2018 ushered in a strong economy, a stock market rollercoaster, and some controversial trade policy decisions. How has this impacted our industry? The labor market remains strong and interest rates are beginning to rise. We expect end users to start asking for materials that last longer than a short-term lease, as we witness occupancy costs rising. Trade tariffs are prompting interior designers to pay attention to where a product is manufactured. Many foreign manufacturers are raising prices to protect their profits and to stay in business. We expect that this issue will be top-of-mind for many of our clients in 2019.

We now have plenty of projects to go around, but we don’t necessarily have the labor pool to construct them. We would expect to see construction costs rising and general contractors to become more selective on which assignments to produce. What does all of this mean for interior design projects in 2019? Let’s have some fun and take a shot at what we can expect to see this year!