{renovate} a church basement

Sometime back in February, the pastor of the church we occasionally attend asked me and a friend of mine (who has seriously awesome and impeccable taste) to decorate the church's basement.

Want to see what we started with?

Ummmmm. A little background for you all. This church is OLD. And, actually pretty darn adorable. But the basement had suffered from year's of neglect and then suffered even more when someone painted the window and door trim a very bold beige. The pastor is this young, hip guy that wants this space to be a warm and welcoming place for people to not only hang out after church, but for community events (quite a few are happening here)

As you can see from the photo, we were starting with a HUGE and very blank slate. And a dump run. Once the space was cleared out, we came up with a plan which included lots and lots of paint, comfy furniture and breaking the space up into different "rooms" within a room. 

Oh and did I mention the budget? $500. Yikes! And did I mention the timeline? About 6 weeks. OMG! I'm telling you this now because it's one of the reasons I'm having trouble keeping up here. Because of the budget for this project, we had to DIY a lot. Hence the reason I sewed approximately 300 hundred pillows a couple weeks ago (above). Okay, it was 15. But still. :)

We're so happy with how the space came together, but I need to get over this weekend to take true "afters." We had it all pulled together for Easter, but I wasn't actually in town last weekend to take photos. So, I thought I'd show you the before and a couple quick sneak peeks today.  Next week I'll share the actual afters along with some lessons I learned for decorating a large space on a tight budget. You'll be so surprised with how far we managed to stretch our very meager budget and how many things we "repurposed" :).


  1. I love that sneak peek on the right. The gray walls, the orange chairs and the blue mason jars with the old benches look AMAZING. I can't wait to see how you incorporated all those red chairs...

    1. Thanks Katja! And spoiler alert: we didn't use the red chairs :)

  2. Oh cool...can't wait to see more pics. Our church basement is in dire need of some help. Maybe I can steal a few ideas from ya;) (from what I see thus far, it looks GREAT! Love the giant chalkboard!)

  3. Exciting! Can't wait to see the after shots. The photos you posted look great!

  4. From the sneak peek it looks great! Can't wait to hear where you got the barrel. I've been dying to find one that isn't crazy expensive!

  5. Jenn this is a great project and it sounds like you really got that creativity working with the strict budget - I can't wait to hear more about this. I was curious about the mad pillow making session when I realized it wasn't for you. And what an honor for you and your friend to be asked to take on the project. PS - I just moved over to Bloglovin' and trying to get myself situated. I had trouble importing my blogs so I'm manually trying to enter some of my favorites.

  6. Cool! What an awesome project, Jenn!!! Sounds exciting, and challenging, and somewhat terrifying;) Definitely an honor to be asked and you deserve it!! Can not wait to see and hear more. 15 pillows? You go, girl!!!!

  7. This looks amazing from what I can see so far - love the orange chairs.

  8. What a wonderful project Jenn! Can't wait to see what magic yo have worked....

  9. Jenn, this is beautiful!! The colors are fun and it looks like a warm place to hang out. I think common rooms like this often look like your "before" which is so sad. Way to knock it out of the park. I can't wait to see the full post!


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