Tucked away in the suburbs of the southern Indiana city of Columbus is the Miller House and Gardens, one of the best examples of modern architecture in America. Every detail of the home was thoroughly planned, down to the positioning of cracks and the perfect cement pour on the floating table.
Best of all it was the home to the Miller Family until 2008, and not just a holiday house. It is unlike any home you’ll find again and is famed as one of the finest examples of modern architecture in America, and one of the highlights of my visit to Indiana! I’m just glad I travelled the ArtsRoad 46 and discovered this gem!
The house was designed by renown Finnish-American architecture Eero Saarinen, also known for the St Louis’ Gateway Arch and the TWA Flight Center at JFK International Airport, the modest exterior isn’t telling of the wonders you’ll find inside awaiting inside, who had previously built the Millers a summer house in Ontario, Canada.
Created with traditional modernist architecture design in mind, the home features an open and flowing layout, stone and glass walls and iconic flat roof. The home is centered around the open common space.
Stepping through the front doors is like stepping into a whole new era. It’s an eclectic mix of colour and character, with many of the art pieces being sourced from international trips by the family and friends. This eclectic mix of items come together cohesively and gives the home this extra ‘wow’ factor combining a stylish but lived in feel, like the Miller’s had just stepped outside for a minute.
One of my favourite features of The Miller House is the conversation pit, one of the most striking inclusions in the home and a trend from the 60’s. I could just imagine pouring a few drinks and having friends around to enjoy a quiet night after a good meal.
Xenia Miller was a close friend with the interior designer, Alexander Girard. On his frequent travels, he’d often come back to Indiana with a treasure trove of items for Xenia to look at. Because of this, there’s an eclectic mix of Mexican, Eastern European and Asian influence in the furnishings of the property. the
In what could be a cold and utilitarian space, the colours, fabrics and pops of colours really help make this place feel like a home.
My favourite piece in the home is the colourful one-of-a-kind rug in the sitting room. The design is composed of symbols representing the families history and interests. The more notable ones are for Mr Miller: ‘Y’s for Yale (Mr Miller’s alma mater), an ear of corn representing the Miller family’s leadership in Union Starch & Refining Company; a bank representative of their ownership of Irwin’s bank and an elephant relating to Mr Miller’s political affiliation.
It’s not only the home which draws people from around the world. The gardens are also an important example of classic modern horticulture. But those I will leave for you to discover on your own, and maybe even spot this curious little creature while you are there.
The Miller House and Garden is owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and to view the home and gardens you must take a guided tour.
Tours cost US$25 and run for around 90 minutes, including transportation time. For exact dates tours are available, click here.
You can book a tour through the Columbus Area Visitors Centre website, phone or buy the tickets in person. All tours leave and return to the Columbus Visitors Centre.
I visited Columbus while driving the ArtsRoad 46 which meanders through three of Southern Indiana’s cities and towns which are beacons for artists and nature lovers!
Now it’s over to you
Would you live in the Miller House?
Have you travelled to experience a certain architectural style?
Let me know in the comments below!
Read more about Indiana:
I was in Bloomington for TMS Showcase with Visit Bloomington.
All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.