planning-interior-church-design-stepsIn the design world, we call the interior paint, and flooring, “finishes.” While this means that these items put the “finishing touch” on a successful church building project, it’s important to realize that you should not leave the planning of these finishes to the end of construction.

The church interior design plays a key role in your outreach program, so it’s important to think about the finishes at the beginning of the planning process, rather than waiting until construction is finished. Jennifer Snider, The McKnight Group’s interior designer, recommends five steps you should follow to successfully integrate your church interior design into the rest of your remodeling or new church construction project.

Define Your Vision

You may think that your church’s vision isn’t directly related to the finishes of your building, but it should be the first thing you consider when you embark on an interior design project.

It’s important to consider, first and foremost, who you’re trying to reach for Christ. This vision should drive all of your decisions, throughout the entire process.

Without having a clear understanding of the purpose of your project, the results will be inward-focused rather than being focused on the overall vision of your church.

Assemble Your Church Interior Design Team

For putting together a church interior design team, Jennifer recommends finding three to five people who each have a clear understanding of your vision. As you assemble your team, you’ll want to consider who has been able to understand, and express, that vision. If you have a larger church, this may be a staff-driven team. If not, then you will likely be asking people to volunteer their time.

Create a Master Plan

Don’t be afraid to have your church interior design team think big at this stage in the process. You need to determine your scope and your budget up front. Some of that may evolve as you go along, but you’ll want a place to start so you can plan accordingly.

Your budget may require that you prioritize and work on the design in phases, but having a master plan will help you keep the end goal in sight. It will also help ensure that everything is coordinated, so in the end you’ll have a completed project that flows from one area to another harmoniously.

Work with Professionals

If you’re doing a new building project, then you’re obviously going to need an architect to put those plans together for you. If you’re remodeling an existing space, without moving walls, then that may or may not require an architect.

But you still want to consider consulting professionals when choosing flooring and other such materials. This will help ensure that you are making the right decisions in the beginning and prevent you from making mistakes that could be costly in the future.

Based on their own experiences with other church interior design projects they have successfully completed, professionals may also give you insights and ideas that you may not have even considered.

Select Interior Finishes

Finally we come to what many of you probably expected to be step one: actually selecting the finishes.

Jennifer suggests you may want to plan site visits to places you’ve seen that have a feel similar to what you’re trying to convey. You might also want to take pictures that express the ideas of the various members of your team. Then you can share what each team member has collected and use those as a starting point to envision how you want your church spaces to come together.

These five helpful steps come from one of this year’s free i3 webinars. If you find them to be helpful—and we believe you will—visit our website and sign up today for other webinars in our series.