Saturday, October 9, 2010

Interior Design: Licensing Decor?

"Interior Designers"
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States

"Interior designers draw upon many disciplines to enhance the function, safety, and aesthetics of interior spaces. Their main concerns are with how different colors, textures, furniture, lighting, and space work together to meet the needs of a building's occupants. Designers plan interior spaces of almost every type of building, including offices, airport terminals, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and private residences. Good design can boost office productivity, increase sales, attract a more affluent clientele, provide a more relaxing hospital stay, or increase a building's market value.

"Traditionally, most interior designers focused on decorating—choosing a style and color palette and then selecting appropriate furniture, floor and window coverings, artwork, and lighting. However, an increasing number of designers are becoming involved in architectural detailing, such as crown molding and built-in bookshelves, and in planning layouts of buildings undergoing renovation, including helping to determine the location of windows, stairways, escalators, and walkways...."

First, the good news: Interior designers work in fairly comfortable surroundings (usually), and are paid to be creative.

Now, the bad news: Interior designers deal with deadlines, budgets, and clients who may or may not be all that reasonable. Or agree with the interior designer about what's "creative" and what's "crazy."

Still, it looks like nice work - if you can get it. That's another thing: A whole lot of very talented folks want to be interior designers. Which means that newcomers to the field will have a lot of company - and a finite number of clients.

Turns out that some states make interior designers get licenses. What the legislators are afraid of, I don't know: exposure to clashing colors, maybe.

Related post:


legbamel said...

From the title, I thought designers were copyrighting rooms and licensing their use in other homes or businesses. The actual situation is nearly as ridiculous. Is some board going to sit on whether a designer's choices are sufficiently attractive or cluttered?

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


I haven't dug into the whys and wherefores for licensing interior designers. It's possible that there's something besides politics at work here.

Interior design is starting to be a profession that overlaps with architecture. State licensing of people who design buildings does make sense: since buildings must be designed to not collapse, for example.

The idea of licensing interior designers does, though, strike me as silly.

Still, there's the old 'emotional pain and suffering' thing: although I though someone had driven a stake through that one.

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