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 was thrilled that my flexibility allowed me to participate in a design project, such as the chapel, that will become a hallmark within my own local and church community.

From Vision to Reality 

Sometimes when a vision becomes a reality, there are compromises and disappointments, but that is far from the case with this project. I’m pleased to announce that the Harborside Chapel project is complete and is even more charming and extraordinary than I had envisioned. From when you first throw open those gorgeous double wood entry doors there’s an overwhelming sense of “heart.” It’s so special!

Custom Designed with Heart

Every inch of the Harborside Chapel was designed to make a  couple’s special day one they will not soon forget. The chandeliers are thickset, yet delicate illuminating the many momentous occasions to come. The custom designed pews have a curvature that pushes the attention forward to the pulpit. The bridal dressing room is spacious and elegant with plenty of mirrors and counter space, and the groom’s dressing room is a bold, masculine space with a big screen TV and refrigerator. All of these elements come together to put the nerves of a couple’s big day at ease so they can just soak in the moment. Everything about this custom work reinforces JAI’s vision of designing to make a difference.

Designed to Make a Difference

As I reflect on the Harborside Chapel and my role in the design, I’m reminded that it’s such a blessing when you can work on something you love. The Harborside Wedding Chapel is designed to make a difference in the lives of the couples who will unite in marriage here. I have an incredible sense of pride (as well as humility) knowing the difference it will make in the much larger scheme of things.

A Mission Much Bigger Than A Building

There was a buzz about this project from the day it started. Couples have since lined up to book their special day in the chapel making this work a huge success.  As I walk through the completed chapel, I get the feeling that this work is much bigger than myself, our team or even this building.

Heart Projects have a way of calling to you. I hope that you are listening for and pursuing that tugging on your own heart to work on and complete your Heart Projects. The reward is so fulfilling!