Church renovation and color tips

Get a fresh perspective

If your church is more than a decade old it’s probably starting to show it’s age. Quite often though, regular attendees don’t notice the effects of this slow process of wear and tear. Do you ever “come in the back door” to get a fresh perspective on your facility? Or try to find out what visitors’ first impressions are? You might be surprised at what you find.

Let a committee pick?

Once you decide to ‘spruce up’ your facility, how do you decide what new finishes to use? If you ask 30 people you’ll get at least 30 different opinions. Can a color committee really come to a satisfactory agreement about what’s best? Everyone seems to be an expert in color and material selection; after all, everyone lives in a house and has probably redecorated at least once. And the abundance of home design programs on TV and the internet shows just how “quick & easy” it can be to do a make-over.

Bad color selection

Caution! Your church is not your home. Selecting colors for a home is very different than for church. What works at your personal residence won’t work the same way at church.  We’ve been in many, many churches where the new color scheme just looks bad. You’ve probably seen it too.

What’s the difference? For one thing, the scale of the space if vastly different. Public spaces are just larger, taller. There will be different lighting types and levels, often much less flexible than in your home. So a paint color bathed in natural or incandescent light can look very different in a church flooded with fluorescent lighting. And the same holds true of carpet, ceramic tiles, baseboards, wood stain, paint and ceiling materials.

Pick colors to meet your design goals

The most important thing is to look at the big picture. Think of the mood you want to portray, the activity level of the room and feel of the space. Warm and welcoming, or cold and harsh? Vibrant and alive, or somber and melancholy? Steer clear of popular trendy colors to avoid looking dated in a few years. Neutral is okay as long as you allow for a few splashes of color in carefully chosen places. Keep it light and fresh! Don’t overdo color either, kids like it playful but not over-stimulated.

Consult with a professional

If you have any doubt at all about doing a good job, don’t be afraid to ask a professional. It’s well worth a call to an interior designer or architect, who have the training and experience to see the big picture, understand what you want to accomplish, and choose the right finishes to make it happen. Your members and guests will thank you!

For more information call David or Kelly at Parker Seminoff Architects.

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