Finding a Design you can love

The design teams at Knoxville-based Studio Four Design have worked by our mantra of Design Matters for clients in a number of industries and one of the most common themes that we have found in our experience is the importance of finding a design that you can love. With today being Valentine’s Day, love can mean a number of different things to different people, but when you are creating a space for your retail or restaurant business, having a design that you love can mean all of the difference in the world.

Loving your retail or restaurant design doesn’t mean that you have to spend an exorbitant amount on your exterior and interior designs; loving your retail or restaurant design means finding a combination of functionality, practicality and personality that can help you differentiate your business from your competitors, offering an inviting atmosphere that welcomes your customers and looking at your retail or restaurant location with pride each and every day.

Before offering a design for your retail or restaurant space, the teams at Studio Four Design meet with clients to help them determine the best strategy to help deliver the finished product that they would like to own. There are a number of factors that need to be considered for both retail and restaurant spaces, including:

Real Estate Requirements:
If a client has an existing piece of property that they are going to use, what are the requirements for the space? Is the infrastructure in place, from utilities to parking space, to support the project? Are there requirements for building exteriors that must be followed to be in compliance? While there may be limitations placed upon the designs, based upon local codes, the teams at Studio Four Design can work within these requirements to meet the vision that our clients have in mind.

Franchise Regulations:
If the new space is a part of a franchise agreement, understanding the franchise requirements that are in place is a key component of the design. While some franchises have few restrictions on what can be done for a new locations, others have more stringent demands on what can and can’t be done for a franchise location. Although franchisors may demand certain conditions for their franchisees, the team at Studio Four Design can help maximize opportunities for our clients for design.

Interior Design:
One aspect of retail and restaurant design that is often overlooked, but is extremely important to showcase your space, is the choices related to interior design. Incorporating an interior design plan that welcomes customers, highlights your products or menu choices and helps to create a feeling of hospitality that will allow your retail or restaurant space to not only entice customers to visit, but to encourage them to return. The interior design teams at Studio Four Design have worked with clients across industries to deliver designs that exceeds our customers’ expectations while following code guidelines and requirements related to the specific customer needs.

While no two retail or restaurant spaces are the same, our team at Studio Four Design has worked with our clients to deliver outstanding results using our mantra that Design Matters. If you are planning a retail or restaurant project and are interested in leveraging the award winning capabilities of our design staff, contact Studio Four Design today to learn how we can assist you with your next project.

Studio Four Design 2016 Year in Review

As we enter into the end of 2016, the team at Studio Four Design in Knoxville has been taking a look back at an amazing year for our team. From industry recognition to new work that we have designed for our clients, everyone at Studio Four is grateful for an outstanding 2016 and is looking forward to what we will accomplish in 2017!

Highlights from this year for Studio Four Design include: Studio Four Design 2016 Year in Review

Our Awards: This year, Studio Four Design was graced with a number of awards, including the 2016 Knox Heritage “Fantastic Fifteen” Preservation Award, a 2016 Solomon Award for our work with Northstar Church, as well as our debut on the prestigious Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 5000 List”  of the fastest growing business in 2016.

Partnerships and Features: 2016 was an amazing year for Studio Four Design with new partnerships, including work on an industry recognized design for Walker’s Automotive, an eco-park design that we created in collaboration with DENSO Manufacturing and a new dealership facility for the Doug Justus Auto Center in Knoxville. In addition, Studio Four Design was featured in a national book about Employee Engagement, recognizing our development of new techniques while also working with a growing pie franchise to ensure their brand consistency.

Church and Worship Facility Design and Engagement: A hallmark of our capabilities in 2016 was the work that the Studio Four Design teams accomplished for church and worship facility design and engagement throughout the year. Studio Four Design worked with Grace Christian Academy in Knoxville on their new athletics facility, were selected for a new church renovation for OneLife Church while Stacy Cox, architect and principal of Studio Four Design, was selected to speak at the WFX 2016 Conference on ‘How Design Can Influence Your Ministry’.

Team Growth: 2016 marked another milestone for the team at Studio Four Design, as we reached the 20 employee mark, the largest staff in our history. Our new hires in 2016 included Michelle Barton, who joined our team in April of 2016 and Matt Johnson, who was hired in May of 2016.

Giving Back: The team at Studio Four Design is dedicated to stewardship for our community, which included a number of outreach programs in 2016. This year marked the 10th year that we have provided Thanksgiving for women in transitional housing at the YWCA, while we also participated in the “Canstruction 2016” event on behalf of 2nd Harvest Food Bank. Our teams also worked on the Rebuild Together project this year, which provide an accessible ramp and art studio for a disabled veteran in our area. One of the most important projects that we were honored to work on this year involved our work with Whitestone Church & Partners in Hope to raise $25,000 to start Phase 1 of the Sports & Discipleship project in Grand Goave, Haiti. We have been honored to give back to those in need in 2016 and we are looking forward to even more projects in the coming year.

2016 was the year that Studio Four Design of Knoxville celebrated our 14th anniversary and the team at Studio Four Design is honored by the awards, recognition that we have received this year and are looking forward to new challenges and opportunities to give back in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about the architecture and design capabilities of Studio Four Design in Knoxville and how our team can assist you with your next project in the coming year, contact us today.


Why you need to hire a church design expert and not just an architect

The end of the calendar year is often a time when many churches begin planning for 2017 and beyond for capital improvements or upgrades to their existing facilities and worship centers. With church construction expenditures totaling $3.4 billion dollars in 2016 with a projected increase of over 4 percent expected in 2017, finding ways to maximize dollars that are raised towards expanding ministries may lead some church leaders to select partners for their building projects that may not deliver the desired results for sustainable growth.

Hiring a church design expert, and not simply an architect who may be unfamiliar with the needs of a place of worship, can allow your church to realize a greater return on your investment in your facilities.  For the church design experts at Studio Four Design, our knowledge and expertise in a variety of worship facility projects allows us to bring a unique perspective to our church clients.

In our experience, when your church or worship center is asking its congregation or members for a large capital investment, stewardship is an important point of emphasis for the design and creation of your space. The analogy that we allude to in our work is based upon the ideas of specialists; if you have a specific health or legal issue, you will consult with a doctor or lawyer who is a specialist in their chosen field. The same holds true for church and worship center design; instead of working with an architect who is a generalist in design, consulting and working with specialists in church design, like the team at Studio Four Design, can help you create specialized solutions specific for your individual needs.

There are a number of ways a firm that focuses on church facility design can help advance your project more smoothly, including:

Knowledge and Expertise: Specific problems related to church design are better suited for success when leveraging the knowledge and expertise of a specialist who has dealt with them before. Church designers can leverage a breadth of collective experience to solve problems specifically related to the needs of your church, while adding value in the planning process to help ensure an overall smooth delivery process. Our team’s experience can bring a new perspective to your church by asking specific questions and offering insights based on prior successes and lessons learned.  Our knowledge and experience can help to identify potential opportunities and obstacles that can be addressed in the planning stages and set the table for a successful design process.

Value: Experts in church design can bring higher value propositions to clients, based upon a broad scope view of what needs to be accomplished. A church design expert should be able to look beyond strictly “bricks and mortar” concepts in the design process and identify any components of the project that could impact or delay the building process and those that might add additional expense that should be considered within project and construction budgets. At Studio Four Design, our church design team can add value in this process through our experience to help develop realistic budgets and identify design alternatives to develop solutions to help enhance the mission of your church.

Teamwork: When you are searching for a church designer, understand that an expert may be more local than you may think. Although the expert you need may not reside in your particular town, through the application of technology they can be easily accessible via online meetings and web based project command centers that enhance project team communication. From a teamwork perspective, the use of technology can allow nearly instantaneous access to the design team, while decreasing costs associated with multiple travel expenses, thus allowing your church to save on expenditures. When you work with our team, you are working with a close-knit group who takes inspiration in solving problems for our clients.  This sense of teamwork and collaboration extends to how our team does business with our clients as well. In addition to our capabilities to utilize technology to facilitate the design process, our firm has also worked in association local architects to deliver projects.  Collaboration with a local design partner allows us to bring our specific experience to the church while using the local professional to help the team deal with local codes, zoning and other conditions that may be unique to the permitting and construction process.  In addition, a local partner can assist with drawing production, peer review, and quality control during construction.  This allows our clients to access our expertise while taking advantage of local familiarity and accessibility.

If your church or worship center is ready to expand your existing space or develop a brand new facility in 2017, taking advantage of our knowledge and expertise can help you to develop a design solution that will help you advance your mission. To learn more about our experience in church facility design, please contact Studio Four Design today to let our church design experts guide you through the process.

Stacy Cox of Studio Four Design to Speak at 2016 WFX Conference

Architectural and design expert to present at Worship Facilities Conference and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky

Stacy Cox - Studio Four Design

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. September 15, 2016 – Stacy Cox, architect and design expert and principal of Studio Four Design, a top architecture and design firm based in Knoxville, Tennessee that specializes in worship facilities, will speak at WFX, Worship Facilities Conference and Expo, at the Kentucky Exposition Center, on September 21-22, 2016.

Cox will be presenting “Design Matters! How Design Can Influence Your Ministry” on Wednesday, September 21 at 4:30 p.m., in room SWB107. He will share how to identify and assess some of the barriers current worship facilities may have and how to transform and enhance a church’s platform for ministry.

“Design has a huge impact on every aspect of your ministry,” said Stacy Cox, president of Studio Four Design. “The ability of your facility to communicate your church’s unique brand, message and culture is important to the community you serve. Your environment can either support your ministry objectives, or it can limit them. I hope that by sharing some of the knowledge I’ve collected for more than 20 years will help church leaders understand what they can do to improve their overall experience. From small renovations to campus expansions, every aspect of your facilities has the ability to enhance your ministry.”

Cox’s professional experience includes more than 20 years in architecture and design, with a church facility portfolio that ranges from master planning and small renovations up to new construction projects in excess of $5 million. Along with his role as president and managing partner of Studio Four Design, Cox is actively involved in his local church and with several ministries in Haiti.

Joining Cox in delivering the presentation will be Bobby Thompson, student pastor at Knoxville’s Grace Baptist Church and a Louisville, Kentucky native.

“The church overall is aging and there’s a struggle today to get younger people involved,” said Thompson. “We don’t want our buildings to be unwelcoming or a distraction, but instead an environment that is inviting and inclusive to the younger generation, because those are the leaders of tomorrow.”

The Worship Facilities Conference and Expo (WFX) is two and half days of education, hands-on training, networking, inspiration and exposure for every ministry team, including worship, tech, facilities and administration. It is the largest dedicated church expo in the United States, with opportunities to research and discuss hundreds of products and services all in one place.

For more information about WFX 2016, visit

For more information about Studio Four Design, visit or see them at booth No. 640 at WFX 2016.

About Studio Four Design Inc.

Since 2002, Studio Four Design has served as a premiere architectural and interior design firm to the Greater Knoxville Area. Their guiding principal is Design Matters and their goal is to go beyond expectations to provide design solutions that positively impact their client’s lives and organizations. Their team has worked on a variety of projects over the last decade that includes: churches, educational facilities, restaurants, retail buildings, athletic venues and much more. Studio Four Design takes pride and dedication in all of their projects they serve. To find out more, call 865-523-5001 or visit


Heather Ripley
Ripley PR