Moving to the Community House:
The Color of Connection

Photo credit: Stephanie BergerWhile speed-deleting unwanted items from my personal email account, I fortunately noticed color consultant Bonnie Krims’ newsletter before it landed in the virtual trash bin. I discovered Bonnie’s work more than seven years ago while searching for paint colors for my century-old home.

As I scrolled through Bonnie’s email, the familiar images of the BJ sanctuary unexpectedly jumped off the screen. My mind flashed back to a mid-March conversation I had with Steve Goldberg, BJ’s Executive Director, about preparing the Community House for the interim move of our offices from the Ansonia. I remembered his excitement about the paint colors that were selected by a “color expert” to reflect the feeling of our sacred spaces.

In her newsletter, Bonnie shared the direction she received about BJ’s vision during this interim period: “BJ is anxious to connect the Community House with the sanctuary – both literally and figuratively. You might want to take some time looking at the palette of the sanctuary and figure out how to carry it over to the Community House so that people have that ‘BJ feel’ in both buildings.”

Noting the importance of echoing the boldness of our mission, Bonnie took her first floor wall color cues from the mosaics around the water fountain and outside the chapel. The energetic, lively orange colors Bonnie ultimately chose for the common areas are tones of the sanctuary colors, yet not an exact match – a metaphorical hint, perhaps, of the possibilities that await our community as we reunite with the building where BJers laid the cornerstone in 1927.

For the rooms and offices, Bonnie’s goal was to find a balance between over- and understimulating colors. According to Bonnie, “white walls can be as irritating as a deeply saturated color.” With the exception of the Membership office, for which she intentionally chose a warm, welcoming yellow, the other rooms are painted in a variety of subtle colors, with a magical quality.

Since moving back to the Community House in May, our offices on the second and fourth floors are starting to feel like home. In three years, we will temporarily relocate so that “real” construction can begin on the building. For now, however, we are joyfully experiencing a connection to our sacred heritage and our potential, both of which are reflected in the depth and vibrancy of the colors of our Community House walls.