Before & After: An LGBTQ+ Community Center Shines Even Brighter After a Colorful Paint Job
With its cozy loft vibe and big windows full of SoCal sunshine, JQ International is already a lively meeting spot for Jewish LGBTQ+ folks in Los Angeles. “J Club” — as it’s affectionately known — is the place to be for Pride events, youth group meetings, and casual drop-in hangs. It’s also an important hub for educational, mental health, and community-focused events: a safe space where queer Jewish people can feel comfortable and supported.
JQ envisions a world where all LGBTQ+ Jewish people feel a strong sense of self, pride, and community. That starts in the organization’s West Hollywood headquarters. It’s an inviting home away from home, with a cozy kitchenette, sofa for lounging, and plenty of space to talk politics, plan events, or just socialize.
Anna Goodman, JQ’s Director of Communications and Events, says the organization was ready to trade the blue walls for something lighter and brighter. “The original space felt cold, stale, and out of date. We are an ever-evolving queer organization, and to have an aesthetically dated office didn’t spark much joy,” she says. “We want a space where folks can say, ‘I can be queer here.'”
We wanted to honor that mission by giving J Club some extra sparkle. So as part of our Paint It Forward project, we partnered with Benjamin Moore to create a look that matches the bright, buoyant energy that the organization offers its community. Benjamin Moore is also rooted in community, available at local independent retailers, never big-box stores. With expert knowledge and deep roots in their neighborhoods, these small businesses are valuable resources for professional advice and service.
Inspired by JQ’s rainbow logo, designer and visual artist Sara Weissler wanted to make walking into J Club feel like walking into a ray of sunshine. The front entrance walls, interior door, and window frames all got a cheery coat of Benjamin Moore ben® Interior Paint in the color Yellow Highlighter 2021-40. We used a Matte sheen for the walls and Semi-Gloss for the door and window frames. “This warm, welcoming color is a happy surprise for the entrance,” Sara says. “And framing the windows in yellow will make even the grayest day feel uplifting.”
That upbeat feeling continues inside, where the room’s nooks and crannies stand out as colorful gathering spots. A fresh and friendly green, Lime Tart 2033-40 gives the kitchenette depth and definition.
Across the room, the far wall got a coat of Benjamin Moore ben® Interior Paint in the color Blue Lapis 2067-40. It’s a striking yet serene blue that makes the seating area even more inviting. “These individual colors create destinations,” Sara says. “People will definitely say to each other, ‘Let’s chat at the blue wall.'”
To unify the whole look, we painted the rest of the space classic white: Chantilly Lace 2121-70. “Sometimes painting walls with a variety of bright primary and secondary colors can look juvenile or busy,” Sara says. “Situating these saturated colors adjacent to a crisp white makes them pop.”
The new colors underscore the personality and enthusiasm that JQ brings to its community, making an already-welcoming space even friendlier. “Now we can walk into the office, and it feels clean and refreshed. It definitely sparks queer Jewish joy and will be a wonderful place for young adults and teens to build community together,” says Anna.