It’s no joke that 2021 has been an insane year for the home industry: an increasing focus on home has created a boom for construction and remodeling, supply continues to be backed up at ports, and labor is in all-time demand.
My experience with a remodel this year was no different. There was a four-month lead to get an NWFA-certified installer and refinisher to transform 20-year-old pine flooring from orange to a clean, Scandinavian-inspired, look. Then there were eight, 12, and 16 weeks of waiting for countertops, fabricators, lighting deliveries (broken upon arrival, of course) and cabinet painting. The wait was ultimately worth it, but I’m on hold before pulling the trigger on any finishing touches. In hindsight, I wonder how much of a premium was paid for all that waiting. Everyone and everything are in high demand.
As we tiptoe into 2022, I'm optimistic, but don’t expect a miracle to happen with supply and labor issues. There’s no going back to the way it was before the pandemic. Get patient with long lead times and increasing prices.
Of course, flooring continues to be affected, and we are waiting with bated breath to see how these issues are going to affect our businesses in 2022. Mitch Jolley, CEO of the St. Louis-based distributor E.J. Welch, said we will continue to have a lot of challenges ahead from a global standpoint on the logistics side.
“I recognize that they are not going to be solved overnight because it's like a backup on the interstate—it's amazing how long it takes to untangle a short backup with traffic,” Jolley said. “We got that going on, obviously, with transportation issues in spades around the world, but I can tell you this: I believe we have vendors doing everything they possibly can to get us product. I believe we're getting a lot of tolerance from the customer community, and we're getting a lot of effort from the vendor community.”
On the design side, there is so much to look forward to. Flooring has definitely benefitted as Americans have refocused on their homes. We’re seeing a surge of beautiful styles across categories as Americans continue to embrace more pattern, texture and color.
In this issue, you’ll see some 2022 design trends. We’re loving that neutrals are getting warmer and there’s more mixing of texture—stone, leather, metals, boucle. We’re seeing an uptick in vintage and antique pieces. It’s inspiring me to dig through my parents’ storage to find special options for furnishings, vintage rugs and art.
I’m also getting excited about the strides companies are taking to make a statement, be it through product design, branding or customer service. Check out the feature in this issue on Cali as one example. There’s no more standing on the sidelines in 2022. Time to look out and step out into the world.