I recently had the privilege to update and renew the lobby at my church in East County. It had become dated and needed desperately to be given new life. Funds were limited so it was very important to concentrate on making the most substantial changes as inexpensively as possible. For some crazy reason, that's how I'd rather work. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have unlimited funds to make huge changes in any job that I do but I do love the challenge of prioritizing and making do with as little as possible while still making a big impact.
The very first thing on my list was to take out the colored plexiglass that had been serving the purpose of a stained glass window for years. At the time it was done, it was a great solution of creating the stained glass look. However, let's fast forward to this century and it's not so cool. Also, it gave the whole room a yellow glow and made it impossible to create a warm and pleasing atmosphere.
Second on my list was to update the lighting. Again, when the building was built, I'm sure that those big round globes were the thing to do. They didn't give off good light as they only had the ability to hold one light bulb each and that light bulb was enclosed inside the globe. I knew I needed to find fixtures that were not only pleasing to the eye but that had at least three bulbs each. I found these great light fixtures at Home Depot. The other ceiling lights were also updated. Now with the combination of natural light coming in through the window, and new light fixtures, there was proper light to show off a warm color for the walls. I chose "Latte" from Sherwin Williams. It was dark enough to be warm but not too dark. I love this color because it is a neutral that can go with just about any color you put with it. It doesn't have any green or yellow tones like a lot of neutral browns do.
This wall between the two double doors that lead into the sanctuary, in my mind, needed to make a statement about who this community is and to make it feel welcoming.
I replaced the table with a beautiful piece from World Market. I think this table is timeless and hopefully won't become outdated for years to come, if ever. I took down the bulletin board and replaced it with vinyl words from Uppercase living. The phrase is this community's statement that speaks to who they/we are.
Next, there is a need for seating in a lobby like this. This is what was serving the purpose there.
In trying to come up with a good plan for this, I had the thought about how cool it would be to find an old antique church pew. I went searching on craigslist and found this baby.
Oh, it didn't look like this however. Not for the $100 we spent on it! This is what it looked like before.
Thank goodness for a sweet, talented man named Keith. He took on this project wholeheartedly and did such an amazing job with it. It had LAYERS of old paint on it and it needed some other repairs done as well. He actually cut it down about a foot to make it fit better in the space. I think it's so beautiful!
I think it's easy when you have a room or home that you're not particularly happy with because it's older, outdated, and doesn't work well for the needs of those who use it, to just stop taking pride in it and to let it build up with extra clutter. It's easy to not even notice it because it's not an area that you take much pride in any more. I noticed that this is what happened here, a place that many people consider to be a part of them. It's easy to just sit things around or to store things without even noticing. It does seem that making simple changes to a space gives everyone involved in using it, a new sense of pride and ownership.
I enjoyed being able to help make this happen, but when I say "I added" or "I changed the lights, etc.", what I really mean is that there were many talented and devoted people to this community that made it happen. I picked out the lights, and etc. but I certainly didn't install them or spray the tall ceilings with a huge paint sprayer. Thank you to all who helped transform this place.
Many times, it's the small details that make the biggest impact on a project like this. Yay for updating!