One of the more daunting tasks during the church design process is determining what the interior finishes of your church building will be. It’s not something church leaders can jump right into. There are so many options and decisions to be made, like the color and types of flooring, fixtures and furniture, paint and wall coverings, to name a few. It may be difficult to know where to start, but here are four steps to help make certain that all of your interior finishes will support your vision for ministry and make your building attractive to those you want to reach.
Step 1: Define Your Church Vision
This step may not seem obvious, but it’s critically important. In fact, we write frequently about the importance of having a church vision for your church design process. Who are you trying to reach? What are your ministries? What do you want to convey as people are entering the space? Your interior finishes are more than just carpet and paint on the walls. It’s about the impression you give to people who walk in the doors. Having clarity on these questions, your finishes, and overall design will align with the objectives of your ministry.
Step 2: Assemble the Right Interior Design Team
As your vision is finalized, it’s time to get your team in place. The interior design team will likely be a sub-group of the construction team. A smaller group will help make decisions easier to complete. You want people who understand both (1) your vision for ministry and (2) that it’s not about their personal needs, desires, or preferences. You want people who can focus on what you’re trying to accomplish. It can be helpful to include some that have some experience or background with interior design or a related trade, but it is not necessary if you are partnered with professionals. Once the team is determined, they should visit other area churches, and even local retail and restaurant locations to understand what people in the area are accustomed to seeing. You know the community but look at the spaces in new ways to see the details. Take pictures of the things you would like to consider including in your design. Doing so will help the final interior finish selections fit into the overall style of the community.
Step 3: Engage Church Design Professionals
If you’re constructing a new church building or doing major architectural renovations, you should already be engaging with church design professionals who can provide wisdom and resources on interior design. The McKnight Group includes this help for all our clients. This is also an important step for smaller projects. While it may seem like enough to have a church member on your design team who’s recently remodeled their home, or even one who has some commercial experience, they won’t necessarily know the nuances of selecting all of the finishes for your church.
Step 4: Consider Your Church Building Budget
Finally (and yes, these steps are somewhat integrated timewise), you will need to be clear about what your church building budget will allow before you begin choosing interior finishes. Again, if your interior design project is part of a broader church building package, that master plan will most likely already include a budget for interior finishes. If not, then you’ll need to pay careful attention to what you can afford as you begin to discuss what you would like in terms of finishes.
Once these four steps are completed, it will be time to actually do the selecting. But by having done the groundwork we’ve outlined; the task should be much less daunting. For other tips on church design and church building, feel free to visit the webpage for our webinars and sign up for our next free i3 webinar.