We often share on this blog the many processes, and best practices, for putting together and successfully executing a church building project. There are always multiple elements that must be woven together to create a successful church design. Interior design is an integral part of this process; as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. This is why we recommend putting together an interior design team very soon in the church design process.
When to Form Your Interior Design Team
Many church leaders can mistakenly believe that, since the interior of a church building is completed last, you don’t need to work on interior design until later. However, we believe it’s important to keep the whole picture in sight throughout the process. The extent of your project will determine the best time to form your interior design team. For a remodeling project you are planning on your own, we suggest that as soon as your vision for ministry has been determined by your church’s leadership team, it’s time to form an interior design team. When your project involves architectural changes or is new construction, your interior design team will jump begin to get involved during your construction drawing phase. Completing a successful church design project depends on good planning and making the right decisions from the start.
Key Elements to Composing the Best Interior Design Team
You want a small group, so that decisions can be made efficiently. The most important qualification for members of the group is that they have a clear understanding of your vision, and for them to be outwardly looking.
It’s easy for team members to become focused on what they like and want in a church building interior. If potential team members tend to say, “I don’t like this,” or “I don’t like that,” they’re missing the purpose of the interior design team. You want team members who can concentrate on what you’re trying to accomplish as a church and focus on the best decisions for your ministries and who you are trying to reach for Christ.
When it comes to choosing members of the team, you may have some people with some professional experience, or a background in some element of interior design that can be helpful. You will also need a member of the construction committee on your team so that communication and updates flow freely in both directions. It’s not important to recruit people who have renovated their own homes and therefore feel they have interior design expertise. There are a number of critical differences between residential and commercial finishes that will be especially important to understand.
When to Integrate Church Building Professionals into Your Process
The differences between residential and commercial design are just one reason we suggest involving professional consultants in your interior design process. Professionals will be able to offer resources and expertise to both the church design and the church building process. Exactly when you introduce professionals into the process may depend on whether you’re constructing a new church design from scratch, or undertaking a building renovation or “face lift” of existing space in your church building. The important thing is to recognize the value and wisdom that knowledgeable professionals, such as The McKnight Group, can bring to your interior design team.
We’ve been sharing best practices like these on every element of church design and construction for many years now. One of the most effective ways has been through our free i3 webinars. To learn more, visit our i3 page and sign up for our next webinar.