Interior Designer Calls Out James Deakin for *Gasp* Getting Design Tips From Unlicensed Designer. Deakin Responds
Can an unlicensed designer dispense advice about people’s homes? Put another way: if you were redecorating your home, can you accept design tips from an unlicensed designer?
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This seems to be at the core of an exchange between motoring journalist, host, and influencer James Deakin and a licensed interior designer (LID). Over the weekend, Deakin wrote a lengthy Facebook post responding to the LID, whose name he did not divulge. Pointing to an earlier post by Deakin, where he namedropped popular YouTuber Elle Uy, said designer chastised the popular host for supposedly promoting an unlicensed interior designer and that “we should do something about it.”
In screenshots that Deakin included in his post, the LID apparently also wrote a post expressing dismay and frustration at people’s “disregard” for the interior design profession and how some have even started to think of themselves as designers, especially during the pandemic. The LID then went on to recount all the hardships she went through to earn her degree and pass the boards.
“I am not discounting the creativity of these people,” the LID said. “However, interior design is not just looking pretty. It is both an art and science. Sometimes, you only realize these mistakes once you start using your space. I’m not advocating that we, as licensed professionals, are infallible. Yes we still make mistakes..but the important thing is we study and learn about interior design so that we can serve our clients better.”
The LID ended the note with a plea for their “collective voices to be heard,” and a reminder that “there is a law for interior design, RA 10350.”
In his rejoinder, Deakin seemd to strike a sarcastic tone when he said he’d “call out” the DIY decorators, which the LID wanted him to do.
“To all those backyard, internet decorators that have popped up like every other content creator, home baker, host, musician etc that has had to pivot, thank you,” Deakin said. “Thank you for pursuing your dream and giving customers who cannot afford (or who just want something different) an inexpensive option to dress up or maximize our personal or work spaces—especially now that they have become even more precious due to social distancing and lack of public options.”
Deakin’s point is that the internet has “leveled the playing” and “democratized” the interior design industry so that “everyone now has a chance to shine.”
“I know it can be very threatening when a new player or players come in,” Deakin said. “Especially if they soar past you without going through the same paperwork. But just know this. Cream always floats to the top. If you’re good enough, and you market yourself half as well as these you tubers or bloggers like Elle Uy, you too will get your clients.
“There’s a new world order: you need to pivot, adapt, create value for yourself, market yourself, then perform,” he added. “And once you have done that successfully, rinse and repeat. Because there’s always someone willing to out pivot, out adapt, out create, out market and outperform.”
But Deakin said he understood how a license is needed for certain industries.
“Now I get it if we were taking about architectural, structural, medical, health, financial, or any of the other sciences that require some form of license to develop and maintain standards for,” he said. “But do you really require a license or law for choosing fabrics, colors and furniture? That’s not a rhetorical question; I’m genuinely asking.”
What do YOU think?
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Read Deakin’s post below: