8 trends for 2018 and how to use them

Interior design ideas to enhance your youth ministry

By Rebecca Calbert, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB

As we come into the New Year, we feel the need to freshen up our spaces and clean out our closets. The beginning of a new year is synonymous with change, self-improvement, and taking on new challenges. A typical resolution is to clean out and redecorate tired areas to offer a fresh start to a renewed program. 

Our design firm has compiled a list of our eight favorite interior design ideas trending right now that will enhance your youth ministry and  church as a whole.

#1: Fresh complements

If you are interested in invigorating colors, follow nature’s example from sunsets and use the complementary shades of blue and orange. Blue and orange can be used together in children’s and adult spaces alike; the key is to pick the right shades of each color to fit the mood of each area.

In children’s spaces, an entire wall saturated with color might be the perfect way to cheer up a lower level classroom with few or no windows.

In teen spaces, use strong, bright doses of the colors.

In adult spaces, soften or deepen the shades for a more sophisticated experience.

#2: Bring the outside in

Another favorite color trend that seems to never go out of style is one that will give your facility a very comfortable and relaxing aura: the verdure trend. This trend focuses on the many shades of lush green vegetation. Combine your favorite shades of green with berry-infused purples, which symbolize health and well-being, and it will create a sense of comfort in your church facility, while still remaining interesting.

#3: A warm hug

Blending earthy browns with rosy blush tones is like walking into a warm hug. The appeal of this color combination comes from its relationship to our natural skin tones, which lends itself to infant and preschool spaces.

To continue these colors into a teen center, give it an edginess with raw woods and shiny fabrics. Keep the gentlemen of your congregation from feeling out of place by limiting blush tones. Minimalistic-style furnishings also prevent this from coming across as too feminine.

#4: Raw materials

Using natural materials isn’t new, but try to combine wood, metal and stone in unique ways. Metals are making a comeback, but instead of metal and glass furniture, the current interpretation of this trend is metal with wood. Thanks to innovative flooring products, you can get the warmth of wood in a waterproof product.

Glass is never recommended in children’s environments unless it is tempered. Safety first!

#5: Classic chic

For those who enjoy a strong, powerful and intense décor, we can testify to a color palette that summons strength and power: black and gold. These two colors will give any room a sense of luxury and exclusivity while causing quite the impression.

#6: Rec-room meets restaurant

You don’t have to be a restaurant to look and feel like one. The design elements of restaurants and cafés function well for teen centers. A mixture of seating types, loosely-defined zones for small group discussions, and moveable furniture to allow for sizeable group activities, will be a big hit with young and old alike.

#7: Large-scale graphics

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Inspirational phrases adorned on walls and artwork are on point right now. We can’t imagine anything more inspirational than bible passages.

Wall murals are made from vinyl that can be easily installed and easily removed.

Having the youth create the graphic art themselves is also a very cost-effective choice, that involves team building as well.

#8: Cottage charm

Country cottage, white shiplap, weathered wood, time-worn and vintage accessories. What’s old is new again.

These sentimental visions represent cherished ideas of home, family and security.


No matter what your church style, or whether you love the trends we’ve featured above, don’t let your interior finishes be an afterthought. Keeping in step with current interior trends will help your church feel more like a home away from home, laying the foundation for a culture of community and a sense of belonging.

Rebecca Calbert, AIA, LEED AP, NCARB is the Owner and Principal Architect at Calbert Design Group, LLC in Kennesaw, Ga. With 30 years of professional experience, Calbert has worked with various award-winning architectural firms in the Metro Atlanta area.


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