Interior design for Community buildings

503 287 4354

Our Lady of Lavang
Catholic Church

Mary selected paint types and colors to blend with the existing ceiling

Mary chose these glorious porcelain floor tiles and designed their layout

McMurray found carpeting with a leaf pattern....

like the healing leaves revealed to the refugees by Our Lady of Lavang ... read more

before: Parish chairman discusses the restoration with Mary McMurray

A burst pipe wrecked this Church's wooden floor, and left the sheetrock moldy to 3 feet up. A complete restoration was needed. But the parish realized only a professional designer could manage the extensive job of selecting patterns and colors in sympathy with their Vietnamese church. They interviewed several designers but none but Mary McMurray showed a level of expertise with sacred buildings. Also the Archdiocese recommended Art First to specify all the new surfaces, wall and floor.

before: Mary McMurray checks the quality of the porcelain tiles from italy

Work completed: the church reopened with a grand thanksgiving celebration

The Old Church


left: Lannie Hurst Parlour after repainting
right: The Collins Auditorium after repainting
below: The Kinsman Hall after repaintingr

To see more enchanting rooms in The Old Church
after repainting in colors by ART FIRST click here


"The Old Church" is a public events and performance venue located in downtown Portland's cultural West-side district. This historic jewel is a remarkable community space, home to concerts, lunch recitals lectures, ceremonies and receptions.

The Grand Oregon Lodge
The renovated Ballroom in the Grand Oregon Lodge, Oregon City, Oregon. The former Oddfellows' Lodge has become a popular venue for weddings and gatherings. Art First advised on the new Paint colors, chair colors, and design for new chandeliers and ceiling medallions, adding a lively and elegant air to the historic property.


Holy Redeemer Sanctuary


The landmark church on North Rosa Parks Way, Portland. Mary McMurray designed the colors and materials selections, and supervised the artwork for the restoration.

From a dull, uninspiring and cavernous hall to a wonderfully uplifting place of worship, the congregation and clergy are thrilled with the light-filled transformation benefiting their church.


Below: three views before restoration

Working together with the architect, administration, and planning committee, McMurray designed the eight new paint colors composing the palette, and selected the proper placement for each color. The worn carpeting was removed, and the original terrazzo floor repaired and polished.

An unnecessary wooden platform supporting the altar was removed.
At McMurray’s suggestion, the unsightly ventilation louvers at the top of the
Sanctuary wall were replaced by patterned brass grilles.




McMurray designed a sensitive color treatment for the plaster medallions, selected two marble stones for the new altar, and specified the new seating material for the pews. She feels very privileged to have been a part of the team bringing beauty and grace to this well-loved church.

Sally Hopkins, Master Stenciller was called in to adorn the arched alcoves flanking the sanctuary space with beautiful and subtle motifs.

Grace Memorial Episcopal
We guarantee that every color design we create is original and selected especially for you.



Color and Design Consultant for: churches, sacred spaces, community buildings, libraries



Services available to you at any location

St. Mary Magdalene

This Portland Church Hall serves many functions: a school cafeteria, a hall for worship, weddings, dances, and meetings.
The previous bland paint and flooring contributed nothing to the purpose of the space as the location for special occasions. With new paint color design, artwork she designed for the floor, and carpet specially made for the room, Mary McMurray of Art First presented the community with beautiful solutions for all  their requirements. The remodeled place brings a community together with style and renewed significance.




Art First developed the designs incorporating the motif and color of the original windows,

and designed this unique spirited
pattern for the carpet.


above: before        right: after ART FIRST    


We designed this motif to provide children with a game to play with a deep spiritual significance.
Based on the famous maze of Chartres cathedral,

our simpler maze represents the same pilgrim journey through life

whilst seeking an eternal home

The pattern was laser-cut and inlaid into the new and inviting floor
that we designed coordinating with the the carpet colors.

Exterior of St. Mary Magdalene


Rose City Park Presbyterian Church N.E. Portland

Our improved colors highlight the architectural details that were lost in the previous all-white color scheme. We specified new bronze metallic paint for the decorative grilles, and unified the stained woodwork with darker structural accents.

San Francisco S.P.C.A.

For the Education Room, Mary McMurray designed a bold and playful color scheme, with murals of trees enlivening and opening up a natural feel for the room where city kids get a hands-on experience of the animal kingdom. The tortoise enjoys his new desert scene environment and sometimes tries to walk into the diorama. Birds, rabbits and gerbils benefit from their improved environment; they like these colors better than the old white paint.

Other municipal clients include:
  • Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, Portland

  • The Dalles Civic Auditorium

  • The City of Hillsboro

  • The Bellevue Club, Oakland CA

  • Pittsburgh New Church, Pittsburgh, PA

  • The Aloha Grange, Aloha, OR


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