Lately there has been a kerflap over legislation proposed here in Washington State regarding the professional licensing of Interior Designers.
To catch you up:
Designer have often battled a reputation as 'Dolly Decorators' when, in fact, the truth is quite different. The outdated image of a rich housewife who has a 'knack' for decorating is long gone.
Designers are involved in many different facets of work that affects both residential and commercial situations - which often requires years of training and experience.
Here's what's happening:
The ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) is proposing legislation to licence the profession of interior design.
They feel that other professions, like architecture, accounting, doctors, etc. all require this and that design should have professional practices and standards also that require testing and peer acceptance and continuing education.
Who can argue with that?
Unfortunately, I am. Why? Because I feel they are going much too far in their restrictions, and it affects the kind of service we offer our customers here at Daly's. There is no room for compromise the way the bill is written, and that's the problem.
For example, Daly's would no longer be able to offer in-home services. We would be able to help customers choose paint colors, window treatments, etc. only within the confines of our doors, but we wouldn't be able to meet our customers in their homes, under their own lighting conditions, to help them make appropriate choices.
And that is a problem for our customers and having the ability to give them the best service we can.
There has got to be room for us all.
I also think that there are many consumers of home and design products that do not feel comfortable hiring a 'credentialed' designer - or even need their services. Overkill, if you will. Why is the act of choosing a paint color or making some window treatment decisions requiring an accredited professional? This would most certainly cost the consumer more money and effort to hire them, as well.
I find this very upsetting, because I don't disagree with many of their viewpoints, just the sledgehammer approach - I do think professional standards are important, especially in commercial situations. And I do think that those designers who want to reach the highest level of recognition in their field should have those professional options available to them. But the argument of safety just doesn't fly with that type of design my staff participates in! That's the rub.
Well, the designer fur is sure to fly!