by Cori Hilsgen
Chris Hensel of Dovetail Kitchen Designs of St. Joseph and Anthony Steinemann of ADS Designs in Sauk Rapids have developed a concept for a “Forever House,” which will be featured at the Central Minnesota Builders Association’s Home Show Friday, March 10, through Sunday, March 12.
The 48-x-44 foot walk-through will be set up in 24 hours inside the convention center. The display idea comes from the dream many home buyers have to find an ideal property and build their “Forever House” – a home they have customized according to their needs and wants, a home they would plan to live in for a long time.
The CMBA Home Show runs from noon-8 p.m. Friday, March 10; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, March 11; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. The event is the largest home-building show in Central Minnesota and offers many products, services and activities.
Hensel and Steinemann worked together to develop and design the house. Hensel did all the exterior and interior design, and product selections, with Steinemann providing structure and technical details.
The two had discussed the idea of including a feature like this into the home show at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center about three years ago. They wanted to have a bigger display to showcase what builders can do and to draw more people to the show.
The project evolved into a platform for newer innovative products that a mid- to upper-end home buyer would purchase.
Together, Hensel and Steinemann volunteered many hours working to find CMBA members who would contribute time and materials, and then they coordinated the construction of the house. More than 30 CMBA members donated their products and services for the house.
Some things included in the house are a “Garage Mahal,” a garage space showcasing custom flooring, outdoor activity lockers and an ultimate “do-it-yourself mechanics” corner; an “Everyday Living” space, a kitchen area and hearth room with custom cabinetry, granite and quartz countertops, and luxury vinyl-plank flooring; a “Kick Back and Relax” room, with the latest audio-visual elements that can be added to a home; a “Backyard Retreat,” featuring maintenance-free decking, a free-standing fireplace, barbecue pit; and more.
Traditional showrooms often bring in products that have sold in the area but not always the latest innovations. Hensel and Steinemann hope to showcase some of the latest innovations, along with more modern and contemporary items, sooner to people in the area.
Through his work, Hensel tried to showcase a variety of materials and product types, offering a wide selection of products and designs.
The “Forever House” display will continue to evolve and change to showcase future new products on the market.
Hensel has been working in the cabinet industry for 15 years. Before moving to the St. Cloud area, he worked for six years in a custom-woodworking shop in the Minneapolis area.
Hensel said he found his passion when he shifted his focus to design and project management. A goal of his business is to provide clients with great designs tailored to their style and budget.
Hensel completed a cabinet-making program at the Hennepin Technical College and spent a year studying methods and styles in Modern and Contemporary designs in Dusseldorf, Germany.
During those three years, he participated in and won awards at many cabinet-making competitions, both at the state and national levels.
Hensel established Dovetail Kitchen Designs in St. Joseph in 2011. He is married to Sarah Hensel, a math teacher at Sartell High School. They have three children – Jacob, 6; Blake, 4; and Austin, 9 months.
The home show offers an ultimate backyard display that was built by three local landscape companies. Scheduled events include a performance by country singer Alan Godage and a fish fry on Friday. Seminars will be offered about the following: first-time home buying, bird watching, the real-estate market, repurposing furniture, home-inspection expectations, staging homes, organic gardening, working with builders, preparing to sell one’s home, and color and design trends. Those are all Saturday offerings.
Sunday seminars include a cooking show, working with builders, foundation gardening with KARE 11 gardener Bobby Jensen and a plant sale. Both days offer a chance for children to build a planter box to take home.
“We are very excited and proud of ‘The Forever House,'” said CMBA Executive Director Bonnie Moeller in a press release. “It’s a huge addition to the 2017 show. This is a first-time ever feature for us. Chris and Tony have been working non-stop to make this not only a phenomenal display, but built in just one day. We are very fortunate to have them step up to the plate to create more value for those attending the CMBA Home Show. It is a ‘must see.'”
According to the website and press-release information, the CMBA began in 1971 with a small group of builders and associate members with a goal to increase professionalism and quality in the homebuilding industry. The association now has about 450 builders and associate-member companies representing 7,500 employees involved in various areas of the building industry.
For a list of CMBA members who donated their products and services to the “Forever House,” a schedule of events and other information, visit the website www.cmbaonline.org/find-event/homeshow.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.