I am always looking for some new Youth Room & Environment design ideas. Any suggestions?
Wow, I didn't know about some of these, thanks!
I'm a big fan of Ikea like furniture - it has a youthful feel and is normally a modern color and at a good cost. I have to say that environment in a room is enhanced when teens enter and there is music playing - so have some type of sound system and a flat screen tv with images on it. Make sure that you have core teen members present so teens aren't walking into an empty room. A must have is a Crucifix on the wall - this adds a perspective on our ultimate goal of the room.
I agree with a lot of what's been said - particularly with regards to a good sound system (that allows for microphones [some wireless, preferably] / video and sound / not to mention some inputs for some live music, from time to time, if possible. Either a video projector and large screen or multiple flat screens are important, as well. Black curtains and curtain stands (photography backdrop stands work well) are fairly inexpensive and eliminate that cinder-block wall or classroom wall look and provide a focus for the night. Cheap can lighting (with gels) and a control box are a nice touch and can be done for a very reasonable price. We like to either have a statue of Mary and a crucifix - or, over the past couple of years, we've gone with the Life Teen banners which have Mary on one and the Blessed Sacrament on the other. The nice thing is ... all this stuff can be portable, so that if you're sharing space ... it's easy enough to pack up and reset, when needed. Whatever you do ... create that environment that makes it "different" and welcoming. The teens / youth deserve it!
One of my favorite places to find ideas is at http://www.churchstagedesignideas.com. There tons of ideas and usually some basic tutorials.
Some of these might be bigger than what most youth rooms need, but in the past, I've just made small versions. Especially with youth rooms that aren't dedicated. It's nice to see what can be done.
We have a ton of little fun things in our youth room:
-a swag wall with free lanyards, rosaries, keychains, old retreat shirts, etc.
-framed Retreat shirts from over the years
-prayer request board
-CD basket of praise & worship for teens to borrow
-mini library to borrow from
-photo wall of teens, or of college teens so they can be kept in prayer
Love all of these ideas! We definitely use a flat screen with images and music playing. We also use dimmed lighting and string lights around the room for kind of a coffee house vibe.
Prayer wall using chalk paint. Swing chairs bought at a garage sale. Pallet wall. Tshirts from retreats that are stretched around canvas frames and hung on the wall. Saint posters bought from https://cassiepeasedesigns.com
A few caveats to my post:
We have a dedicated space so what we set up we can leave up.
I have a generous budget.
I think the big thing that really makes your environment pop is lighting. Bouncing light of something with texture can make an ordinary space look extraordinary. We purchased several slim par LED lights by American DJ for $99 a light. They are highly versatile. We then found some pallets in a dumpster and bought some plants. Here's the effect:
Also, the fire marshal told me to take it down 2 days after we built this
Here's a great resource from Catholic Youth Ministry Training Convention 2017: http://lifeteen.com/cym/propresenter-resources/ Not just about pro-presenter. Lots of great resources for set design, backgrounds, etc. from the team that produces all our training events.
Holy Trinity in San Pedro has one of the most colorful, interactive, and fun youth rooms ever. Also St. Anthony of Padua really invested in their youth room and made it a place teens want to be at after school and before and after Life or Edge Nights. Whatever you do, make it a room teens want to be in and spend time in. If you have an interior designer in your parish, seek them out to help design it and get colors right that are welcoming and cheerful.
I love stage design! I think stage design is easier and cheaper than environment design. Here's what we did for a recent series. Hit me up if you want the details. It cost about $80 after slimpar lights.
I will add, we had a teen show up this last week because they say our design on Snapchat. For me, that's worth it.
I would love to see pictures, especially of your swag wall. That sounds awesome!