Local Millennial's Wallpaper Reveal
Life had more in store for this local millennial husband and wife team; from solar engineer and bus driver to realtors and new business owners, Chris and Claudia Beiler know what it's like to dig in and get their hands dirty with each renovation. The Chris and Claude Co. based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, find the potential in older homes by restoring them with the character they once possessed. Their flipping experience was developed by the expertise and knowledge of Claudia's father, and although designing with wallpaper was considered a thing of the past; this team took on a wallpaper project that proved to be a true reward in the end. We chatted with Claudia about their start, their style aesthetic and embracing wallpaper for the first time. Let's get started!
YW: What was the motivation behind flipping houses?
CB: To put it bluntly, Chris & I had no plans of someday doing what we are now doing. It wasn’t our 5 year plan or even a 20 year goal. It wasn’t even on our horizon. Chris & I were dating & he was house shopping for when we would eventually get married. He was a Solar Engineer & I was a bus driver. About the two farthest things away from Creative Space Designers. I guess you could say it was in our blood. We didn’t know much about houses, but we knew we wanted to live in Honey Brook, Pa - the town that we both fell deeply in love with, so
YW: Why did you decide to get involved with Real Estate?
CB: My dad, who has been a Real Estate Agent since before I was born, helped Chris buy an old 1800’s brick house in the Borough. It had been foreclosed on and wasn’t much to behold, but my dad said something about it “having really good bones”. Whatever that meant, I didn’t know, I just thought the house was really ugly. Chris moved in with a few of his guy friends and a few months later proposed to me in the not-yet-renovated, bat-infested attic space of that same 1800’s house. “Wanna Marry Me & Live Up Here?” I didn’t really know what he was talking about, but I soon found out. We had about 6 months till our wedding and a very ugly attic space to turn into an apartment. With the help of family and friends, we slowly, but surely turned that attic into a masterpiece. Along the way, we discovered that we really enjoyed working alongside each other and we both really enjoyed designing. Pretty soon people were asking us to help them with their projects, and so eventually, we took a giant plunge, quit our jobs and starting training under my dad in Lancaster City house renovations.
YW: How do you describe your style when renovating/flipping a home?
CB: Each house we walk into tells a different story and our goal is to tell the story of the home well. "The Broad Street House", where we incorporated York Wallpaper into the office and downstairs bathroom space was a house built with very low ceilings and tight walls. We were disappointed when we first walked through the house but decided to hone our style a bit and go with what the house was begging for... a French cottage style. We chose the Olive Branch wallpaper by Magnolia Home based off of our color scheme for the house and loved the delicate, yet bold statement it made.
YW: What key features do you like to stand out?
CB: I love to try things that no one else has tried in this area yet. We try to create what we call a “wow-factor” in each room - often with raw elements such as exposed brick, ceiling beams, light fixtures or entirely white painted rooms. Wallpaper seemed like a good “wow-factor” to use in the office - especially since not many people have done it around here yet. Wallpaper is still a bit scary for most people, including us, and it’s always a bit risky going with bold statements like green floral wallpaper. But with the response we’ve received, it seems that this room is most people’s favorite space in the house!
YW: What is your favorite room to design?
CB: I love bedrooms and kitchens. Both of these spaces lend themselves well to bold pops of color, statement pieces and great ceiling beams. One of our last kitchens we pulled in green cabinets and I adored them. Our most recent renovation, with our style being a moody European, we toned down our colors to dark greens (like the wallpaper) and navy blues.
YW: What was your initial feeling on applying wallpaper?
CB: Being the Millennial that I am, I had never installed wallpaper before and when we started working with York Wallcoverings, I wasn’t sure what installing wallpaper entailed. I originally was going to have the guys on our team do it when they finished up the painting of the house but got cold feet when I heard of a friend whose wallpapered room didn’t turn out when they didn’t follow the instructions for the wallpaper - eek. I pulled a fast one on my mom, who has spent the first part of her life installing wallpaper in her own house (a good 30-40 years ago) and the second half of her life scraping it off again.
She came bearing four tools:
1. A plastic container to dunk the wallpaper in
2. A damp rag to wipe down the walls as we installed
3. A little black roller to get out any air bubbles
4. A sharp knife to create clean lines on the edges.
Working alongside a skilled woman such as my mom, we knocked out the office space in a few hours and after that, I was skilled enough to install the wallpaper on the bathroom wall all by myself. I will say, I’m thankful for the Sure Strip installation video that I watched beforehand. For first-timers like me, it was a slow process to install wallpaper, but what a glorious end result!