My Heart Project: Harborside Chapel


My passion is hospitality design. I wake up each day, excited to continue the work that JAI is doing for hotels of all sizes and brands. Occasionally, however, I have the opportunity to serve my community by getting involved in a design endeavor outside of my typical wheelhouse. Though these types of projects are run through JAI to match the company’s style and expertise, they are jobs that receive my personal time and attention at my discretion. I call them my “Heart Projects”—because they capture my heart.

Recently, I played a design role in a “Heart Project” that is near and dear to me. When Harborside Christian Church in Safety Harbor, FL, approached me about helping with the interiors for their latest ministry—a beautiful chapel, which would become an extension of the church’s commitment to strengthen and support marriages and families—I had to say YES! While JAI is primarily a hospitality design firm, I am thrilled that my personal flexibility allows me to participate in a design project, such as the chapel, that will become a hallmark within my own local and church community. Once complete, the Harborside Chapel will offer a classic, romantic setting that will be the perfect place for many beautiful weddings.

I immediately partnered with the talented Tampa Bay interior designer, Kelli Ogboke. Kelli and I have a long, wonderful history of working together on projects through JAI and we share a mutual respect and appreciation for forward-thinking design. Together, we created stunning concepts that set the tone for what will soon be one of the most elegant and sought-after wedding venues in the Tampa Bay area.

The chapel will be dressed with classic white pews, a rich but neutral color palette, elegant chandeliers, beautiful flooring, and tall arched windows that showcase the natural Florida landscape. It will be a picture-perfect place to say, “I do.”

One of my favorite spaces is the glamorous bridal suite. Brides and bridesmaids can spend their time before the wedding getting ready and being pampered in this romantic, feminine space. From the furnishings to the accessories, the bridal suite was designed for making every bride’s dreams come true. We also designed a sophisticated grooms quarter, which will be the perfect location for the men to gather. It will even include a flat screen TV, so no one will miss the big game while getting ready. No details were spared in any of the spaces within the wedding chapel.

From mingling with guests in the exquisite lobby to their final exit walk down the spectacular sidewalk lined with friends and family, countless men and women will experience the love and thoughtfulness that went into every aspect of the Harborside Chapel design. In fact, I hope to experience the space firsthand, as my husband and I look forward to renewing our vows in this extraordinary place one day.


Construction of the Harborside Chapel began November 2016 and is scheduled for completion in Summer 2017. Harborside Chapel will be located on the beautiful 40-acre campus of Harborside Christian Church on McMullen Booth Road, Safety Harbor, FL. For more information and to follow the construction updates, please visit www.harborsidechapel.org or www.harborsidechurch.org


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