There is a movement in contemporary church design to revive color and detail. After a few decades of scrubbing church interiors free of “unnecessary” or “distracting” ornamentation, Catholics realized that what they were left with was not so much sober and simple as it was bland and uninspiring.
It turns out that, when done well, vibrant colors and elaborate decoration, far from being a distraction, are great aids in enhancing our worship experience. Worship is not merely an intellectual exercise—it involves our whole being, including our senses.
Here’s a recent example from a church in a small town in Kansas (via the Liturgical Arts Journal website):
There are many examples of this kind of restoration. Here’s a parish closer to home that reestablished traditional beauty to the sanctuary:
Do you have any examples you can share?