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Design

Project Progress – A Community Center Kids Room + Nursery

As you know I started going to church last year with my kids, plot twist, which I wrote about HERE. So naturally, I had to insert myself into the design of the space. Like I said in the post, I’m nothing if not enthusiastic and like to be involved. Here are the facts – It’s in Silverlake (SLCC – Silverlake Community Church), it’s an older building with a ton of potential, run by a new pastor, Kyle and his wife Brittany who recently took it over, and has a small but growing congregation (with a little less congregating right now). The kids’ room was desperate for some design help and, since my kids were going to be in there it just felt like a really fun project that I felt very compelled to do. I figured if I helped design the kids room maybe a good trade would be eternal salvation for myself, husband and my kids? A VIP table in heaven? This church is also very much a community center, helping a lot of homeless families, hosting a lot of AA meetings and generally always trying to help those in the community. So while designing for a religious organization for free felt odd for me, helping make a community center happier for those they serve felt exactly like what I should be doing. I also really love a community project, where everyone helps and I remember loving this a ton as a child in the LDS church. So I suppose I was also trying to recreate something for my kids. I pitched the idea of a feel-good community makeover for the blog to the pastor Kyle and his wife Brittany and they were very excited.

Here’s how it looked before – kinda. I think that might have been a day when we were organizing, but you get the idea – an older building, with adorable vintage windows, painted a few different colors of blue pastel – most of which was chipping off. The floor was pretty gross and was the biggest and most expensive problem. Most of the furniture was leftover and while some of it was cute (those industrial school tables and chairs were great!) it needed cohesion and to feel fresh and fun (and just clean and more modern). Since it was a newer pastor and small congregation I was really hoping for the “if you build it they will come” and we could attract more local families, with young kids.

I wanted it to feel appropriate for a church and be fun for kids, but I didn’t really have a big design plan or even an inspiration going into it. This was a project that needed to be fast and affordable. And since there was no budget it was something that Brian and I would do on nights and weekends, with the help of volunteers (yay!). The hope was to make it really cute and work for the simple needs of two hours a week for 10 – 15 kids during Sunday school. It would be a down and dirty project, hopefully, done by easter (a real pipedream in retrospect).

Although I didn’t have a full design plan, I knew it needed to feel fresh and clean, happy and joyful, but simple and due to budget not overly designed. There are two spaces – one for the bigger kids that would be more for crafts and learning and one for moms and babies (more of a nursery).

The nursery (above) is smaller and the paint color was actually pretty cute and in way better shape, it was just the doors and windows that needed fixing.

So on a Saturday, Pre-Quar, a ton of us volunteered to organize everything and start putting together furniture, as a volunteer painter would come the next day. I had reached out to Target to see if they could donate product for this (thank you always, Target) and the next day ordered a lot of really cute Pillowfort furniture and storage for them. There were about 30 volunteers, including Brian and the kids. My team knows this but in case you don’t know my favorite saying its – MANY THE HANDS MAKE LIGHT THE WORK. Because it’s so true. I couldn’t believe how little time it took to put together all the furniture with that many people working helping.

But now to the flooring … on the big volunteer day, I pulled the trigger on the flooring. I went to Linoleum City and bought some click together laminate flooring that was strangely attractive (and in stock). But the problem was that the building is old and definitely not 90-degree angled so the attempted install was a disaster that I won’t bore you with. We wasted about 4 hours and likely a few hundred dollars of flooring that we opened. It was a case of “Emily just wanted fast results so didn’t do any research”. I want to give a huge shout out to Linoleum City for letting us return everything that same day and not charging us a restocking fee (and being unbelievably nice about it).

So what were our other options? We didn’t want to spend a lot on material OR labor and yet it needed to be durable and easy to clean. We needed something we could do ourselves and that would accommodate a lot of wonky walls and floor unevenness. I’m sure there were other options but when I asked Linoleum City what they would do that was fast and affordable they said “wall to wall carpet or carpet tile”‘. I knew that wall to wall would be harder for upkeep (both of these rooms had exterior doors) so carpet tiles would offer some flexibility for replacement and besides, tile doesn’t take a ton of experience to install. There are a lot of simple or dark affordable options out there, but I pulled some strings, reached out to Flor Tiles to see if they wanted to partner on this project (I had already picked out what I thought would look awesome) and they said yes (THANK YOU). Also, remember when we used them in our old studio?

This became the design inspiration for the room, this carpet tile. I thought it would reference “the heavens” but in a playful fun way that wasn’t overly JESUS, although I joked and threatened about more dramatic murals. The star pattern had this celestial star vibe, but at the same time was dark and busy – so super good for a commercial space to hide dirt and imperfections.

Since we were moving really fast (and only had access on certain days) we chose the paint colors in one day (the volunteer painter was only able to paint the next day). I wanted to do something I wouldn’t regret, but fun – which is a hard combo, guys. I have historically loved a blush and blue combo, but this time would be salmon + navy. And to not overwhelm the room we would only paint the salmon color up to the window point, then paint the window frames and the rest of the wall a white. The exact colors we used were Gracious Rose and High Reflective White by Sherwin-Williams.

I loved the painted doors (that we did in semi-gloss) and it was feeling SO FUN and happy. Just enough color to say “this is for kids” but not busy, plus doing the 1/3 or 1/2 wall treatment was super easy.

Now to the installation of the Flor tile. I need to give Brian Henderson a huge public thank you. He spent almost a full week, 3-4 hours each day installing the carpet somedays by himself, others, Kyle helped him. On these days Brian got to ask him all our secret questions about religion and Christianity which they both actually very much enjoyed. The install of the carpet wasn’t hard, but with that much square footage, it did take a decent amount of time. The interior tiles went in fast, just the cutting the tile around the perimeter, with our wonky uneven walls, had to be more exact. I was just so proud and grateful that he was willing to do this – like I didn’t even ask him, he just volunteered and really enjoyed it. A few of the days he would pick up the kids from school and they would all go over and help. Yes, I’m bragging about my husband and that’s ok.

So where are we now? Well, right before all this happened we had moved everything into the smaller room and planned on finishing them both the following week, when you know, God had other plans 🙂

So I had Kyle send us photos of how it looked with the paint, floor and a lot of the furniture installed. Here we go AND BECAUSE OF OUR KIDS ROOM UPDATE POST I FEEL THE NEED TO SCREAM THIS – THIS IS AN UPDATE POST, THIS IS NOT DONE AND I HAVEN’T EVEN BEEN HERE TO SEE IT IN THIS STATE:

Gray Sofa | Kids Cloud Bookcase | Cubbie Cabinet | Wire Baskets | Wood Bin | Y-weave Bin

Obviously it’s just a storage room right now, but with way cuter flooring. We left the walls the same color but painted the doors, door frames and window frames. It made SUCH A difference. We put together that bookcase shaped like a house which I LOVE and when we get back will organize.

Here’s a quick video update if you want to check it out:

I’m also considering doing some sort of playful rainbow mural. There is a ton of wall space and while not every wall needs to be covered, it seems like we could have fun with something like these:

from top left clockwise: image source | image source | image source | image source

As far as the pink room, they set it up with the furniture that I had ordered and it’s looking cute already – BUT AGAIN, THIS IS NOT DONE – this is an update post and we have lots to finish:

Buffalo Check Sofa | Buffalo Check Chairs | White Metal Chairs | Media Console (no longer available)

I love the Flor tile so much. And in terms of furniture, we’ve kept the vintage school tables, but plan on painting the legs at some point. We ordered a bunch of those stacking chairs and how cute are the plaid sofa and two chairs.

Cubbie Cabinet | Wire Baskets | Wood Bin | Y-weave Bin

I love the blue, pink and yellow palette, and now I want to add even more pops of yellow everywhere (keep reading).

Buffalo Check Sofa | Buffalo Check Chairs | White Metal Chairs

If you are wondering why there is a TV, I guess it’s to play the cute videos about the message to the kids. So we bought that credenza to put it on, but I’m not like “ooh I love this setup”. I might try to figure out how to minimize the TV set up (or hey, if Samsung wants to send a Frame that would be awesome:)).

Now I want to add more color, accessories, a grownup seating area but mostly a sun mural. We designed the pink line almost like a horizon so I thought it would be really fun to play off of that and do a huge playful sun mural. These are the ones that I pinned.

top row starting left: image source | image source | image source, middle row starting left: image source | image source | image source, bottom row starting left: image source | image source | image source

Julie mocked up a couple of options that are pretty darn cute, but I want to be in the room to decide which direction it could go.

I could limit the palette like that, or add more tones or just go a bit crazier and more fun.

I think once we get in the room we’ll have a better sense, but remember we’ll do this ourselves so it needs to be relatively simple (but it’s just paint so we aren’t stressed about it).

Here are a couple more before and after because they honestly just make me happy and excited…

So that’s where we are at. A huge thanks to Kyle for taking and sending these photos. I can’t wait to see it in person. Designing under these conditions is obviously difficult and since this project is not “essential” (no one is using it for a while) we’ll get to it when we can, but listen – for now, it’s a massive improvement that is already SO CUTE. I can’t wait to finish it. Let’s just hope the big guy approves 🙂

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Amy Kelly
1 year ago

Ooooh looking good already! Love the pink/ navy. Very excited to see sun and rainbow murals. Strongly backing option 1 for sun, think the restrained colour palate you’ve included would stop it looking too cheesy.

Anon
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy Kelly

How fun and cute! The desert palette for the sun mural is a downer for me, especially for a kids’ space. All yellow (not beige) would be uplifting.

Deb
1 year ago

I also think mural number one radiates the hope and light you teach your children about religion while just being happy. Whichever you choose will look fabulous, I know.

1 year ago

looks awesome. I choose mural number one!

Ann
1 year ago
Reply to  JANA MCLEAN

I second that!!

E
1 year ago

Have you thought about painting the ceiling tiles? We did this in my high school art class, and it was fun to see our art on the ceiling afterwards. I bet the kids would love it.

Julie
1 year ago
Reply to  E

I love the idea of painting the ceiling tiles, but I would be more inclined to go with solid color blocks (in shades of the rooms colors) to give it more longevity. Or, honestly, just painting them white would freshen up the space quite a bit more.

milo
1 year ago
Reply to  Julie

Painting the tiles white is such a good idea!

Chelsea
1 year ago
Reply to  E

Not sure what the rules are in California, but we also painted (and collaged and otherwise decorated) the ceiling tiles in our HS art class, and when the fire department came through for an inspection they made us rip them all down because painting the tiles makes them burn faster so are considered a fire hazard. Just a heads up to check that first!

Colleen
1 year ago

LOVE the mural ideas!!! Can’t wait to see the finished work!!!

Sara
1 year ago

These rooms look amazing already. I just want to say I love both the rainbow and sun murals for each room! I like Option 1 for the sun, but maybe more yellow than the orange shown?

meredith
1 year ago

The buffalo check chairs and sofa – I cannot. Such a sweet space!

Amy
1 year ago

That carpet tile is so gorgeous! Love, love, love it! And I vote for sun mural #1, too. Looking forward to seeing the reveal.

Michelle
1 year ago

Love it!!! I love the shapes in the first mural with brighter colors!

Also- great news- salvation can’t be earned (debt too big/we could never pay)- it’s FREE- paid by Jesus. ☺️

I also think the nursery is shaping up so sweetly. What a treasure and meaningful project for your family.

Lastly- I LOVE the more casual and less polished vibe of the blog. I’m all in.

Kari
1 year ago

Hey, you’re speaking to my interests here! I’m a pastor and I design rooms like this endlessly. I adore option 2, because it feels a little more sophisticated for the long term. Though this is a kids room, I can assure you that it will be used for things that do not involve children. When an oh-so-grownup 11 year old has to use this space, I anticipate that they’ll feel less “baby” with option 2.
But all design aside, thank you for designing a room for a church. I can’t wait to see the final product! ….then reference it for a few years to come. 🙂

Annie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Kari

I appreciate this comment! I think little kids will think it’s fun no matter what- they feel at home in any welcoming, lovely place. Maybe focusing on teens/grown ups for the finishing touches will keep everyone at home. I’m an apparently rare fan of the abstract sun…I think something a little more restrained and sophisticated will keep the room more universally appealing. Nice work, team! Can’t wait to see how it goes.

Julie S
1 year ago
Reply to  Kari

I prefer option 2 as well. It is less overpowering than super large stripes to the ceiling. Some murals feel like they’re going to eat me.

Julie
1 year ago

This is already looking so, so cute! I love the salmon and navy combination, and I think both a rainbow mural and a sun mural would be such a sweet and happy addition. I cant wait to see how it turns out!

Ashley
1 year ago

Love the colours and potential sun and rainbow murals – please do them! Rainbows are such a significant symbol of God’s promise and the sun works with the whole light of the world thing (with a vote for the first sun mural – not that you asked us to vote ?). So excited to see the full reveal – well done!

Sharayah
1 year ago

I love both the mural ideas! So easy yet impactful, and it’s just paint ??

Rusty
1 year ago

Ugh!
Same. Problem. With. The. Video.
It was in the middle and bottom left corner, tracking up and down as I scrolled.
Didn’t have the close option.
Frustrated now. Typing blind coz I can’t see the box to type in.
Latest Samsung tablet.
Gosh, I hope your tech guy can sort it for you, it’s really a problem.
Good luck.

Julie
1 year ago
Reply to  Rusty

I also have a Samsung tablet, and, while the video does track down the bottom-left corner, it’s always had a close button for me, and so never been an issue or an annoyance. Maybe it’s browser specific? I use Chrome.

x
1 year ago
Reply to  Julie

I’m on Chrome and I just screen grabbed my close buttonless video. So super annoying! Tell me where to send the screenshot if it would help you.

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  x

Hiya!!! I would love to see it so I can fix it with our ad provider – caitlin@emilyhendersondesign.com 🙂

kim
1 year ago
Reply to  Rusty

I’m on Safari and the *** video won’t move and doesn’t offer a close option. Really interferes!

1 year ago

I’m so glad you’re doing this. Churches tend to shy away from good design because of the perceived cost and lack of know-how, but I think it’s important to stay updated and relevant in order to be welcoming to young families. Nurseries in particular tend to be repositories for donated furniture and old toys. This is fresh and pretty. Great work!

Jessica
1 year ago

Wow this is coming along great – and that carpet! Even the “Progress” photos with the paint but without the carpet look kind of eh compared to the fully carpeted photos! Amazing how that one thing transforms the whole space so much. Making me reconsider my aversion to carpet 😉

I would love to see a rainbow wrapping around a corner & maybe getting a door involved, to break up the boxiness of the space. And more yellow to make the windows feel like they belong, but obviously you’re way ahead of me on that one.

Trista Cooper
1 year ago

This makes me so happy, and I can promise you there is a serious lack of content for DIY-able, semi-affordable and stylish spaces like this for churches and community centers. I’m already so inspired to get back to church to paint a mural somewhere.

Roberta Davis
1 year ago

How lucky is this church to have you!

Jesseca
1 year ago

Such a great project! It provided me with some inspiration for our church classrooms. Thanks for going outside of the box and sharing this.

Jenn
1 year ago

It’s already wonderful, excited to see the final spaces

milo
1 year ago

1. Charlie is the most adorable.
2. Those Flor tiles look amazing! So fun!
3. I love this project. Not a huge fan of churches in general, but I love the laid-back, kid vibe in here. The kind of place where you can try out a mural (I love all the ideas!). Or use bright colors. And just have fun without worrying that you’ll see it every day for the rest of your life and eventually hate it.
4. Love that this is a community effort with lots of volunteers. So good to see people working together to create something beautiful.

Hope the rest of the project goes smoothly once you’re able to get back to it!

Stin
1 year ago

Love this! To hide the tv but make it still accessible I’ve seen people wall mount the tv and have a roll up map in front of it. Like a classroom map that rolls down in front of the chalkboard. Also low cost ☺️

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  Stin

A roll up map to hide the TV is brilliant!

shauna
1 year ago

you could do some sort of reference that the mural is SON-shine (if this church believes in Jesus, not sure which do and which don’t!)

Carissa
1 year ago

Oh I love the rainbow mural in the bottom left corner! It ties in the salmon pink and light blue really nicely together. You could add in text beside it like “God’s Promises Never Fail” since the rainbow is a sign of God’s promise. Also loving the top left sun (first pic). I like how it is straight on the wall line. I don’t think you need to get too crazy. 🙂

Kristen
1 year ago

Oh, this is fantastic! How fun to be part of such a meaningful project. Man, I love when communities–including faith communities–come together. Thanks for sharing this. ps — love the colors, designs, flooring, mural concepts, etc. Such a happy space!

Suzanne
1 year ago

I love the coral and navy theme! And the celestial FLOR tiles are perfect. Definitely do that first sum mural. I may need to find a room to do something like that. Maybe my teen daughter would let me paint her room AGAIN!

Julie S
1 year ago

Super cute! And honestly way more appealing than the “befores”. I do wonder if the new white chairs are as comfy as the plastic molded ones, speaking from experience. You’re right that it doesn’t need to be over designed and I don’t think you need to hide the TV. Way to help your church. I know they appreciate it!

Gigi
1 year ago

My uncle always said “many hands make light work”. I torture my kids with that saying now.

Gigi
1 year ago

Oh and I like mural option 2 best it was my favorite before I scrolled down and saw the mock up.

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Gigi

I think that one with the combination of wider sun rays would be so pretty!

Bonnie
1 year ago

Love love love everything. Love to see the work in progress with helping hearts and hands. Love to see how you work and design with what is available rather than demolishing and designing. A transformation is happening around and within.

Liz
1 year ago

This is so fun. It’s giving me chills. I’m loving it already.

Karyn
1 year ago

This is SUCH a great project and it looks fabulous already!! Love option 1 for the mural.

What about something on the windows? A valence or matchstick blinds or something?

KatieV
1 year ago

Not sure if anyone else has recommended, but it would be so fun if you could get Racheal @banyanbridges to do a mural!!!

Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  KatieV

We love her work and yes, that would be amazing!!!

Patricia
1 year ago

It’s going to be amazing!

Cortney M
1 year ago

I love it! It’s coming along soo nicely. The church and community is going to feel so comfortable in that space thanks to you and your team of volunteers! P.S. I love mural #2! 🙂

Julie
1 year ago

I like mural 2! What a fun project! The flor tiles are perfect too. Can’t wait to see this space (post quarentine!) 🙂

Justina Kenyon
1 year ago

I love it already! I kept remembering what it was like as a kid in Sunday school and how the space really did make a difference. I’m excited to see the final product and how you choose to do the sun mural!

Susan
1 year ago

I love that you’re doing this and that these companies donated to help. I also love mural 1 🙂

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