The master of the makeover: Tony Videen from STR8 Modern

Photos by Wing Ho/Canary Grey

STR8 Modern’s Tony Videen sits for a portrait in the Golden Valley home he recently renovated to reflect his personal affinity for clean, contemporary design.

If you’ve ever come across the least attractive house in a Twin Cities neighborhood, there’s a good chance Tony Videen has already taken a look at it and envisioned what it would look like after a fresh makeover. As the owner of STR8 Modern, a full-service Golden Valley real estate company that also happens to do its fair share of renovations (specifically underloved, underappreciated homes built in the 1950s and 1960s), he sees only potential.

Unsurprisingly, after nearly 20 years of working in real estate and a decade of renovating homes along with a trusted team of tradespeople who pull it all together, Videen has developed an impressive eye for these homes. His approach is theoretically straightforward: Videen looks for existing homes, draws up the renovation plans in-house, and then remodels them in a matter of months.

“I’ve always been someone who notices and loves the details in the architecture of a house,” he says. “We know we can breathe new life into it. When we first look at a home we look for a floor plan that can work for the client with the open feel of our designs.”

Videen’s primary bath takes a monochromatic approach to rest and relaxation.

With a penchant for mid-century design, Videen took the same approach when designing his own home. Six years ago, his company was renovating a house in a Golden Valley neighborhood, but he fell in love with the house next door: a mid-century modern apartment building with a flat roof. From there he happened to form kinship with the homeowner, Mary, who had lived there for 45 years. “After years of friendship, she sold me the house,” he says. “Mary was involved throughout the process including the renovation and conversion to my dream home. I still call it ‘Mary’s House’.”

In his designs, Videen tends to use local, handcrafted finds to decorate and furnish his projects. “Hennepin Made, Dutton Brown and Tandem Made are our favorites for lights,” he shares. “And how great to have Blu Dot and Room & Board here too.”

But now that he lives in his own dream home where entertainment was a priority, Videen looks to the future of STR8 Modern. He says: “We can typically do up to five complete home renovations a year. We hope to increase that to 10 houses a year in the next few years.” After all, there’s always another old home around the corner just waiting for a full makeover.


RENOVATORS | Tony Videen

Have you always lived in the Twin Cities? I was born here and grew up. It was first working on a loft renovation in Lowertown St. Paul with my father in the early 2000’s that gave me the passion for renovation and the use of my design skills.

Any Style Pet Trouble? People who don’t use art and accessories. These are the easiest ways to really breathe new life into an existing space.

How can someone modernize their home? The easiest way to do this is with furniture and accessories again. With the ability to shop at local outlets like Blu Dot and Room & Board, modern styling is much more accessible.