Detail Homes Brings the Mediterranean to St. Paul

Passersby are hard-pressed to tell if the white stucco house with the  red-clay-tile roof is old or new.

If passersby can’t tell whether the white stucco house with the red-clay-tile roof at Mississippi River Boulevard and Jefferson in St. Paul is old or new, that’s fine with its builder, Chris Van Klei, of Detail Homes.

A living room with white furniture surrounding a coffee table set beside a fireplace is seen through an archway.

Drama in the living room: Black and white give the airy living room a modern edge.

The house is actually Phase 1 of a mini-development. “The idea was to build three houses right next door to each other that would look like they’d been there for years, fitting into how the river road has developed over time,” says Van Klei, explaining that the area’s home styles range from Tudor to midcentury modern.

A master bathroom features his-and-hers sinks, ceramic-tile floors, a walk-in shower, and a soaking tub.

The master bathroom features his-and-hers sinks, ceramic-tile floors, a walk-in shower, and a soaking tub.

Charlie Simmons, of Charlie and Co. Design, thought the corner lot lent itself to a Mediterranean, which configures the living room, dining room, and kitchen front to back and has a vertical element on the corner. “That allowed us to introduce a lot of glass,” he notes.

The open kitchen blends modern and traditional with a white subway tile backsplash, ebony-stained walnut cabinets, quartz-topped island, and stylized turned-wood legs.

The open kitchen blends modern and traditional with a white subway tile backsplash, ebony-stained walnut cabinets, quartz-topped island, and stylized turned-wood legs.

Simmons infused the exterior with Old World details including an arched entry and a loggia (covered patio). Inside, he took more liberties, mixing traditional and contemporary ideas and materials. For example, the open stairway has both a modern saw-tooth design and an iron railing. The kitchen, with its ebony-stained walnut cabinets and distinctive marble-topped island, is open to the living and dining areas.

In the master bedroom, black-framed windows showcase 270-degree views of the trees and river.

In the master bedroom, black-framed windows showcase 270-degree views of the trees and river.

The five-bedroom, five-bath home takes full advantage of its picturesque setting. In addition to the loggia, there’s a riverside patio off the living room. The glass-walled corner den and master bedroom above it offer 270-degree views of the trees and river. Floor-to-ceiling glass in a flex space off the kitchen and a pergola-topped patio off a guest suite connect the home to its side and back yards.

The inviting loggia (covered patio) is lined with French doors that display the arch detail of the wrought-iron staircase, which echoes the arch of the front door.

The inviting loggia (covered patio) is lined with French doors that display the arch detail of the wrought-iron staircase, which echoes
the arch of the front door.

Van Klei, who did the interior design, wanted the home to offer the best of old and new. For example, an iron chandelier that would look comfortable in a Spanish castle hangs over the dining table, while a gold and white asymmetrical fixture hangs in the nearby sunroom. The end result: “You get bathrooms that work and closets that are big. You get a kitchen that flows well,” he says. “You get everything you want in a house today, but the feeling of something that is 100 years old.”


Luxury Home Tour

Builder:
Detail Homes

Home Location:
St. Paul

Square Footage:
5,235

Architectural Designer:
Charlie & Co. Design

Sponsors:
Granite-Tops & Stone Countertop Outlet
Martha O’Hara Interiors
Marvin Windows & Doors
Scherer Bros. Lumber Co.
Southern Lights


Digital Extra: Additional Photos

A living room with a coffee table surrounded by chairs and a fireplace lies adjacent to the kitchen featuring a white subway tile backsplash, ebony-stained walnut cabinets, quartz-topped island, and stylized turned-wood legs.

The open kitchen blends modern and traditional with a white subway tile backsplash, ebony-stained walnut cabinets, quartz-topped island, and stylized turned-wood legs.

A living room accented with a coffee tables, couches and chairs, and a fireplace.

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