Ryan Bailey from Mountain View Community Church in Frederick, MD brings us this nice, warm Christmas look.
From Ryan: Our worship space wasn’t originally really designed to be a permanent worship space, but more of a multi-purpose room that has, over time, become our permanent space. As a result, stage design can be a bit tricky for us. Since our first rows of seats are quite close to the stage area, things that work well on larger scales where people are farther away (crumpled up chicken wire, etc.) end up looking like… well… crumpled up chicken wire… when your seats are close up. So we’ve tended to focus on designs that lean more toward the rustic, home-y side of things, while still looking modern and not quite traditional.
A few years ago we did a couple of designs using pallet trees, etc., and in the process we added the black curtains and Edison bulb strands, which added a ton of depth to our stage. For this year we wanted to do something different, and we ended up being loosely inspired by Cratemas, but obviously on a much different scale.
The biggest challenge for this design was tracking down the crates themselves. We found some in various sizes that we liked in a weathered grey color from Home Depot and Micheal’s Arts and Crafts. However, we found that we were unable to order them online and have them delivered, so I spent two afternoons driving to every Home Depot and Micheal’s store within an hour and a half of the church and buying up all of the stock they had. Once we had the crates, my wife and I spent some time deciding how to arrange them on the stage, deciding to focus on smaller clusters in multiple spots, again to add depth to the overall feel. We even incorporated a couple of stacks on the floor in front of the stage, to help tie the stage to the rest of the room. The candles are LED candles purchased from Amazon that are coated in actual wax and have a flicker to the bulb, so they actually look incredibly realistic, and are remote controlled, which makes lighting them a breeze.
My favorite part of the design are the pre-lit, LED “birch” trees, also purchased from Amazon. After several years of designs based around pallet trees and other wooden elements, these trees add a nice touch of “life” to the overall design, which I really like. The hope is that when people walk into our Worship Center for weekend services, they walk into a space that feels festive, but also warm, cozy, and comfortable.