Interior Decorating

The Truth About Florida’s Interior Design Deregulation



IJ’s Christina Walsh tackles deregulation of interior designers in Florida and shows there is not a shred of evidence to support the interior design cartel’s (lead by the ASID) most cherished myths about the supposed effects of deregulation. Less government red tape means greater opportunities for interior designers and more choices for consumers. Christina explains why.

UPDATE: In response to IJ’s myth-busting video, the interior design cartel has modified its false claim that “26 states believe the health, safety and welfare of their residents requires that Interior Designers be regulated.” The cartel now asserts that “While only 3 States, plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico license designers, 26 other states believe the health, safety and welfare of their residents requires that Interior Designers be regulated through various means.” But this is just the same old myth dressed up in more ambiguous language. For a detailed explanation of why this new claim is just as false as the cartel’s old claim, visit http://www.ij.org/about/3757

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41 thoughts on “The Truth About Florida’s Interior Design Deregulation”

  • inoo tect February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Interior design describes a group of various yet related projects that involve turning an interior space into an effective setting for the range of human activities. It also has many connections to other design disciplines, involving the work of architects, industrial designers, engineers, builders, craftsmen, etc.

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  • alaina scerbo February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    so some painter can have a legally binding licence, but not an individual who has all the educational credentials to know how to provide plans and specification documents to demolish and re-build the interior of a facility which requires aesthetic, ergonomic, mechanical, plumbing, electrical accomodations as well as building code and ADA compliance? This woman speaking is as ignorant as they come.

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  • BRAID LOVE February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Do you know if florida will deregulate braiding too? I checked your website but I dont see alist of soon to be deregulated industries.

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  • BlazingGaming February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Florida's licensing requirements may be more draconian than necessary, but anyone who believes that Interior Design should not be regulated *at all* clearly doesn't understand what Interior Design is.

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  • poopile February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @sgapplebee It's easy to get documents online, make them up etc. If my car is messed up by some undocumented worker (very likely here) I'd have to use our slow legal system (not sure about NZ but FL has problems with courts clogged with foreclosures, etc) to resolve, instead of consumer protections given by our current regs. I'm not against rethinking regs, just not sure how this would benefit us. And they change it to a "budget guideline" to push it through with less oversight? Shady!

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  • poopile February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @sgapplebee Excellent job deflecting the question into a personal attack. Cartel indeed.

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  • poopile February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @sgapplebee How would I know?

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  • poopile February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    And how does small claims help when my wife has been killed by a faulty brake job done by an unlicensed mechanic?

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  • poopile February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    I agree, interior design seems worthless to regulate to me.

    What about where regulation is vital, like mechanics and movers? You don't hear about interior designers ripping people off or fixing brakes that fail but industries where it is easy and DANGEROUS to take advantage of people need to have oversight. With no regulations my only recourse would be small claims, costing much more time and money and doesn't help warn others. I already have the choice to use a shadetree mechanic if I want.

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  • V for Voluntary Library February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Privatize everything. -Hans Hoppe

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  • shamgar001 February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @InferiorDesigner Just because a person is allowed to design without license doesn't mean they will. Someone has to hire them first, and if they're uneducated, no one will hire them.

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  • D Dudemanhey February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Check this….the IJ says ID regulation is anti-competitive and the AIA says we are being too competitive in our effort to provide consumers more choices for who can actually obtain building permits. This has nothing to do with rights or freedom. It is nothing but a pissy turf battle.

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  • D Dudemanhey February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @rayrayjewels I have and you are an IJ schill who would not know a permit app if it hit you over the head

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  • rayrayjewels February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @djdudemanhey Hmm… This is just plain wrong. First, only a building owner or licensed contractor can pull a permit. But IDs can sign and seal drawings currently in Florida. The Building Officials Assoc of FL has a website – search their rulings and you will find where they state that Interior Designers can sign and seal CDs when it relates to interior construction.

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  • D Dudemanhey February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @psherman31 you are deluded. If your project requires a building permit the only professionals allowed to sign, seal and submit a permit application are Registered Architects and Professional Engineers and in some jurisdictions Licensed Contractors. Interior Designers were never allowed to submit documents for permitting. No matter what the IJ or IDPC says. It is typical 1/2 truth misinformation posing as fact- which the IJ and IDPC are so adept at.

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  • snarkus13 February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @InferiorDesigner: Are there a dozen state studies that have considered whether licensing architects is necessary to protect the public and found no evidence that it was? Because that's the case with interior design. Your side keeps trotting out the same unpersuasive arguments without responding to ANY of the compelling, well-supported counterarguments. Can I let you in on a little secret? That's why you're going to lose licensing in Florida like you did in Alabama: the emperor has no clothes.

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  • Paul Sherman February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    If there were no evidence that the unlicensed practice of architecture posed any threat to the public (as is the case for interior design), and if there were no evidence that licensing architecture produced any public benefits (as is the case for interior design), and if the vast majority of states didn't regulate the practice of architecture in any way (as is the case for interior design), then deregulating architecture would make just as much sense as deregulating interior design does: a lot.

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  • InferiorDesigner February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @ Institute for Justice why not deregulate the profession of Arch. Don't you stick up for the people and ensure justice. I am sure the guy on the job site swinging a hammer would make a mighty fine Architect, obviously there is no doubt about his passion and love for building and understanding of structure. He does it every day board by board, in the blistering heat. I mean educational standards do not matter, right?

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  • snarkus13 February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @deeennbee91: Two points: (1) interior designers in the 20 title act states don't "need" to be regulated — in fact by last count there were only about 300 "certified" designers in all of New York, which means that most of the thousands of interior designers who work there haven't bothered to become "certified," and certainly aren't "required" to, as you mistakenly claim; (2) NCIDQ was spun off from ASID's two precursor organizations (AID and NSID) in 1974 — so it's all quite incestuous!

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  • dedon91 February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    It's funny how everyone seems to be attacking ASID (a not-for-profit organization) for licensing and regulation when they do not even administer licensing exams. NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) is the only organization that is allowed to administer this exam and grants licensure allowing Interior Designers to sign off on drawings.

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  • dedon91 February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    “Myth #1: Most States regulate Interior Design."

    You have this as a myth, when it is indeed a fact. Interior Designers do need to be regulated through either Title Act, Practice Act or both. Your video talks about states being regulated; those 3 states are the only ones that REQUIRE licensing to practice Interior Design which is completely different from regulating Interior Design.

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  • rayrayjewels February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @psherman31 What?! Do you have any knowledge of permitting? ALL interior construction has to be signed and sealed to be permitted – and if Interior Designers can no longer sign and seal – only architects can. You need to walk down to your local permitting office and have a few conversations.

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  • Tons of White babies February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth available to those who wish to prove their knowledge of interior design to their customers before being hired.

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  • Tons of White babies February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth LOL, so you're assuming that someone looking to do interior design work will now have less work because no one is going to want to hire an "interior designer" because none of them are certified and they'll instead hire architects because their job requires more effort, hence they're more qualified? Did I sum that up right? Because that's the worst argument you could make against this. That tells me you're assuming there will be no third party certification or instruction…

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  • InferiorDesigner February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    Interior Design is a agency for change today's designer understands the built environment to a level of sophistication much greater than some other elite professions who continuously take a superficial approach to the design of interiors. The majority of ID'ers today have Bachelors and Master degrees from some of the best Universities in the nation. Our designs are academically researched and documented they investigate the human condition and strive for the best environments possible.

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  • rayrayjewels February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @snarkus13 – Whoa, big words but not answering any questions. You are more than capable of googling "Building Code Official *whatever city you like*" – getting the phone # and calling for yourself. Don't be lazy! Be proactive. What are you scared of? I have to work w/ building code officials – so no, you can't have my contacts to harass like you are doing to people in this forum. But all it takes is ONE PHONE CALL. Again – Do it for yourself. Call anyone in any city. Why depend on someone else?

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  • snarkus13 February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @rayrayjewels: Which jurisdictions did you contact specifically? And what was the name (or title) of the person you spoke with in Port Orange and what's their phone number? I called you a liar because I think you're lying about having called building code officials "across the state." Your response makes me even more sure that you're fibbing. Time to put up or shut up.

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  • rayrayjewels February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @snarkus13 – Have you spoken to one building code official? Call one in your city. I spoke to one in Port Orange – where the Rep who sponsored the bill is from. Don't call people liars. Pick up the freaking phone and use your own brain! Don't take my word for it – PLEASE! All states regulate commercial interior design – as all require building permits! It's just whether interior designers can work in the field w/o the supervision of an architect.

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  • Bob Ewing February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @Jasonaorr. Great point Jason. To be crystal clear, Florida is one of just three states that limits who can practice interior design. The cartel's own website, the Institute for Justice video above, and the Florida Attorney General (see link at end of video) all agree on this. Conclusion: Anyone can practice interior design in 47 states, and those states are doing just fine.

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  • Bob Ewing February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @SpareSimian Great question about the Title Acts. A Practice Act regulates who can practice interior design. A Title Act regulates who can call themselves an interior designer. Typically, the cartel takes a two-step approach to taking over a state: First a Title Act, then a Practice Act. As the cartel’s home page clearly shows, only three states have Practice Acts: asid.org/legislation/state/

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  • SpareSimian February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @MsYumuri Excuse me for not being a lawyer. What's the difference between a "TITLE ACT" and whatever you claim only 3 states do? (And when will lawyers discover lower case?) I'm not here to defend the cartels. But I need solid facts I can take back to my friends to defend IJ's actions, and that includes explaining all these legal details that mere mortals like me don't understand.

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  • snarkus13 February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @rayrayjewels: "As stated below – I have called building code officials across the state – and they have all said that we will no longer be able to practice commercial interior design." Would you please provide the names and numbers of the building code officials you called? I would like to call them myself and see what they have to say. I suspect you're lying, but here's a golden opportunity to prove me wrong in front of this whole board.

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth Nobody has to pay me for shooting fish in a barrel. But I will have to stop all the fun for now.

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth OK. Now you're picking on me personally because of a typo? Why don't you check your grammar. I'm clearly wasting my time with you. You're not an intellectually honest person and clearly a shill for the cartel.

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth Why do you need a permit if nothing is being done to require a permit? To whom are you submitting construction drawings requiring a permit? If a permit is required an inspection will also be required.

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth This again. You're record is broken. This argument has already been debunked repeatedly. You need to let go.

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth In 47 states in this country you might employ an unlicensed interior designer to do all that too. Seems to be working OK for them.

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth Ok. Do you really believe that everyone at the Institute for Justice, NKBA, NFIB and the rest of the organizations supporting deregulation are so woefully misinformed that they would fight this hard for something that would actually hurt their clients and members? Do you think that the bill would have gotten this far if the legislators thought for one second that it would shut down an industry? You have to find a new argument. This one doesn't hold water.

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  • Zachary Nirich February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    really ….. they need dozens of studies?

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth Most grandfathered designers would not meet the current requirements to become licensed in Florida. I'm a little board with your "deregulation decreases competition" stuff. Nobody believes it but those who are afraid of competition and the poor, uninformed masses that have fallen under the spell of the cartel.

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  • Pat Levenson February 13, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    @TheFloridaTruth There's a whole permitting process and lots of people involved every step of the way to insure proper codes are met. In your little example, the fire marshal wouldn't approve the space. If a designer gets a reputation for consistently not adhering to codes they probably won't be getting a lot of work. It's a pretty self-regulating profession if you ask me. We don't need to involve the government in it.

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