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Furniture Lead Times: Why Does it Take So Long?


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Creating inspired interiors for discerning clients since 2003. Accepting clients in DC, Virginia, Maryland, and select cities throughout the United States.

Furniture Lead Times: Why Does it Take So Long?

In October, I wrote an article about the many benefits of purchasing items of furniture with the help of an interior designer. The benefits are numerous and include wholesale prices, a wider variety of options (including size, color, fabrics, and style), and delivery directly to the designer. One of the drawbacks, however, is the amount of time it takes to procure the piece of furniture. This is called the lead time.

Lead time is the length of time it takes to produce an order from the time it is placed to the day it is delivered. The lead time will depend on the materials used and how and where it will be made, but will usually take between 6 to 10 weeks. This week, I would like to take a look at several of the key factors that contribute to what may seem like a long time. 

Why does getting wood pieces take so long?

There are a lot of details that go into creating a custom-made piece of wood furniture. For example, the furniture maker must evaluate and choose the perfect piece(s) of lumber to use. Natural wood will have flaws, which is part of its beauty. Once chosen, the wood will have to be cut, assembled, sanded, stained or painted, and packaged for safe transport.

What affects the time frame of custom upholstery?

As with custom-made wood furniture, upholstered items are not pre-made; their production is started the day the purchase is made. There is a human element to this process as well. Remember, behind every piece of custom furniture is a passionate craftsman building this piece from start to finish.

What can a client do to help streamline the process?

At Tracy Morris Design, we are here to guide our clients every step of the way. When we begin the design process, we will ask questions such as:

  • What is the style or look that best reflects your taste?
  • What is your budget?
  • Is there a specific date or time frame that you need something?

We find that, with a good amount of pre-planning and assistance from our team (including fabric samples and CAD layouts), our clients are thrilled with their custom-made selections. In the end, 6 to 10 weeks is a small amount of time to wait for the perfect piece of furniture.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the interior design process or a particular project you have in mind. We would be happy to discuss!