CH. 1 The Introduction, Church Renovation

This is the behind-the-scenes look into my latest project - converting a 9,800 square foot church into my dream work and living space in Oak Cliff, Dallas. 

The Inspiration

People are always asking me, “What inspired you to take on this huge project?” so I want to share that with you here today.

I’d been looking in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas for a while because I desperately needed a creative space where I could receive clients, showcase merchandise and generally, have an inspiring and creative studio to work. The tip of the iceberg came in April, when I took a trip to Brooklyn and was extremely inspired to convert a warehouse to act as a dual space - a creative work space and my home. 

Fast forward a few months later, when I laid eyes on this small baptist church for sale in my dream Oak Cliff neighborhood - I just knew that it was it without even entering the building.

The Building

The building was originally built in 1929 as a dormitory for the Baptist church across the street. In total, it’s 9,800 square feet (almost half an acre of land!) in the most sought out area of DFW - Oak Cliff. Up until the week I purchased it, it was an active and very small baptist church.

The Neighborhood

I fell in love with the Oak Cliff neighborhood because it’s where Dallas all started. It’s incredibly beautiful with it’s history and strong sense of community - many Oak Cliff residents have been living in the area for over 50 years. In such a large city like Dallas, Oak Cliff still has that “local” feel that I crave. I want to revert back to the community aspect, eating local organic foods and shopping local because it embodies my personal lifestyle approach.

The Vision

The entire project is a very European concept that I’m so excited to bring to the area - encompassing a variety of divisions under one large roof. It’s a concept that Dallas doesn’t have much experience with and it’s incredibly fulfilling to bring this idea to the area.

My goal for this space is the same vision that I have for all of my clients - to create an amazingly beautiful and luxurious space, without spending a crazy amount of money. 

As a whole, the foundation for this remodel is the concrete walls and ceilings. I want to stay true to the structure of the building by keeping all of the columns and the beams exposed. The beautiful brick exterior, which I love, will remain as well. 

As for the interior design, I’m using basic shapes, materials and forms throughout the entire space to create an extremely clean and pure look - I’m sticking to wood, white smooth walls which are on wheels to easily rearrange a space and LED lighting.

The First Floor

church2.jpg

The first floor of the building will feature:

The Art Gallery: To showcase amazing local artists every month. 

The Store: To showcase and sell unique merchandise (by appointment only).

The Apartment: A two bedroom apartment/guest quarters area.

The Studio: A shared coworking space for people who need a beautiful space to work “from home”. It will feature a gorgeous work area, coffee/tea bar, kitchen for catering, bathrooms, printers and of course, wifi. The idea behind the studio is to give the community a creative, inspiring, and light place to gather and work. I know firsthand that a beautiful work environment changes you and I want to bring that to the wonderful Oak Cliff community.

The Second Floor

The second floor will be my personal home consisting of 4 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a kitchen, a living space, family room and an office. 

The Process

As the remodel is currently underway, I’m still managing clients and juggling being a mom to a toddler and a wife! 

As for the timeline of the remodel, the first floor is set to be completed before Thanksgiving and we’ll be starting on the second floor in January.

The first space we’re tackling is “The Apartment”, as it will act as our temporary living space while the rest of the space is being remodeled. 

This entire project is incredibly exciting, exhausting and inspiring all at the same time and it’s really pushing my limits as an artist and a designer.

Stay tuned for Pt. 2 “The Apartment”!