It’s In The Detail


Detail Homes offers full home remodels, as well as garage designs, kitchen updates, and more. Photo by Spacecrafting Photography

Detail Homes co-owner, Chris Van Klei, shares the importance of the LGBTQ community in his work at the boutique design and build firm.

With a background in architecture, construction, and interior design, Chris Van Klei excels in bringing together the planning and design aspects that come with creating dream homes. Remaining hands-on throughout each individual project, Van Klei is proof that Detail Homes is all about the detail.

Chris Van Klei is a co-owner of local design-build firm Detail Homes. Photo by Spacecrafting Photography

Detail Homes is a boutique design-build firm that specializes in large scale remodels and creating unique, custom homes in established city neighborhoods and surrounding areas.

“I decided to go all in and start Detail Homes in 2008 with my cousin [Ben Richter]. From that date on, Detail Homes has been executing design-forward projects throughout the Twin Cities,” Van Klei says.

As a full-service design and build firm, Detail Homes is able to work with clients on a wide variety of projects, from a simple consultation to a napkin sketch to a full new construction home with a team of architects and interior designers. “Detail Homes can adjust to the needs of each individual client,” Van Klei says.

Currently, Detail Homes is working on a project on the bluffs of the Mississippi River in St. Paul, putting the finishing touches on the modern home. In addition to the St. Paul project, Detail Homes has five other new constructions underway throughout the Twin Cities, as well as two major remodels and some side projects. Keeping quite busy, Van Klei says the many of Detail Homes’ projects can be viewed on their website—whether you’re looking for inspiration or just like to play HGTV when you’re bored.

While flipping through the many beautiful images on Detail Homes’ website, you might start to notice a trend. However, Van Klei says Detail Homes can work with each client to meet their own personal needs, not the current trends.

“Our design aesthetic does tend to lean more modern, but in general, our approach is what is appropriate for the project,” says Van Klei. “The biggest mistake we see made over and over is forcing a style. If you follow the inspiration of the architecture and the surroundings, you will always end up with a beautiful final product. A classic house does not need to feel stuffy; you can respect the architecture and still have a fun, fresh, and classy home.”

In addition to full home remodels, Detail Homes offers garage designs, including the space above the garage, which can be utilized as an office, studio, mini-gym, theater, playroom, bedroom, and more. Detail Homes offers five garage designs to fit different homes and landscapes: The Rustic, The Modern, The Farmhouse, The Tudor, and The Crocus.

If your home doesn’t need an entire remodel, but it could use a facelift, Detail Homes can also update interiors like kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, staircases, basements, bars, and more.

Other than a passion for interior design and architecture, Van Klei says an important influence on his work with Detail Homes is the LGBTQ community, specifically representing the community as an entrepreneur.

“I think it’s important for LGBT youth to see gay entrepreneurs in roles that are normally thought of as very masculine and ‘straight.’ The construction side of a project is not normally thought of as having gay leaders, but that is not the case,” Van Klei says. “There are many gay people in the industry, it just does not get the spotlight very often. We have had many same-sex couples and gay clients over the years, and I have heard how much more comfortable they are working with a gay contractor.”

Detail Homes also offers various financing options and low monthly payment plans to fit everyone’s needs and budgets. Also, Detail Homes is donating a portion of the profit of each project to the COVID-19 Relief Fund.

For more information about Detail Homes, visit

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