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ABOUT | The Value of a Certified Interior Designer

What is an NCIDQ Certified interior designer?
I’m glad you asked! Simply put, an NCIDQ Certified interior designer is a designer who went through a lengthy certification process to certify that they’ve had a formal education, up-to-date knowledge of design, and is trained and examined to protect public health, safety and welfare, as well as uphold the Council’s code of ethics and professional conduct. Other designers or decorators who are not certified may not have any formal education, training, or oversight. The Council who maintains this process is the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). This is the gold standard for interior design professionals! Read more about NCIDQ here:

What is the certification process?
Once a designer has roughly 6 years of combined education and experience, they are able to sit for three exams run by the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). Typically, interior designers must have a formal education with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, plus a minimum of 3,520 hours (or two full years) of professional experience under a Certified interior designer or registered architect to apply for the exam. Once they pass the exams and are certified, designers need to stay educated within the industry and maintain a minimum number of educational credits each year.

What is ASID?
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is one of the most recognized national organizations of professional interior designers in the United States. Their mission is to support, advance, and promote the interior design profession. An ASID Professional interior designer is typically an NCIDQ Certified interior designer who maintains their professional title with the organization through yearly membership as well as regular continuing education. Read more about ASID here:

Why should I hire an NCIDQ Certified interior designer?
So that you can feel sure that you are working with a professional who not only understands the ins and outs of the profession saving you time and money, but someone who you can trust to always put their clients’ needs and welfare first. NCIDQ Certified designers not only can create beautiful designs, but also have practical knowledge of interior architecture, construction, and products and materials, while helping to create highly-customized beautiful spaces for their clients.

How does working with a Certified designer benefit contractors?
NCIDQ Certified designers not only know how to work with clients to create their dream spaces, but they also have vast knowledge and experience of interior architecture and the construction process. Certified designers can create detailed and coordinated plans and drawings, and are knowledgeable on codes, materials, and infrastructure systems such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Contractors benefit from better coordinated designs and drawings, and streamlined collaboration with a knowledgeable and experienced designer on their side.

Will working with a Certified designer cost more?
Not necessarily. In the state of Massachusetts, there is no law that dictates what an interior designer can or can’t do regardless of certification. So both NCIDQ Certified and non-certified designers can charge similarly. This may change in the near future, as many other states have instituted such certification, licensure, and title laws for interior designers. Even still, you will typically pay for the quality and expertise of the designer you choose, regardless of their certifications. And knowing up front that you are working with an NCIDQ Certified designer will give you piece-of-mind that you are getting the value that you expect.


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