Church Interiors - How relevant will your design be in 5 yrs?
Don’t make a HUGE mistake by chasing trends or OVER doing interior finishes. I have seen way too many ministries spend unnecessary dollars trying to be ‘cool’ only to find the look and feel of their space dated in a year or two without the ability or budget to address it. Below are some core concepts that we should be driving towards when crafting a great interior story-board and finish schedule for any ministry space.
Why does it matter? I get really tired of walking into restaurants and coffee shops that are brand new and feeling like they are trying really hard to be ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’ or something. I’ve been judging it recently by the amount of barn wood EVERYWHERE, the overuse of graphics/pictures/vinyl, and stained or colorized concrete. These were all cool for a while, or when used very specifically to accent a particular feature worked great, but now they are just copied in nauseum and the overuse makes me not want to be there. Honestly, it reads a little inauthentic.
So how do we transform a ministry space we are already in? How do we know it will stand the test of time?
1. Be yourself – The great Irish pub on the corner didn’t hire a fancy interior designer. They know who they are and the décor makes sense for the space. The same should be true for your church. An authentic expression of your ministry (At Risepointe we call this a “Design Narrative”) should drive your decisions when selecting interior finishes.
2. Keep it Simple – You know what’s really easy to change? Artwork or throw pillows or decorations. You know what’s NOT easy to change? Carpet, Stone Veneer, Lighting – The more you can simplify what you are accenting and the more you can allow the hard finishes to simply align with the architecture of the space the more timeless the space becomes. In a well-designed space the finishes will wear out before they trend out.
3. Know Your Audience – Design for your audience not yourself. I’m not in love with the interior finishes at our Risepointe offices, but that’s ok, its not for me, it’s to help us attract and retain top talent. Same is true for your church. What does your community want to see? What resonates with them when they think of a space that was designed for community? Where do families and kids LOVE to spend time?
4. Get some Help – No, I don’t mean form a committee of people who have Pinterest boards or ‘an-eye-for-design’ (see paragraph about trends) You should talk to a licensed and experienced designer who can help understand your Church’s Story and how it can be applied to the interior finishes. Believe me, if you have ever been sent to Home Depot with an awesome picture of a finished bathroom and been asked to duplicate it in your own home you will understand. There are thousands of little decisions that have to be made and millions of products. You don’t just “pick things you like” and end up with a great finished space.
What are some areas of your church’s interiors that could be simplified or eliminated? Trust me, it will help.
To start a conversation with Risepointe or just get some free advice shoot us a pic or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org