• Bre Bardenwerper

Steadfast Project Reveal

Happy Wednesday!

At this point, I don’t even know what week into social distancing and being at home we are in.  What I do know is that we miss certain parts of “normal life”- like being able to go to the grocery store and not feel like it’s a terrible sin to sneeze….geez y’all I have allergies!  We also REALLY miss being able to go to church and see our friends there.  

If you know me, I’m 100% introverted and a total homebody, but even I am ready for some socialization.   Anyway, missing our church family made me think about a fun little renovation we did in our youth room, so I thought I would share it with everyone.

My husband is the Pastor over Steadfast Student Ministry, the middle and high school ministry at our local church.  It’s a great place to bring your students if you are looking for a church or activity on Wednesday nights (yes… that was a shameless plug!)  

Back to the topic, when we started our ministry there we asked the students what they thought would help the youth group continue to grow.  The answer was almost unanimous- to redesign the youth room.  

Now, the youth room is in the basement of the church, and is perfect for teenagers that just want to hang out.  But it had a couple problematic areas that needed some tweaking.  In no way was it terrible; it just needed a little life and design.

Some of the problems included:

-Hardly any natural light. (Only two small windows) So it was really dark.

-Very low 7 ft. ceilings. They were also painted black, which added to the darkness, and made it feel like the ceilings were even lower.

-Old dingy tile floor.  You could renovate the whole room, but that floor just wouldn’t cut it.   -The black metal supports throughout the room made it feel like a true basement - the creepy kind that you run out of as fast as you can.

To give you a little insight, here are the before pictures that I have.  

Now, I will say that these images were taken once we started moving things out of the way, so it looks A LOT worse than it actually was.

I asked the students what they wanted the room to be, to feel like, or to include. These were some of the answers I got:

- “I want it to feel welcoming, and a place I can invite my friends.”

- “Industrial, clean, modern.”

- “I want it to feel like a loft.”

And my personal favorite

- “I don’t care, as long as it has a coffee bar.”  

Same Jacob. Same.  Except, I do care what it looks like.  I just also reallllly wanted a coffee bar down there.

So with this in mind, I set out to design a space that made a dark basement feel like a light and airy loft.  It needed to be a welcoming space, a place that students feel comfortable and safe in.  

So here’s how it happened.

White on everything! That’s right, we got new white ceiling tiles, and painted the ceiling grid white. We painted all the walls and trim white. To be specific, we used Pure White by Sherwin Williams because it is a really nice white that isn’t too stark, but doesn’t carry yellow undertones in this space.

We got new flooring, which ate up over half of the budget, but was totally worth it! It made such a big difference in the space.  

We framed in the metal supports and made them look intentional. And yes we painted them white to

I ordered furniture that we could place around for different seating areas.  These spots are great for allowing conversations to flow.

And of course, we added a coffee bar and mini fridge!

Here is what the space looks like now.

There are still some areas we want to work on, but that will come with time!

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