler from Los Angeles, hired to redesign the Tides Hotel in Florida; and Juan Montoya of New York, named to Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Designers list, all who have been accused of designing without a certificate in the state of Florida, subject to criminal charges and fines.
Is it possible the building inspectors in Las Vegas, Singapore, Athens, the Bahamas were remiss in approving these stunning places? Were engineers, fire inspectors, architects, construction contractors, plumbers, electricians, city planners completely ignorant? Absolutely not. Designed and built according to local enforceable building codes in place, without which a project will not be issued building permits and a certificate of occupancy. Space planning and specifying materials must meet local fire, electrical, plumbing and municipal building codes without which a project will not pass inspection. This is to say that there is REGULATION in place for commercial and residential building projects by states and local municipalities.
Is this the effort of the state of Florida trying to protect the public’s health and safety? Is this to say that Florida’s existing codes are not adequate protection to ensure the health and safety of it’s citizens? One must read the comments at Cote De Texas: ASID an agency out of control and http://brentwilliams.wordpress.com/ for further comment on Florida’s ASID’s heavy handed legislation.
If Hirsch Bedner Associates obtains the certificate to practice design in the State of Florida, will this ensure that the public is safer than it was without the certificate?
In the 30 years that ASID has been pushing for regulation, no evidence has been presented that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy.
See Probable Cause Panel Meeting at Florida’s, BOARD OF ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN (click link to view the design firms in the thousands who have been accused of designing without a certificate). How much is this costing the citizens of Florida?
Here is the Hirsch Bedner Associates citation below:
Hirsch Bedner & Associates
Case No. 2007-068978
Probable cause was found that Hirsch Bedner & Associates of Atlanta, Georgia, is not licensed to practice interior design in Florida and contracted to provide interior design services on a commercial project. Further, Hirsch Bedner & Associates is offering these services without a certificate of authorization. An Administrative Complaint seeking fines will be filed and a Notice and Order to Cease and Desist will be issued.
American Society of Interior Designers, ASID, is hard at work to legislate their competitors out of business in the name of protecting the publics’ health, safety and welfare. ASID’s attempt to install Design Practice Acts in every state stands to create design cartels through a single-entry method into interior design. According to ASID’s own website, they retain a staff of full time attorneys and three lobbyists registered with the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Source: http://www.asid.org/legislation/.
ASID is up against a fight. When the goal of a few is to dominate the profession of the majority with anti-competitive and anti-consumer legislation, even ASID’s cadre of attorneys will not be able to counter the growing opposition. The public and several organizations who oppose anti-American, anti-freedom design cartels refuse to be silent and will oppose the legislation at every turn.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association, NKBA, has many concerns about these attempts to co-opt the interior design market.
“While interior designers are deserving of respect for their role in the design process, special legislative consideration is not warranted based on an objective review of the facts. In truth, these bills protect the economic interests of a few within the interior design community and in no way promote or advance any rational, justifiable or necessary public policy. As such, NKBA joins with the vast majority of the design community in opposing these unjustifiable attempts to monopolize the interior design profession.” Ed Nagorski, General Counsel, NKBA
As the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies put it, there is “no evidence of physical or financial harm being caused to . . . consumers by the unregulated practice of interior designers.”
In vetoing interior design legislation last May, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels explained that the “principal effect” of the law would have been “to restrain competition and limit new entrants into the occupation.” Mr. Daniels noted that interior designers were “hardly the only profession” seeking government protection from potential competitors.
Institute for Justice’s communications team provided key support, this time by bringing ASID’s cartel’s nationwide efforts to the attention of nationally syndicated columnist George F. Will, who wrote a devastating column about it entitled “Wallpapering with Red Tape.” The column left quite an impression on our friends in the resistance and even more importantly on our opponents, who were still reeling from IJ-backed battles in New Hampshire (where Clark testified against practice legislation in March) and in New Mexico.
Additional Opponents to Interior Design Legislation includes:
BSA (Boston Society of Architects)
NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association)
RAM (Retailers Association of Massachusetts)
NFIB (National Federation of Independent Businesses)
Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Building Inspectors
IJ (The Institute For Justice)
Live Free and Design
Massachusetts Fire Chiefs oppose Interior Design Legislation
Massachusetts Building Inspectors Oppose Interior Design Legislation
More cases against this legislation can be found at http://www.interiordesignfreedom.org/
WHO OPPOSES SB 1312? (California’s Practice Act that failed to pass in the Senate)
The opponents of this bill are
IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council)
CAB (California Architects Board)
CALBO (California Building Officials)
Los Rios Community College District
WHFA (Western Home Furnishings Association)
Lumber Association of California
NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry)
AIBD (American Institute of Building Designers),
The Home Depot
California Retailers Association, and several others.
The California Council for Interior Design Certification, CCIDC, issued a statement against a practice act in California.
“It is the opinion of the CCIDC board that this bill does nothing to improve the current certification program in California other than create a parallel registration program that is under the control of the state government and paid for at taxpayer’s expense.”
ASID contends that interior designers are asking to be allowed to practice their profession through means of a practice act. ASID would like to convince the public that a practice act is a necessary means to protect the publics’ health, safety and welfare.
The Practice Act does nothing to further the protection of public health, safety and welfare. It is merely another layer of legislation. The increased costs will be passed onto the consumer.
If there is any issue of placing the public in harm’s way, it is the interior designers who strive to be interior architects, without having received the proper education or experience.
According to the article in Interior Sources, May 2008, ASID Update: A Goal of Licensure, Not Limitation by ASID President Rita Carson Guest, FASID, ASID’s argument in favor of legislation is a moot point by the author’s own admission.
The author states: “…we are asking to be allowed to practice our profession.” To those who say to us, “Why do you need a law for interior designers?” we say, interior design is already regulated de facto. The law is there to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, and we support that. But those laws are preventing interior designers from fully practicing their profession. We simply want states to grant interior design professionals who meet the necessary qualifications to be permitted to offer their services. We want to loosen the restriction on interior design professionals, not add a new one.”
What double talk is this? No one is preventing interior designers from fully practicing. What law is Mrs. Carson Guest referring to that is preventing interior designers from practicing their profession?
The only limitation is ASID’s legislative lobbying efforts to limit other designers from practicing. Look at the witch hunt ongoing in Florida. Currently, three states have practice acts in place –Louisiana, Washington, DC and Florida. Alabama’s Supreme Court ordered a stay against the practice act, which deemed it unconstitutional. In California, we’ve succeeded in fighting back the lobby’s efforts in the Senate. Senate Bill 1312 was struck down because it did not garner enough support in the Senate to consider the bill.
The practice act legislation is a circular argument and flawed. CIRCULAR: 1) By admitting there are laws in place that protect the health, safety and welfare of the public is an admission that a practice act is redundant to existing codes. FLAW: 2) No one is preventing designers from practicing their profession. Yet, the ASID proponents of the practice act, by asking for permission to practice by passing the NCIDQ exam will limit who can take the exam. In California, The NCIDQ exam does not test for knowledge of California Codes and Regulations as provided by current state law.
ASID’s Practice Act is anti-competitive and anti-consumer.
The legislative proposals advocated by a small handful of designers which would create a restrictive practice act to control who may provide interior design services and discriminate against thousands of existing interior designers and students who are currently enrolled in college interior design programs and will not be able to become licensed under such proposals.
In California, several qualified Kitchen designers I know, some who hold CMKBD status, would have to go back to school to earn the right to take the NCIDQ Exam, find work (which could be hard to find), as an intern under a Certified Interior Designer to earn work experience credit. Currently, previous work experience for a Kitchen and Bath design firm does not count. This may proof wholly ineffective for a Kitchen and Bath designer who would have to work for a commercial designer that specifies system interiors for offices. How does this push for regulation protect the health, safety and welfare of the public ? It only serves to devastate the earning potential of a qualified designer who must go back to college and take a pay cut to work as an intern to sit for the expensive NCIDQ exam. NCIDQ, which has a historically low pass rate of arond 40%, is not the standard for minimum competency. It is just one of several exams that are equally valid, and arguably, the NCIDQ is not even the best.
Few designers even bother to take the NCIDQ exam because it is generally considered irrelevant by designers and more importantly, by their clients. Perhaps this lack of initiative is the true reason for trying to legislate what should continue to be a voluntary certification process.
Watching the disaster of Florida’s practice act, it is inconceivable to grasp the millions of dollars lost and construction projects halted as alternate design firms must be selected who are certified to practice in Florida. This is anti-business. It is the industry at large that depends on the work from design firms. The consumer is affected with this anti-competitive and anti-consumer practice act. The draconian Practice Act in Florida is nothing less than outrageous. ASID is most definitely an agency out of control. This is a situation that calls to mind the poem “First they came…” by Pastor Martin Niemöller about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.
Fortunately Americans don’t take kindly to injustice. Grass roots efforts have been effective in fighting back legislation in California, Texas and Arizona. More work needs to be done to overturn this Draconian law in Florida and prevent laws from passing in New York.
The ASID Practice Act legislation is too broad. The CKD and CBD exams are not considered a legitimate substitute, despite the fact that these are the prevailing standards of kitchen and bath design expertise.
“The definition of “interior designers” is very broad based,” contends Ed Nagorsky, general counsel for the NKBA. “It encompasses all aesthetics of room design – from painting to hanging artwork. The mandate from the ASID is to obtain a practice act with a very broad definition, so as to require that all who practice within the design trades must take their exams and attend schools of their choosing.” Reference: Kitchen and Bath Design News, May 07.
WHAT IS A PRACTICE ACT?
Obtaining a license would require a designer to take the NCIDQ exam and study at institutions mandated by ASID and other allied organizations.
California, SB1312 Practice Act would discriminate against many current professional interior designers by requiring licensing through an out of state organization that will not recognize our qualifications. This bill would not protect the consumer and adds an unjustified layer of bureaucracy to the already overburdened state budget.
California’s SB1312 Practice Act will raise exam and licensing cost which will result in higher prices passed on to the consumer. It will only add additional cost to the services that an interior designer provides making it more exclusive and out of reach for many consumers.
California’s Senate Bill 1312 has no provision for a registered interior designer to submit plans to local building officials and state agencies. It will not add any protection to the consumer.
California’s SB 1312 will exclude many designers from becoming registered because of hard-to-meet requirements. Further, it will “criminalize” certain acts. Section 5751 states any person who violates any provisions of the law, is subject to severe penalties; guilty of a misdemeanor, and fines up to $10,000.
Section 5800 of the Business and Professions Code already establishes the Certified Interior Designer Law and the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC). California certification already requires an interior designer to follow a “Code of Ethics” and pass an exam covering California Codes and Regulations (CCRE) to become a Certified Interior Designer.
To become registered, Senate Bill 1312 requires an interior designer to pass an exam (called the NCIDQ exam) given by a private organization based in Washington D.C. This is an expensive exam over which California has no control. Senate Bill 1312 says prior experience will qualify a designer to become registered but the NCIDQ exam ignores experience in the profession to even qualify to take the exam.
If you can’t take the exam, you can’t become registered. The NCIDQ exam also does not test for knowledge of California Codes and Regulations as provided by current state law.
The impact of such a law would have far reaching consequences on the design community. This sort of regulation law would put many thousands of designers, decorators, contractors and retailers out of business without any demonstrable showing of harm to the public from the failure to license the interior design profession.
LEGISLATION IN CALIFORNIA. SENATE BILL 1312
In California, we’ve succeeded in fighting back the lobby’s efforts in the Senate. As we suspected, the interior design lobby has not given up on their quest to limit interior design services to only a handful of designers who support their efforts and can pass the self-imposed requirements for licensure in the State of California. Designers and business owners oppose the “gut and amend” tactics to revive SB1312 and will continue to oppose it as it may be reviewed in the Business and Professions Committee.
Would consumers be affected by regulation of interior design?
Yes — and in an extremely negative way. The Federal Trade Commission concluded that regulation would result in fewer choices and increased costs to the consumer. Regulation would take away consumers’ freedom to choose a designer based on their needs. Currently, consumers have many avenues to determine the qualifications of interior designers — portfolios, websites, resumes, interviews, private certification programs such as NKBA-CKD and CBD, CQRID, NCIDQ, and state code exams. The public does not lack the ability to make informed choices and regulation would take this choice away from consumers and put it in the hands of the government.
SB Senate Bill1312
Kitchen and Bath Design News : The Right to Practice. May 2007
BOARD OF ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN
Interior Sources, May 2008, ASID Update: A Goal of Licensure, Not Limitation
Cote De Texas: ASID an agency out of control