Texas Interior Design Legislative Update 2020: Empowering Entrepreneurs and Designers

CEO Khai Intela
Image source: saigonintela.vn Welcome to the Texas Interior Design Legislative Update for 2020! In this article, we will explore the exciting changes in the Texas interior design industry and how they benefit entrepreneurs and designers...

Texas Interior Design Legislative Update Image source: saigonintela.vn

Welcome to the Texas Interior Design Legislative Update for 2020! In this article, we will explore the exciting changes in the Texas interior design industry and how they benefit entrepreneurs and designers like you. Sit back, relax, and discover the latest updates that have reshaped the interior design landscape in the Lone Star State.

Empowering Interior Designers in Texas

The Texas 2019 legislative session brought forth HB2847, an omnibus bill authored by Rep. Craig Goldman of Ft. Worth. This groundbreaking legislation, which took effect on September 1, 2019, provided much-needed relief for interior designers, small business owners, and sole proprietors across Texas. As an interior designer myself, I had the honor of working closely with Rep. Goldman's office and testifying at multiple committee hearings in support of this bill.

Breaking Down the Changes

HB2847 brought about significant changes to the powers of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE), ensuring a more favorable environment for interior designers. Let's take a look at the key revisions:

1. Removing Penalties for Non-Registered Interior Designers

TBAE is no longer authorized to impose administrative and/or criminal penalties on non-registered interior designers in Texas for conduct related to their practice of interior design. This change is a game-changer, as non-registered designers can now work without fear of legal repercussions from the board.

2. Administrative Penalties for Registered Interior Designers Only

The Texas Occupational Code was amended to allow TBAE to impose administrative penalties solely on registered interior designers. This distinction ensures that penalties are targeted towards individuals who possess the official title and are registered under the TBAE.

3. Elimination of Criminal Penalty for Title Violation

Previously, it was a Class C misdemeanor for someone to call themselves a "registered interior designer" without being registered. While the criminal penalty has been removed, it is important to note that TBAE can still pursue "cease and desist" actions against unregistered designers who misuse this protected title.

Clearing Up Common Questions

Now, let's address some frequently asked questions regarding interior design practice in Texas:

  1. Can I practice interior design in Texas without a design degree? Yes, you can!

  2. Can I practice commercial and/or residential design in Texas without a license? Absolutely! Texas does not "license" designers; instead, it issues a title of "RID" or "Registered Interior Designer". However, you do not need either to practice interior design in Texas.

  3. Do I have to be registered in Texas to practice interior design? No, registration is not mandatory.

  4. Do I have to pass the NCIDQ exam to practice interior design in Texas? No, you do not need to pass the NCIDQ exam.

  5. Must I refer to myself as an "interior decorator" in Texas if I am not registered? No, there is no requirement for you to use the title of "interior decorator".

  6. Does TBAE regulate interior design/interior designers in Texas? No, TBAE only regulates a small percentage of interior designers who choose to be registered. They do not regulate the majority of designers or their professional business conduct.

  7. Does Texas have interior design laws? Yes, Texas has a "Title Act" that restricts the use of the title "registered interior designer". However, Texas does not have a Practice Act, which means designers are not restricted from working on specific projects unless they are registered.

  8. What about other states? Florida has recently updated its interior design laws to a more business-friendly voluntary Title Act, similar to Texas. Only Nevada, DC, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico have Practice Acts in place, which limit unregistered designers' ability to work in public spaces.

  9. Are all/most Texas RIDs qualified? No, approximately 50% of RIDs were "grandfathered" in and do not possess the qualifications required for newer applicants. It's essential for consumers to be aware of this disparity.

  10. Can I stamp and seal drawings in states without a Practice Act if I am unregistered? This is a state/municipality issue. It is advisable to consult local building officials to determine the requirements for stamping and sealing drawings. Commercial and residential design projects may have different criteria.

  11. What education/examinations do you recommend? If you have the time and resources, pursuing a 4-year accredited design education is highly recommended. Graduates should also gain practical experience under an experienced designer. Additionally, obtaining certifications such as NCIDQ and specialized credentials like the Certified Master Kitchen & Bath Designer (CMKBD) can enhance your professional development. Joining professional associations that support your education and experience is another valuable step.

Image caption: The changing landscape of Texas interior design regulations Image caption: The changing landscape of Texas interior design regulations

With these updates to Texas interior design legislation, entrepreneurs and designers have newfound freedom and flexibility in their practice. Remember to stay informed about specific regulations in your area and continue to expand your knowledge and expertise. Together, we can shape a vibrant and thriving interior design community in the Lone Star State.

1