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