Ideas for a Creative Home {Away from Home} Update on Voyage!

Voyage (Church in Bremerton WA)

I’ve been getting questions about how our church, Voyage, is coming along in its new building and I thought today would be a good time to give you all a little updated peek into my creative home away from home! You can find my “before” post right here!

I love the opportunity to do something creative for other people. It is fun decorating my own home, but giving the gift of a creative space to others is even more meaningful and rewarding. I love that we have been able to create a real church home and not just a cold sterile building!

My girls and I have worked countless hours on this “extreme budget church makeover” but we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. And we owe many thanks to the people who did the job I dread: painting the walls. You can see what we started out with five months ago (below).



Voyage does not have a typical looking church building,  as you might have noticed. We are going for a more modern concert house / coffee shop vibe. We are in a leased building and had no budget for our project.

So I’m thinking you might enjoy seeing some of the ways we have transformed what was essentially a boring white box into a warm, inviting and creative space. Not unlike what many of us do in our homes! Except for in this case, I get to try different things than I typically do at home! And yet just like at home, I have to do everything on a limited budget and careful consideration to make the most of what we have.

 We don’t like the fluorescent lighting on our ceiling, so we came up with some creative ways to add light to our cafe area. Inspired by my beloved Anthropologie store, we fashioned work lights into our own pendants with chains and metal bars. It works really well and I love how industrial and funky they look! My inspiration picture can be found on my  Creative Ideas from Anthropologie post.

This chalkboard wall is in our cafe area as well.

This wall really means a lot to me. My friend (and sponsor of The Inspired Room) Dee from Red Letter Words emailed to me shortly after I announced our church was getting its own building. She offered to create special artwork for us as a gift, and WOW, did she ever!

I picked  out several pieces of her work that I loved and she also created four unique canvases that fit with our key words, explore, discover, thrive and impact. My photos do not do this subway art justice, it is spectacular. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a piece of Dee’s work.

Just for fun on that wall we added in a clipboard with old photos of ships (we are in a navy town right on Puget Sound) and an antique copper temperature gauge.  Metal lamps on the tables are from IKEA.

Pulling back a bit so you can see our cafe area.

Yes, I did turn a metal garbage can upside down to make an end table. Risky. People probably think it is an upside down trash can.

Pallet art

I was inspired by pallets as art from my many visits to Anthropologie (you can see in my Decorating Lessons from Anthropologie post). They are truly fun (and free!) to create with as there is no end to how you could use them.

We hung small glass votives from the Goodwill with wire, put battery operated candles in them and added a couple of vases for flowers. We’ll keep it that way for awhile but it is fun to know we can change the accessories at will and it will have a whole new look.

Pallet art. We don’t mind the splinters since the pallet is not really handled by anyone. It adds to its rustic charm.

More pallet art! And art by Jeanne Winters sold at DaySpring!

Perrier bottles for vases.

We are doing some fun things for the restrooms too,
but I’ll have to take some photos before I can show you more.


We use lots of cardboard for signs.

We love all the fun details of home we are able to have in this building!

It is all a big undertaking, but definitely a risk worth taking.

And now you know how I spend most of my time. Creating art with with pallets, garbage cans and chalkboards.

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  1. Ok its worth saying, I will be moving just to attending Voyage! Holy Cow!

  2. Ok its worth saying, I will be moving just to attend Voyage! Holy Cow!

  3. Holy smokes this place looks “not like a church” which I LOVE! I wanna join!!!! I’m a fairly new blogger & follower and didn’t realize your big project of renovating your church! This is gorgeous & so inviting :) Great job!

  4. Now that is a church!! I LOVE it! I attend a fairly casual contemporary church, but our building still looks fairly much like a contemporary church. Your building is amazing, and so welcoming. I can only imagine how it welcomes newcomers :)

  5. This is the post I have been waiting for, the one I look for every time I open my reader! There are so many cool things about this space, can’t wait to hear how God moves in this space.

  6. you can only imagine how inspired I am. thanks so much for posting this. it looks amazing! someday…..

  7. Voyage looks like it would really appeal to so many people. What a wonderful place to worship in!

  8. kelly in georgia says:

    How beautifully creative!!! I know you guys are doing AMAZING things in/with that church. So glad you shared this with us.

  9. I think your church looks amazing. Very industrial chic with added warmth. It looks very inviting. People may just attend to check out the decor.;0) Whatever it takes! May God Bless your efforts. Wanda

  10. I love it! It’s so inviting and a cozy place that feels like a safe place to meet new friends and hear of God’s love. You did a great job – what an incredible transformation. Can’t wait to see more.

  11. Hi Melissa!

    It looks really, really, great. So many good ideas.

    I, too, have a drop ceiling with big, ugly flourescent lights, so perhaps I will steal some ideas.

    About the PayPal issue: if you need help, feel free to contact me. I maintain several Etsy shops for friends of mine and have also done donations via PayPal for friends for fundraising for Breast Cancer, so if you’re having issues, I might be able to help. Just thought I’d offer.


  12. Beautiful building! In the past year our church renovated an old hardware store, we still have pegboard on the wall-we love it that way! It’s a building with history in our town and so we worked hard to honor those roots, it was such a big job but so wonderful to see God’s people working all together. Blessings on your new facility and your church, it looks truly inviting and comfortable-may it be so for all who come in your doors!

  13. Nice to see how you are incorporating what you do at your church. And how your church meets the needs of the community. Looks like a fun project!

  14. You’ve been working hard Melissa! May God bless Voyage as you seek to serve Him by serving your community!

    PS: and what a treat this morning to see my May Your Cup Overflow in your coffee area! :-) Thank you!

  15. Love what you guys are doing!

  16. Melissa, the church looks great! Definitely will be a great place for concerts too!

  17. It looks great. I love all the simple, rustic ways you made this space comfortable, warm, and welcoming. :)

  18. You have such a unique church. I really love how you are making the people feel at home and not in a sterile stuffy space. It’s very inspiring. Now for the garbage can turned upside down – you know someone is going to flip that over for you!

  19. Great ideas – especially the garbage can as an end table!

  20. Oh my, I guess you’ve been a little busy!

  21. Melissa, it is easy to see your talent and perfect inspiration in your church! What a gift God has given you!
    Simply Perfect!

  22. i LOVE the black signs!

  23. Whoa, where can I rescue an old pallet? (Dreaming up ideas for my very own pallet display…) My collection of calendar Towels? Magazines? Fun Holiday lights every day of the year? HRmmmm….

  24. Hi Melissa, wow,wow,wow what an incredible place – congratulations on such a wonderful achievement. I actually felt quite teary reading this, seeing how much of your (and your family’s) heart and soul has gone into creating this beautiful and welcoming place. You are truly a gift to those lucky enough to benefit from your work.

  25. I can see how hard you have been working, and your church looks so inviting. You will surely be blessed for many years to come.

  26. Looks very nice!

  27. Just wanted to say that your garbage can comment was cute! I like the canvasses with the sayings on them. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Great job, Melissa, and very inspiring :) Love the pallet art and the lettered signs. Thanks for sharing!

  29. I can tell that you have a giving heart filled with earnest desire to serve others. There are many in the world with personal challenges and life is hard for them….it nice to know people like you that give to help other.
    Through your righteous desires may you be blessed with what you need.
    Happy Day

  30. Oh, Melissa…I can’t tell you how inspired I am by your ideas! We also head up a church plant, and after 6 years we finally just signed a lease agreement last week for our own space. Our congregation got to see it last night, and the main focus of our conversation was how we could make it feel homey, and give it a sense of ‘us’…and this helps a ton!! Thanks!!!!

  31. gorgeous and inviting space – love it … what a wonderful job you did! Love the tips & tricks & the thought that went into it.

  32. I was here yesterday oohing and ahhing over these neat ideas for a church. Interrupted again. Anyway, it must be a lot of fun to be a part of a church like Voyage. Very cool decorating ideas that must really appeal to youth.

  33. I’m a pastor’s wife for a church “restart” in Los Angeles ( We’re redoing a lot of our church to make it more contemporary from a very traditional brick colonial church. We LOVE some of your ideas. Where did you get those chalkboard signs for the bathrooms? We’re redoing our bathrooms right now. Did you ever put up the post you referenced about the nursery and bathrooms? Would love to see some pics–couldn’t find the entry.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  34. Susan Easterday says:

    I just found your Inspired Room site, since basically I hate decorating but am tired of my kitchen. :-) I loved your style and personality on the site. I am now thrilled to know your are a believer and committed to spreading the good news of Jesus. May God continue to bless you in your endeavor in WA. We are in Nashville and I know it’s much harder to be a light on the West Coast than it is here. Looking forward to checking out your others sites.

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