Kitchen Quandary

Kitchen projects require longer lead times and cost more due to supply-chain issues, from the global chip shortage to shipping delays. Appliance choices now are made first in the kitchen design timeline, which is opposite from past timelines, in order to get in line with manufacturers. “It’s 100% different,” says Tish Mills Kirk of Tish Mills Interiors. It takes at least twice as long for appliances to arrive, designers say, and conversations with clients about appliances and features they desire happen much earlier. “It does make them really consider the brands they want at the beginning of the kitchen project,” says Karen Ferguson, principal of interiors at Harrison Design. Mills Kirk says she’s seeing waits of up to 10 months. “We just plan accordingly because appliances are important. It’s not what you want to compromise on,” she says. Orders for plumbing fixtures, lighting and cabinetry follow soon after appliances. Limited finishes for fixtures or wood types are being produced at a time, which exacerbates delays. Budgets are escalating as well. Shipping costs have increased by 40% in some cases, says Ferguson. Mills Kirk says appliances have multiple price increases throughout the year, compared to typically first of the year, which is “another good reason to order as early as possible,” she says.