5 Simple Ways To Transform Your Living Space
According to Chris & Claude Co.’s Claudia Beiler
Sitting in Cafe One Eight – a space which, by chance, she happened to have designed – it’s clear why Claudia Beiler and the Chris & Claude Co. are becoming household names in Lancaster. Claudia and her husband Chris began renovating and reselling homes in the county just a few years ago, but it wasn’t a move they had necessarily premeditated. After purchasing a foreclosed house for themselves and then renovating it from top to bottom, people started enlisting them for work. “Doors just kept opening,” Claudia explained, and as of today, their houses are some of the most coveted in the city, with many pulling inspiration from Claudia’s designs.
Formerly a school bus driver, Claudia says she and her husband are hard working by nature – now, they just apply it to something they really love. “We were passionate about what whatever we were doing, and we always had our whole hearts in everything,” she explained. “But I think this was in us all along.” In them it was, as photos of their homes flood popular Instagram accounts and Pinterest pages, inciting many designers to follow their trendsetting. That’s why FLL sat down with the designer to get her top tips on what makes a home beautiful.
1. Start with the home’s character.
Chris and Claudia don’t work with new houses, and there’s a reason for that. They believe each home has a unique story, and that has to be honored and reflected in the design. “They almost have their own personality,” she said, explaining that it’s more important to design to the space, rather than putting in elements piecemeal. One of their last projects, for example, was a smaller home with shorter ceilings than they expected, so they pivoted to give the whole thing a European cottage feel, rather than a Nordic one. “We went with the story of the home,” she said.
2. Expose brick when you can.
Claudia says that she will “always paint brick white,” not only because it’s a huge trend right now, but because the cleaner you can make a space, the better. However, there’s one exception to the white rule, and that’s concrete houses. Claudia says concrete walls or floors add “instant raw character,” not to mention having neutral backgrounds makes almost any style fit in seamlessly.
3. Add a white floor.
In every home Claudia designs, she does one room with a white floor. Yes – you read that right – a white floor. “One of the reasons I do the white floor is because I am trying to create an atmosphere where people can do flat lays and photoshoots. The more white it is, it looks brighter,” she explained, adding that it often goes on the second floor of a home (usually in an office space) given that it is difficult to keep clean. Claudia explained that the best way to do it is by using a porch paint, and then adding a coat of water-based polyurethane.
4. Pull in textures
All of the white walls and floors can begin to sound boring, but Claudia says that really, you start with a clean slate, then add personality later. The best way to do that? Texture. “I’ll do a whole room in white and then pull in woven pillows or throw blankets,” she explained. Whereas most people worry about the colors going together, what’s really important is the textures, that can change the whole feel of a space.
5. Be liberal with your greenery.
Plants are a huge part of home decor these days (there’s even a guide in this issue that explains how to choose the ones that are right for you). Claudia says it’s how she ensures that a home feels warm and not sterile, given that a lot of the elements she uses are neutral and simple. “It makes it feel alive and lived in and loved,” she explains of having plants around.
The city hasn’t even begun to see what Chris and Claudia have in store, but as far as they are concerned, they’re just grateful to be where they are. “It’s a fun time to be alive, and here,” she concluded. “I feel very lucky.”
By: Brianna Wiest