Many times a church can spend a lot of money getting the exterior and architecture to be very impressive, and yet be left with an interior that feels cold, empty and not well thought out. Typically an architect will focus on the grandiose spaces and not think through the functionality of the interior spaces. This can leave you with classrooms that need some flair, hallways that need some color, massive tall spaces that need a wall feature or even a large lobby that needs a corner to welcome new people and make them feel at home. It is always best when designing a new church to pull an Interior Designer in as early as possible to help you think through the details. Sometimes a long hallway of Sunday School classrooms could have been laid out more effectively, a welcome center or coffee cafe could have been more prominent or had more punch if thought about during the design process instead of afterward.
Older churches deal with a different type of design dilemma. They have typically been added onto throughout the years and can lack consistency on the exterior of the building as well as the interior. Many times I will run into adjoining interior spaces that feel like you are walking from 2000 into 1970. Sometimes it just takes someone else to step back and think through all of the spaces that will truly be affected and how to make the transitions less noticeable. You want to try and not create two (or three or four) different spaces, but one continuous environment. Simple color schemes or similar architectural features pulled throughout the exterior can create a more co-cohesive look. Interiors can typically be pulled together well with paint schemes and carpet transitions in proper locations. Updating walls, ceilings, lighting, decor and furniture in older spaces also works well to bring a continuity to the space.
Planning up front can always save you time and money, but no matter what, interior environments can be created effectively whether it is an existing space, a new space or an old space. It takes creative planning, lots of discussions, and open minds, and collective ideas in order to not only get it to look great but also work great for the people who are in it. I would love to help you get started!