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before and afterInteriors

Before & After: Enlisting Expertise to Transform An 1800s Row Home

by Lauren Chorpening

Merging old and new is never an easy task. First of all, it’s hard to know what condition spaces are really in when buying a fixer-upper. Secondly, there’s a skill to designing in a way that updates a home with modern style while showing off the original, timeless character. And thirdly, the know-how to do any of that doesn’t come without experience or at least guidance. Getting it right takes a lot of planning and patience.

In 2013, Chris and Claudia Beiler transformed the attic space of an 1800s home into an apartment for them to live in. The process taught them a lot about renovating, design and working together. The Chris & Claude Co. launched in 2015 and the couple now helps people buy and renovate homes. They were enlisted by Hailey and Jeremie Patrick to do just that. Hailey and Jeremie wanted to find and renovate an older home, but they also didn’t want to go in blindly. “We chose our home with the help of The Chris & Claude Co., which was great because we knew we wanted a fixer-upper and we knew how much we wanted to spend when it was all said and done, but honestly had no clue what to look for or how to go about the process,” Hailey says. “We ended up looking at quite a few houses all over the city. The one we finally chose was the perfect combination of ‘good bones,’ a nice location, and the right price. Structurally it was in great condition, which meant lots of opportunity for cool renovations.” The Patricks found an 1898 row home in Lancaster City, PA with all of the potential and space they were looking for.

With the homeowners’ modern taste and the hidden charm under a century of updates, the two couples transformed the look of the 3-story house. “Our home was built back in the late 1800s. During the renovation phase we discovered different things here and there that pointed to the age of the home and all the life that had been lived here for years and years before — like old newspapers glued to the attic floor under the carpet and a date written on the old wallpaper that was covered up by pink chipping paint. There were also a couple items original to the house that were still in working condition, like the old clawfoot tub that we refinished in the second-floor bathroom and an old key that still opens up one of the original doors. It’s a special little place,” Hailey shares. “I don’t know that the history has directed the design other than incorporating what we could back into the new design. I love that we could save different parts of the house. The doors, floors, exposed brick and original tub all add character to the new counters, cabinets, and lighting. A perfect mix of new and old.”

The first level was completely opened up to be one large space housing the kitchen, living and dining room. The second level wasn’t renovated much as the layout worked for the spare bedrooms and bathrooms. The unfinished attic was turned into a complete main bedroom and bathroom suite. Chris and Claudia were with the Patricks through the sale, the design and the renovation of the house — making sure that the space could reach its full potential. From there, it was up to Hailey and Jeremie to make the house feel like home. “Learning to find my style and then pick the pieces that align has been a process — one that will most likely always be shifting and changing. We are nowhere near done with decorating and so the biggest thing I learned — still learning, to be honest — is that it does not all have to be done at once even though I want it all done at once,” Hailey says.

The house looks nothing like it did when the four found it. Having Chris and Claudia advocate for what could be, Hailey and Jeremie now live in a beautiful, unique house that really feels like them. —Lauren

Photography by Julia Wanner

Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
1/14
The kitchen went from disjointed and confusing to fresh and functional. The cool green, white and wood design makes the space feel modern and timeless all at once.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
2/14
"We love the old ship door in the kitchen. We needed a door for the pantry and Chris and Claudia had an old ship door in their basement they had saved for a few years; when we measured, it fit the space perfectly," Hailey exclaims. "It's the little things in life that make the biggest difference."
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
3/14
"This whole process took around six months from the sale of the home to the finishing moment. Jeremie and Hailey chose to live in the home after they got married and during the renovation. They were brave to the bone," Claudia shares.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
4/14
Opening up the doorway from the kitchen to the living space and opening up the stairway to the main space created a more open concept in a once-choppy layout.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
5/14
"Have a home that reflects who you are. Don't spend too much time on Pinterest, but rather, go with your gut and what you are drawn to as a person," Hailey advises.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
6/14
"The second floor was not budgeted into the renovation, it's being done by us on our own... This is a [bit of a] challenge to have two beautiful, cohesive spaces and then a non-cohesive space in the middle," Hailey says.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
7/14
"Sometimes I feel like it's the daily mundane things that are my favorite. Just life happening. Mornings here are great - the way the light comes in up in the attic and the kitchen on a sunny day; it’s just peaceful. Our neighborhood in those first couple hours is amazing," Hailey shares.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
8/14
"We had the honor of walking alongside Jeremie and Hailey in their home-buying process and looked at dozens of homes before realizing this was THE ONE. We were all drawn to the unfinished attic space, as awful as it looked on that first walkthrough. But I think we all saw what it could be. Jeremie and Hailey were engaged to be married and excited about the prospect of turning an attic into a [...] bedroom and bathroom [suite]. It felt so much like our story -- engaged and working in an attic -- so we took on the challenge," Claudia shares.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
9/14
"Learning when to splurge, when to just get something because, well, you need a place to sit, and when to go trendy versus 'let’s get something we will have for a while' has been great at times and stressful at others. I have learned that I can [sway] towards being a bit of a perfectionist, which can keep me from ever moving forward with completing a room or ever getting started," Hailey shares.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
10/14
"We couldn't be happier with how the home turned out. It reflects the style we were after and the functionality that we need on a daily basis -- Boho mixed with classic mixed with a bit of modern," Hailey shares.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
11/14
The attic used to be one large space. They put up walls, added plumbing and created a gorgeous main bathroom.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
12/14
"Learning my style has been a lot of fun and looking for inspiration and finding decor pieces for each room has forced me into the design world in a way that I actually really love. The issue comes when it is finally time to make a decision! Too many options," Hailey laughs.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
13/14
The paned glass shower and bathroom door feels fitting with the age of the home and on-trend for a brand new bathroom.
Design*Sponge | Enlisting Expertise to Transform an 1800s Row Home
14/14
A double vanity, a fun accent wall and gorgeous details make this bathroom a stunning space where the couple can get ready for the day.

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Comments

  • Love love love everything! My husband and I are currently living in the middle of a renovation (and are newly married as well) and it has been…a lot! Two quick questions: Did you choose to do much of the work yourself? And where did you find those beautiful drawer pulls in the kitchen?! Thank you for sharing!

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