When churches set out to take on interior design projects, planning usually first considers the needs of the adults in the congregation, but there are other members to consider: the children and youth. Since these younger folks are the future of the church, it’s critical for church leaders to pay careful attention to including interior design elements that will attract the younger generation — and inspire them to become, and remain, faithful church members in their own right.
Dedicate the Space
As we say in one of our free i3 webinars, the goal with interior design should be to create an environment that evokes natural and positive responses in people. Too often church leaders are (naturally!) focused on their own needs and agendas when creating a church building or renovation plan. This can lead them to forget, or treat as unimportant, the (again, naturally) differing needs of the younger people. This is why it’s important to have at least one church leader on your design team who can represent children and youth, and who understands what will attract them to your church building.
Having dedicated, and clearly different, spaces for children and youth will also send a clear message to visiting families that children and youth are important, and are a critical component to the future of your church. Many churches even choose a theme to help emphasize the spaces as being set aside for younger generations.
Count on Color
When it comes to children, color matters. While adults usually design public spaces in white or neutral colors (especially if there will be a lot of vibrant and changing colors in the room via video screens and seasonal decorations), children are attracted to bright colors and will thrive in the positive energy of a lively colored room. Accent colors on the walls are also a great way to add energy and excitement to youth spaces.
In addition to paint, which is relatively inexpensive and easily adds pops of bright color to a room, you will want to add comfortable, cushioned chairs in complementary colors. Another way to make a space welcoming to children and youth is to take a theme and put it on the wall in the form of vinyl wall coverings. More durable than a painted mural, and easy to install, vinyl coverings add interest and stimulation into a space without the long-term investment that a painted mural would involve.
A Strong Foundation
When designing your dedicated spaces for children and youth, don’t forget to set a strong foundation with the floors. For example, vinyl composition tile in your children’s classrooms is both beautiful and practical, since it’s effortless to clean up and allows tables and chairs to be easily rearranged. The addition of a comfortable rug, or even carpet tiles, in one portion of the room, in cheerful and contrasting colors, will provide a safe space for younger children who will spend more time playing on the floor. Stained concrete in your youth center will be strong enough to handle anything the youth might drag in, or across, their space.
Find additional information on creating perfect spaces for children and youth in your church remodeling project, we encourage you to sign up for one of our i3 webinars. They’re absolutely free!