From Institutional to Inviting

Over the years and through many different uses, a building even with the most beautiful bones can lose its luster.  The room pictured here is the dining room of our church’s rectory, a home alongside of the sanctuary that is intended for use by the rector and their family. Last summer our congregation was eagerly anticipating the selection of a new rector, and knowing that the home that they would reside in had seen some hard use, I was asked to help spiffy it up. Rectory Before

It is hard to see in the above picture, but the exterior of the window to the left was completely covered by a cinderblock wall ~ a sad consequence of an office addition that had been placed there in the 1950’s.  As a result, it seemed the best thing to others who had lived in the house to just cover the window with blinds--a gloomy fate for a beautiful old window that could be such an asset to the room.

I knew for sure that I wanted that window to be a part of the room again. I also knew that there was very little money to be used for this project, and whatever money there was had to be stretched and put to best use in each room of this charming victorian-era house.

With help from those in the congregation who were handy and generous with their time, the glass was replaced with custom cut mirrored glass that I had ordered. What a difference!

Today our rectory and church are blessed with the presence of a new rector and his family. I was even given the wonderful opportunity to design the space for them after they moved in.  New lighting, custom curtains, and their existing furniture come together beautifully. The space no longer looks like an adjunct building of an institution, but has the warm feeling of home.