Changes to a Church

One of my favourite projects of 2016

Bedford United Church is a welcoming, all inclusive, modern day community-oriented church beloved by its members. Thanks to donations received from members, BUC found itself in a position to make some changes. I was asked to put some thought into a vision for the narthex which is used as an entrance, a gathering place, a meeting place, and for overflow from the adjoining sanctuary. The narthex is such an interesting space with its irregular shape. Sketching it was an adventure, and an excellent way to really discover the space. Skylights, beams, no right angles and few straight lines, brick accents, and tons of windows were being under-appreciated and underutilized.

I set my goals: to draw attention to the architectural features; to add comfortable and flexible seating which could accommodate a wide variety of functions; to stop the space from being used for storage; to upgrade the colours, materials and utility while working with the existing flooring and brick; and all while considering the many needs and opinions of a wide variety of church members.

We set to work and over a few months planned, budgeted, sourced and implemented the changes. The new narthex includes a new coffee bar, a communications screen, speakers which allow rich, vibrant music, a library corner, seating which encourages community and adjusts to many formations within the space, expanded lighting which is now dimmable for ambiance at evening functions, coloured windows and a beautiful mobile which reflect Pride colours, a new enclosed coat closet, and a welcoming heart at the entrance made up of the many words which reflect the community which is BUC. With a current, comfortable style and organized appearance, the space is truly welcoming, accommodating and cheery.

My selections included cabinetry, countertop, wall tile, sink and tap, Benjamin Moore paint colours, lights, window treatments by Maritime Window Film, loungers and tables from Office interiors, bookcase from Ikea, glass mobile by Cranberry Glass, and wall vinyl by Da Sign Shop.


Response has been wonderful from the congregation. Look what they presented to me at the reveal. 

I simply cannot thank you enough… and all that from looking at pictures through email… you are truly inspiring and turn selling a home into an exciting experience instead of a stressful situation… what you suggest shows people how to think outside the box.

– Lita Arnold





Posted in