What to Expect when Sourcing Furnishings in 2022
Supply chain disruptions, shipping delays, container shortages — all phrases we hoped we’d leave in 2021, but are unfortunately carrying into our daily vocabulary in 2022.
For the past two years, our industry has been rocked by unprecedented sourcing delays — not to mention “Snow-vid” here in the Houston area and the Suez Canal blockage last year, which only sank the situation even further. Believe us when we say, we understand the frustration. In such a fast-paced, creative industry, we’ve had to be even more creative and fast-paced when it comes to sourcing and ordering product for our clients.
On what feels like a rollercoaster with lead times and delays, we wanted to give a quick breakdown of how we got to where we are today — and what we’re doing to help our clients combat the circumstances.
Delays Surge into 2022: Furniture, tile, textiles, and more.
There are so many factors that go into our answer to clients when they ask us why this is happening. The short answer: too much demand, lack of inventory, and a scramble to bridge the two.
It all depends on the store, type of furniture piece, type of fabric used, type of foam used (if applicable), warehouse location, shipping container availability … just to name a few.
But it all adds up to this — currently, we’re seeing backorders and delays from 8 weeks, to 18 months. And this is for furniture, decor, fabrics, tile, cabinets, lumber … and much, much more.
Because of the volume of unprecedented events that have happened, manufacturers have had an incredibly unpredictable schedule, while demand hasn’t given up. This means that there’s too much demand, not enough product, and vendors and stores are scrambling to catch up and keep up.
Unfortunately, as much as all of this is out of our control as interior designers, it’s even more out of our vendor’s control. When we go into custom purchasing, both our team and our vendors hit the ground running with creative solutions to sometimes, what feels like insurmountable product issues.
All that we’ve learned these past two years is to stay patient — and get creative.
Getting Creative with Craftspeople
One of the benefits of being in business for over 20 years is that we’ve had a little time to get to know this incredible community we live and work in. We’ve built extensive networks of invaluable relationships and resources, and we are beyond grateful to have been able to call upon them during this crazy time.
These days, sometimes the quickest way to get that beautiful furniture piece is just to custom make it!
For many of our clients, we’ve turned to trusted craftspeople to handcraft pieces that would normally take 6+ months to get in. From artists, to woodworkers, to painters, to artisans, it’s truly a feat of resilience to fulfill our project visions. And the best part is, our clients will have a custom, one-of-a-kind piece to enjoy in their home, too!
Cultivating (and Capitalizing on) Connections
At the end of the day, we’re here as interior designers to help you navigate the industry, its quirks, and the state we find it in today. And the truth is, this industry is all about connections and who you know!
Because we’ve spent two decades building strong, established relationships with vendors, we’re able to keep a pulse on the industry for you, getting the most up-to-date information straight from our reps and partners.