Interior designers battle over name

The National Kitchen and Bath Association has decided to allocate $750,000 in funds to oppose “interior design title” legislation in fiscal year 2008. In a prepared statement, the national trade organization said it is attempting to stop a concerted effort “by a handful of interior designers” to restrict consumers’ choices when it comes to choosing kitchen, bath or other type of design services.

“Our members are happy to compete on the merits of their skill or expertise,” said NKBA general counsel Edward Nagsky. “But the state governments should not mandate who a consumer must hire to provide design services, which will limit the free market and increase the cost of design services.”

The Alabama Supreme Court recently struck down that state’s interior design practice regulations, declaring that, “The average citizen is [capable] of choosing a competent interior designer without the State’s help.”

Last October, a bill was introduced in the Ohio state legislature that would regulate the use of the term “interior designer.” Illinois is considering amending its law, which prohibits individuals from calling themselves “interior designers” unless they are licensed.