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How Furniture Supply Chains are Faring Amid COVID Restrictions

Remember when we took a deep dive into the reasons why COVID restrictions were delaying projects so far out? Welp, it seems that nothing has changed since we wrote that post last year, which is so sad to admit. The timelines have actually become more delayed as many people are choosing to invest in their homes rather than other activities, and the work force behind the industry has dramatically decreased for many different reasons. We're all worn out from these monumental changes to our daily lives, but we hope to shed light on this whole subject because we truly can't rely on any thing, any vendor, or any timeline because things change so quickly now.

blue sectional in coastal living room

Going into this new year with new projects popping up as quickly as they are, we wanted to give you a realistic look at what you can expect during the design process in terms of timeline - specifically when it comes to receiving custom furniture. There are many points of contact throughout that process, and we're hoping this information is helpful to all of you out there who might have hoped we would be past this point already. We all now have to grapple with the long term effects of the restrictions put in place over the last 12 months. If you're curious how each step of the process has been affected, keep reading!

cozy loft upstairs in southern california

We can tell you from our personal experience that the wait times for custom furniture are far outside what you would even expect given the situation. For example, we ordered a custom sofa for our new office back in August, and we received it last week. Yes, you read that right - we ordered in August and we received it the third week of January. It's not completely out of the question to think that if you were to sign a contract for a full service design project this month with us, we would be starting the design process in March, and you wouldn't receive your furniture until Christmas time!

To give you a good overview, we compiled all the steps of the furniture ordering/construction/delivery process below:

furniture supply chain infographic


Samples from multiple vendors are now sent weekly vs. on demand pre-Covid. It could take up to 2 additional weeks to receive samples from one vendor as of 2021.


After our contract is signed, we normally take about 2 weeks to develop initial design concepts, and 4-6 weeks following to revise, refine, and agree to the final design throughout multiple spaces.


Once design is finalized and purchase orders are sent to the manufacturers, the office teams double check the order for accuracy, but offices have severely cut back on staff, so production stalls.


Not only are production line teams being cut back per social distancing guidelines, but anyone getting sick can shut an entire line down for 10-14 days. Delays in sofa parts - that means tacks, fabrics, metal springs if necessary, and cushion filling - are keeping production backlogged for any custom piece.


Once your piece is finally made, it may be waiting to get picked up for 2 weeks because shipping demand is so high. The piece eventually gets loaded onto a large semi-truck and makes the drive from the East Coast to us here in CA.


This is the midpoint of the journey. The freight carrier receives a larger amount of products than the final destination of our shipper/receiver, and they are dealing with smaller amount of staff as well, so it could be another few weeks until our receiver takes possession of the piece.


Our receiver is slower to receive and inspect all of the pieces that are coming in because of social distancing staff decreases as well.


Your install date can be in flux depending on the changing timelines of specific pieces, and we always want the install to feel as complete as possible, even if we have to forego a few pieces that will arrive later.

Are you surprised by this? Is this par for the course for you in your research? We're absolutely here to answer any questions you might have. Feel free to contact us and inquire if you're unsure how to plan out your project timeline!



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