In the News

Florida Legislative Update

Interior Designers Retain Right to Practice in Florida; Deregulation Attempt Fails in Legislature

May 9, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC—The National Council for Interior Design Qualification, Inc.(NCIDQ) applauds the Florida Legislature for rejecting HB 5005, a bill that would have endangered public safety by no longer requiring interior designers who work on commercial buildings to hold a state license.

Under existing law, interior designers who work in commercial and public spaces – schools, healthcare facilities, offices, daycare centers, retail spaces, dormitories and more – must be licensed by the state. Registered interior designers are educated in design requirements conforming to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), fire codes and methods for reducing indoor pollution, among other public safety measures.

"The rejection of this legislation ensures that all public buildings in Florida will continue to be designed by trained professionals who adhere to the highest forms of both style and public safety," said Patty Blaser, NCIDQ President. "Interior designers undertake years of study to ensure that the interiors of public buildings are not only beautiful, but safe and accessible for everyone."

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Florida law requiring commercial interior designers to obtain a license to practice is constitutional after the Institute of Justice, which represents a group of interior decorators, challenged the law, claiming the statute censors free speech and interferes with people's ability to earn a living.

In the state of Florida, a registered interior designer, as opposed to other interior stylists, is required to complete a formal post-secondary education, complete at least two years of practical work experience and pass NCIDQ's comprehensive examination. The Florida legislature created this process in 1994 to ensure public facilities are designed and created by professionals who are educated in the latest techniques to protect public safety while facilitating access for all.

You can read the 11th Circuit Court's decision here.

You can read NCIDQ's amicus curiae brief here.

NCIDQ® is an organization of regulatory boards and provincial associations in the United States and Canada whose core purpose is to protect the health, life safety and welfare of the public by establishing standards of competence in the practice of interior design. More information about the organization may be found at