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Elevate Your Space

Supporting your needs in the great supply crunch of 2021

As the twilight of 2021 nears with the arrival of fall, it’s important to remember that a home renovation of any size or type is a journey. There will be challenges, but it can still be a fun and fulfilling process with the right design partner.

If you’re contemplating an interior design or remodeling project, you’re no doubt aware of the increased costs of lumber and various building materials. Price isn’t the only challenge causing headaches to designers, builders and homeowners.

For more than a year now, we’ve seen shortages of just about everything that goes into a home and the shortages have been very unpredictable. Even the most basic items (e.g., paint, foam, outlet covers) may be backordered for weeks or even months.

So, if you’ve experienced an interior design or remodeling project in the past, it’s safe to say this next time is going to be different for you and your family. We will make sure your project gets done with the highest quality, it’s just going to take longer than you’ve experienced in the past.


With the likelihood of some supply uncertainties, it makes it more important than ever to choose the right design partner. You need experienced interior design professionals who create detailed schedules with great systems in place. This path is critical to success, because it defines the material selection and ordering process. This is also where you as the homeowner can feel the most stress.

Those timetables of yesteryear are as outdated as that Atari 2600 game console in your attic. Everything has to be planned for and ordered sooner than before. Custom cabinetry is ordered prior to demolition, and we used to be able to do that two months prior to the start date. Now we’re ordering five to six months prior.

When shortages happen unexpectedly, your designer can make a big difference as the project manager. Wherever possible, a good designer schedules around delays to help you make decisions during challenging times. When keeping a job on-time requires difficult choices, there’s no one better to have as your advocate for options such as flooring, bathroom tile, fixtures, and other selections.

Let’s revisit some of those key takeaways when considering a remodeling project in 2021-’22.

Defining your goals & design intentions

We recommend a defined process to make your journey go more smoothly. Consider major life events on the horizon:

  • Are you expecting a newborn, or will kids be starting school soon?
  • Will elderly family members be visiting for extended stays, or permanently?
  • How much are you working from home now?
  • Are you considering selling your home within the near future?

These are just a few of life-changing events we should consider when in the planning stages. Remember to think long-term when beginning your residential remodeling or interior design project.

We’re starting to see new trends emerge, such as partitioning of the ever-popular open floor plans. The flexibility to have home office and home learning environments has forced families to rethink available space. We’re also seeing the blending of indoor-outdoor spaces into pandemic-friendly gathering environments.

Having a professional interior designer to rely on for guidance enables you to feel comfortable with decisions that result in functional and valuable home updates for the long haul, rather than what’s trendy now.

The importance of design planning

When starting your project, it’s imperative to have a plan. Save photos of your favorite ideas, layouts, furnishings, fixtures and such, so we can find common themes to help you decide want you want to achieve. Then it’s imperative to find professionals who align with your style and vision. Read reviews, ask for references from previous clients, and take the step to reach out to start the process. Interior designers and contractors are typically very busy, even in winter months here in N.C. So, the sooner you get the process rolling, the sooner your vision becomes a reality.

Realistic timetables

We do not like to hear colleagues in the design and construction fields use the phrase “manage your expectations.” Even with supply chain challenges, we believe customer service is paramount. So, we’ll do everything in our power to be efficient and achieve a successful result. We will always be honest about schedule expectations without making excuses. Our process is straightforward:

  • Our typical design phase is 6-8 weeks. This allows for site measures, design meetings, revisions, and estimating. Once a contract is signed, materials are ordered.
  • Popular interior design orders like custom upholstery, for example, are currently operating on a 6-month lead time.
  • Popular remodeling orders, such as doors-windows can range up to a 6-month lead time.  Custom cabinetry used to be a 8-10 week timeframe but is now in the 20-22 week range.

There is some variance to these timeframes. As you would expect, the differences here could impact your selections, styles and range of overall construction quality.

To avoid having your home a construction zone for long periods of time, it’s critical that we help you to time every stage of the process. Once materials have arrived, the construction phase is typically 10-16 weeks for a kitchen and 5-10 weeks for a bathroom, depending on scope and size.

Unforeseeable hurdles, Mother Nature, and delays due to inspections and permitting are all challenges we are on the lookout to mitigate.

A big challenge may very well be a supply crunch when it comes to exceptionally skilled trades. There simply aren’t enough electricians, plumbers, and other talented laborers to meet everyone’s demand. General contractors are busier than ever. So, having trusted relationships with established professionals will be the best way to an outstanding end result.


We’re here to help you navigate the process and alleviate the stress of labor shortages and materials unpredictability. So, if your goal is a stunning kitchen for spring, it’s high time to start the planning process.

Hiring a professional interior designer

We see first-hand how stressful renovations can be for individuals and families. It’s especially important to have a trusted partner that you enjoy interacting with to guide you through all the decisions necessary to complete a remodeling project, from planning to budgeting to scheduling contractors, providing materials and installation.

Our design process often considers details that you aren’t even aware of. We’re available to draft floor plans, cabinetry layouts, and elevations, to work with you on selections, ordering and receiving materials, and working with your contractor to ensure our vision is executed, as planned. We’re also available to receive deliveries and coordinate final styling and furnishings placement.

We have a large catalogue of offerings that we’ve curated over the years and built relationships with our own vetted suppliers and vendors. Products that we offer range in price, lead time, and style; and we work on matching the materials that best fit your needs, budget and deadline.

It is also helpful that our new design showroom has everything you need in one place. No need to run from showroom to showroom all over the Triangle.

We feel it’s important to think long-term. Let’s get comfortable with each other and understand that we’ll likely be working together for an extended journey that will be so worthwhile when all is said and done.

Have you been thinking about a remodel?

Contact Stephanie Palm today and let’s discuss the possibilities, so we can get you closer to the results you’re dreaming about.

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TEW Design Studio

611 Germantown Road

Raleigh, NC 27607

Phone: 919.803.2008

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