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Would you hire a lawyer that didn’t graduate law school and pass the bar? Or get a check-up from a doctor who hasn’t been to medical school and failed their MCATs but just has “talent”? What about getting a root canal done by a dentist who isn’t certified by the NDEB?

NO? We didn’t think so!

So, why would you put one of your most valuable assets, your home, in the hands of someone who isn’t professionally qualified? Interior designers do much more than pick out the colour of your new kitchen cabinets or the fabric of your drapes – they are well versed in building codes, space planning, health and safety, problem solving skills, and so much more.

If you don’t choose a professional you could face challenging issues down the road that can cause big financial burdens and safety risks. For instance, that new sectional you bought for your renovated family room doesn’t fit the space required because the unqualified “interior designer” didn’t do the measurements correctly. What about the new daycare you had commissioned for your office that doesn’t meet government regulations and has to be remodeled due to safety issues? Or the new entrance to your business that doesn’t have a ramp and fails to meet accessibility requirements? These are just a few examples of how hiring someone who is unqualified can lead to disastrous results.

Good design and excellent space planning adds value to your home, increases your businesses’ bottom line, draws customers into your store and promotes safety, health and well-being. IDC members go above and beyond to ensure the client gets what they want and that the space fits their lifestyle now and in the future!

Now that you know the importance of hiring a qualified/registered interior designer, you might be asking yourself:

“How do I hire a registered interior designer and know that they are qualified?”

Here’s what you need to know!

A registered interior designer must be a member of their provincial association. So, PLEASE check with the appropriate association- APDIQ (Quebec), ARIDNB (New Brunswick), ARIDO (Ontario), IDA (Alberta), IDAS (Saskatchewan), IDIBC (British Columbia), IDNS (Nova Scotia), IDNL (Newfoundland and Labrador) and PIDIM (Manitoba) to confirm the designer is both registered and qualified to help you. All of the provinces have a public registry of their member names! Once accepted by their provincial association, they join IDC (Interior Designers of Canada). There’s more about us here!

“But wait, how do you qualify to become apart of a provincial association and IDC?”


In order to be a registered interior designer one must obtain a degree from an accredited institution, complete 3,250 hours of supervised interior design experience, up to 1,760 hours of qualified work and then pass three parts of the North American NCIDQ exam. Once the NCIDQ is complete, interior designers must continue the education process by completing CEU hours accredited by IDCEC.

So, registered interior designers have to obtain an education, receive experience and must pass a three part exam! And they must complete regular continuing education hours every three years, so they are up-to-date with all the most important building codes, practices, and latest trends!

Next time you hire an interior designer for a project be sure to check to see if they are in fact a registered interior designer – hiring someone who isn’t qualified will cost you!

By: Patrick Voisin

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