Interior Design in the 21st Century – 2021 Challenges and What You Need to Know

By Monique Shaw

2021 has had its challenges for many obvious reasons due to the global pandemic,
but for those of us in the interior design world, those challenges have hit our
industry hard in several different ways. The pandemic has created a flurry of home
selling, home buying, home building, but for those of us not moving who are
redecorating, there have been significant obstacles along our way.
2021 saw the rise of three key factors that are affecting homeowners, builders,
designers and furniture retailers alike.

These are my recommendations on how to improve these situations:

1. There has been a significant spike in the price of lumber, affecting everything
from the cost of wood for building a home, designing yard projects such as decks,
pergolas and fences, and the cost of building furniture. According to Statistics
Canada, softwood lumber prices jumped by an eye-watering 118.9 percent in
Canada between March 31, 2020, and March 31, 2021. The agency also reported that
during March of 2021, prices for softwood lumber increased by 12 percent, and
prices for veneer and plywood rose by more than 20 percent. (Source: If you are looking to do a new fence or deck, you may find that re-
staining or repainting your existing deck or fence may be an option until prices

2. The Canadian government also imposed imports on furniture from the far east in
2021, where many sofa pieces originate from. On May 5 of this year, the Canadian
government placed import tariffs of up to 295 percent on upholstered furniture
from Vietnam and China (source: This caused many furniture prices to in
some cases triple or quadruple. Buying local or Canadian-made furniture has never
been more important if you are looking to save money. If you are looking for
alternatives to replacing your furniture and paying these higher prices, consider
‘repurposing’ your furniture by either repainting, re-staining or, recovering your
existing upholstery with new fabric for a fresher look, which is also a greener
option. Another suggestion would be to shop at local furniture stores and support
Canadian artisanal furniture makers.

3. Shipment or supply-chain issues have also impacted timeframes when it comes to
how long your furniture will take to arrive. Times that would have taken weeks are
now taking months to arrive, so if you are looking to order furniture anytime soon,
do not delay and put your order in as soon as possible. Another way around this
would be to consider shopping with local furniture vendors, or look at working with
local furniture artisans who take bespoke commissions. Canadian-brand Urban Barn
manufactures many ‘Made in Canada’ pieces and have beautiful customizable
furnishings with many different types of fabric choices to suit your décor.
Working with an interior designer is always your best option when looking to order
new furniture. They may be able to help you find what you are seeking sooner if alternatives are being sought, and they can also navigate the supply-chain process
on your behalf. If you are looking to work with a designer, get in touch with me
today to book a consultation.

Monique Shaw Lux Interiors – Making Gorgeous Interior Design as Affordable as
Possible, for as Many as Possible™,,

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