Peruse these pages. Enjoy these peaceful, serene, and organically designed rooms. What could possibly be wrong? If your mindset is as restful as these rooms, then you are all good. Because if you are waiting for furniture, there’s a high probability you are not feeling so Zen and becoming quite anxious! According to the National Trucking Association as I write this; the U.S. is short 80,000 truck drivers! That number is hard to wrap your head around…
Currently in my business, we have thousands of dollars of freight, custom handmade pieces in North Carolina, Belgium-designed white oak from Europe, and countless other items that are sitting in warehouses waiting to be picked up and no drivers. This coupled with massive storms that wiped out foam production in the states, and of course our new favorite; Covid-19, things are at an all-time high level of craziness!
There isn’t a quick or easy end to the story. Custom furniture made in the US is taking about 26 weeks, and then another 4-8 weeks to ship and receive. According to Business Insider magazine, we will see these delays well into 2023. Interestingly, the car industry needs foam for upholstery and because car production has slowed down significantly due to missing components, it’s actually helping the furniture makers get production moving a tiny bit faster.
We are still seeing shortages of wood, so there’s that too…The average price of lumbar for a home went up $40,000 according to Bloomberg.com. Prices are climbing amid tight supplies, and the forecast is that they will continue well into 2022. But now I digress, back to the beautiful designs that fuel my creativity every day. I love my job, and I love creating spaces that can speak to each individual client. We will survive this madness, and there are things that you can do if you are feeling inspired to freshen or furnish your home:
- Shop local and ask if you can buy off the floor. Smaller retailers provide exceptional customer service. Calling an online mass-market catalog will never be the same experience.
- Having a dinner party and your chairs are not here? We loan out beautiful furnishings if custom orders are delayed. I know many other local stores will do the same. Again, you won’t get that service on-line!
- Buy vintage. Local upholsters have excellent relationships with their long-time supply chains, so although the schedules are busy and booking up, a local upholsterer can still get the job done faster. There are amazing case goods to be found as well that are vintage.
- Buy the best quality you can afford. Now that everyone is staying home, travel is not back in the game yet, people are focusing on purchases that are lasting and of high quality. Our design boards are booked with projects well into 2022 and it’s a big shift that shows people want their homes to be beautiful, sustainable, and ready for friends and family. If a home is designed in a timeless and not trendy fashion, the investment of quality pays back again and again.
- Paint a room while you wait for your things! No reason to put off some simple changes if you are in the waiting game for furniture. New, fresh color is always a mood booster!
In having my business over 25 years, I certainly never dreamed we would be facing such crazy times in the world of interiors. But I also feel that the slowing down, the waiting, and the desire to build a new reality is somehow welcome. I think these new paradigms in shipping, manufacturing and delivery may in fact bring us to our best version of ourselves in terms of design. Time to study, time to analyze the best textures, colors, proportions, and scale. And then there’s this quote which truly speaks to me:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” - Lao Tzu