Husband-and-wife renovation team targets millennials with less space, more character
Chris and Claudia Beiler may be young millennials, but they have a passion for old things — especially homes.
They live in a historic 1800s home in Honey Brook that they have been lovingly renovating from the attic down.
They’ve loved the process so much, in fact, that they’ve made home renovation their full-time vocation.
Two and a half years ago, the Beilers launched their own business, The Chris & Claude Co., dedicated to taking what was once considered undesirable and broken and transforming it into something beautiful and purposeful.
Over the course of their time in business, the Beilers have concentrated the focus of that transformation on Lancaster city, where they are buying, renovating and selling homes with creative millennials like themselves in mind.
“There are a lot of great renovators in the city,” Claudia Beiler says. “A lot of people are doing really neat things.”
But the Beilers believe they are carving out their own niche — one that is as unique as the homes they create.
“We aren’t just your average house flippers,” she says.
The goal of The Chris & Claude Co. is to create spaces that not only reflect their owners, but also energize and inspire them. They cater to young entrepreneurs who are looking for space where they can really come alive.
In turn, the Beilers hope to be part of the continued revitalization of Lancaster city.
“We are really passionate about community and people,” Beiler says. “We want to bring creative people to the city by creating beautiful spaces they would want to move to.”
The Beilers, who have two young sons, currently work out of an office in their Honey Brook home. Chris has a degree in biology and left a career in solar design to start the business. He is also a Realtor with Kingsway Realty, offering buying, selling and investment opportunities.
Claudia says she owes her creative side to her Amish grandmother, who encouraged the artistic ability of her children and grandchildren. Her uncle is artist Frieman Stoltzfus, who owns a gallery on Gallery Row in Lancaster city. Her parents always encouraged her to think outside the box and dream big.
Both Chris and Claudia honed their craft working for Claudia’s father, who owns his own renovation business, The Greater Purpose LLC.
The Chris & Claude Co. has a team of seven, including an assistant designer, a marketing assistant and a work crew — all young millennials like themselves.
Two favorite styles they are implementing right now are the mid-century modern and European cottage styles, using raw wood, exposed brick and other elements to bring character to a home.
“I love a raw look presented in a modern way,” Beiler says.
That look is on display at Cafe One Eight on West Orange Street, which The Chris & Claude Co. renovated and designed in 2016.
The Beilers also find that millennials are choosing smaller homes with unique character over larger, mass-produced homes so common in the 1990s and 2000s that their parents would have purchased.
“Our buyers want want character in every room,” she says. “They just love beautiful things and they don’t want to be in a mold.
“We really like to do things that no one else is doing. We rarely use the same lighting sources or faucet sources. We want it to look original and new, and yet classic.”
And while their clients are mainly 30-and-under entrepreneurs, they’ve managed to impress some older folks as well.
“We’ve been able to meet some of the old homeowners and show them their homes,” Beiler says, recalling an open house they held at one of the homes they renovated. The former owner stopped by and loved the transformation.
“It was so neat,” Claudia says.
Their current project is a two-story home on North Broad Street. The home has an attic, but no stairway, so they are hoping to create a really special space in that area.
“The second floor will have a cathedral ceiling and possibly an added spiral staircase,” Beiler says.
To chart the progress of this and other renovation projects, follow @thechrisandclaudeco on Instagram.
Beiler says there is such high demand for unique, revitalized city homes that many of them are selling the same week they hit the market.
“Our vision is not just for Lancaster, but right now that’s where we are,” she says. “There’s such good stuff happening here.”
For more information, visit www.thechrisandclaudeco.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.