With this post, we continue our series on church building and renovation frequently asked questions. The McKnight Group’s interior designer, Jennifer Snider recently responded to some questions church leaders ask about church construction and renovation in a free i3 webinar. We’re bringing some of her answers to our blog. In the first two parts of the series, we covered questions about getting started with your church building or renovation project and how to prioritize the work. This post will focus on the question of style and give some examples of different approaches.
How to Determine Your Church Building Style
Many church leaders feel stumped when it comes to picking a style for their interior design. The most common church building styles are traditional, transitional, contemporary or modern. Whichever direction is chosen, its tone is set with the very first space your guests encounter, usually your foyer or lobby—and that’s why it’s so important to determine the style of your church building at the outset of your renovation or new construction project.
It can also be difficult for church leaders to separate personal feelings about style from the statement their church needs to make. It’s important that your church building style is rooted in your church’s vision and its ministry in your community. Your style must speak to that vision or you will fail to draw in the types of people you seek to serve.
Sample Foyer Styles
It is often easiest to explain what we mean with photos. This first image, from Eaton Church of the Brethren, shows how you can add some traditional flair to a modern space. We show this partly to illustrate that “traditional” doesn’t have to mean “old-fashioned.” The carpet pattern here conveys a sense of tradition without being dark and stuffy.
Contrast that image with this more modern look at Gateway Church of the Nazarene. The pattern of the carpeting creates a very different feel in the space, along with the sleek leather seating. The dark ceiling and deep paint colors also contribute to a modern style that clearly speaks to a modernistic church vision, while the light from lamps and candles maintain a welcoming warmth in this seating area.
Next are the foyer and café area at Bethany Wesleyan. Here the modern element is clearly present in the industrial look of the ceiling. Notice how the white color and style of the ceiling create a very different feel from the Gateway experience. The multi-level ceiling draws the eyes upward, while the pattern in the carpet appears to mimic the layers and industrial style of the ceiling.
Finally, we have Grace Gathering. Here you can see a blend of modern style elements. There is the carpet pattern, and also the very high metal wall panels. While you might think those metal panels would cause echoing and make the space loud, those panels are actually an acoustic product, created to give an industrial look without the noise. This illustrates how you can use elements of a certain style without creating a space that’s uncomfortable for guests. The fireplace, with its natural stone finish, is another way to add a cozy feel to an industrial style.
Learn More with Our Free I3 Webinars
We hope our responses to common church building questions are helpful. We’ll answer some more of these queries in future installments in this series coming soon. Meanwhile, you can continue to learn about church building and renovation with our free i3 webinars, so sign up today.