What’s the Difference?

A qualified individual must meet education and experience requirements and pass an exam. The training that one goes through to earn a degree in Interior Design follows similar courses as an Architecture student.

A typical Interior Design degree requires four year Bachelor’s Degrees from an accredited Institution. Registration promotes competency and when it comes to your commercial space, you need to feel confident that your design professional is competent in life safety matters as well as aesthetic concerns.

How can you distinguish between an interior designer and decorator? Why should you? A decorator is capable of providing you with guidance for your space about such matters as color selection, wall and floor finishes, surface mounted fixtures, window treatments, etc. Their scope should be limited to anything not subject to regulations by building codes. That is a very important distinction.

A Registered and qualified interior designer will furnish a design that takes into account compliance with local & state building codes and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act; as well as the need of the intended use, current codes and will accommodate technical issues for life safety and public health.

How can you know who is qualified?
What does all that alphabet soup after a person’s name mean?

The National Council for Interior Design Qualifications or “NCIDQ” when associated with a professional assures that individual has been educated, trained and passed a state board exam to protect public health,
safety and welfare.

The requirements to sit for the exam include a minimum of six years of specialized education and experience. An NCIDQ Certificate also is required for professional membership in the American Society of Interior Designers, as well as for the professional interior designer membership categories of the International Interior Design Association.

The State of Florida requires Registered Interior Designers to have obtained twenty one continuing education credits every two years. This way the client is assured the designer is drawing from the latest and best practices to best serve to project. The NCIDQ certificate means your greatest assurance of high qualifications. International Interior Design Association or “IIDA” is an international professional networking and educational association committed to excellence. American Society of Interior Designers or “ASID” is the oldest and largest organization serving the Interior Design community.

Steps for success – Design is a collaborative effort so to get the best results be prepared by the time you consult with a professional. Consider your budget, use and specific needs for space, priorities (short versus long term use).

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