A few weeks ago, I hit the outlets with a good friend. After more than a year cooped up, we were ready to shop and spend! But, it seems, the shops weren’t ready for us. Inventory was so low. We looked all day, and I really wanted to purchase, but I left with only one new shirt. Just one new shirt! Can you believe it? I couldn’t.
This was not an isolated incident. Consumers are seeing shortages, delays, and inflated prices across almost every industry and market right now. I’ve had similar experiences recently when shopping for shoes and for a new mattress.
What does this mean for the K&B design world?
The massive global and industry-wide shortages are making major waves in the Kitchen and Bath design world in many ways. Here are just a few:
- After more than a year stuck at home, many homeowners are eager to remodel. They spent more time than ever in their kitchens and bathrooms and they now know what works and what doesn’t. They’re ready for change. But, they’ll have to wait. Not only are there massive material shortages and extremely long (think 20+ week) product wait times, but there is also a shortage of quality designers.
- Designers, your customers are limited in their options right now. Brands like Delta and Brizo are taking products out of their lines because they don’t have the resources or manpower to produce them right now. Now, more than ever, you need to be an expert in function. You need to know the best available products for your clients and you need to consider function before aesthetics.
- With limited resources, being able to interpret a client’s vision has never been more important. It will be up to you to find solutions that address storage and organization while still offering beauty. As the designer, you need to understand the basic value of materials and space planning. In these times, you have to become somewhat of a problem-solving magician for your clients.
What should you be doing right now to Position Yourself as a Highly Sought-After K&B Designer?
As a kitchen and bath designer, NOW is the time to sharpen your skills. Improve and hone your skills now while inventory and the industry catch up. Put in the work now to elevate your skills so that when the pendulum swings in the opposite direction, you are positioned as a skillful and highly sought-after K&B designer.
You may be asking, but how? Well, get out of those Zoom webinars and start putting your skills into practice. Seek out learning opportunities that offer practical and real-life experiences. Instead of watching someone else create floor plans, storyboards, and renderings, you want learning opportunities where you can create your own floor plan, storyboard, and rendering. Then submit your work for feedback from an instructor as well as your peers. Real learning, growth, and experience are gained through constructive feedback from experts in your field and from your peers.
This type of hands-on learning experience is where authentic learning will happen and where you gain and elevate your skills to become a highly sought-after K&B designer.