Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Slate walkway & exterior wall cladding of Miller House. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Cylindrical fireplace is one of the key features of the central living area. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

The custom-made sofa with brass back detail in the living area was originally going to be an Eames Compact couch. However as it’s exposed back was deemed visually “objectionable”, Girard modified it to suit this room. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

 

Designed by the rockstar architect  for industrialist and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller and his family in 1957, the  in Columbus, Indiana is a poster-girl for Midcentury Modernism. As a serious supporter of architecture in the construction of numerous buildings throughout Indiana, Miller sought out a full-time residence also worthy of his modernist ambitions. In order to fulfil his vision, Saarinen worked with celebrated interior designer and landscape architect . What a killer team!

This house encompasses some of the most fundamental aspects of the Modernist principles such as an open and flowing layout, flat roof, thick stone and full-height-glass walls – an architectural tradition developed by Mies van der Rohe. That’s all well and good, but the reason I love this place so much is that, although Modernist at it’s core, the house has a unique personality rarely seen in this era – it’s rooms are filled with pimping finishes and textiles that feature vibrant colours and playful patterns, creating an unlikely union between hard-core architecture and decorative interiors.

 

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Details from the living room. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

The dining room centres around a custom Saarinen-designed marble-and-terrazzo table surrounded by Tulip chairs. Venini chandelier hangs above. And can we all please note the perfectly coordinated rug in relation to the table base? Amaze. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Miller House kitchen. Love a bit of mosaic splashback action in contrast to the slick kitchen finishes. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

 

Located on a thirteen-acre rectangular site that stretches between a busy street and river, the residence is divided into nine sections – the corners house, the master bedroom suite, children’s room’s with an attached playroom, kitchen/laundry, and a zone encompassing the guest room, servant’s quarters and a carport (totalling 635 sqm). The cylindrical fireplace, 15 m long storage wall and the sunken conversation pit are some of the key elements of the central space.

Amid the residence’s large geometric gardens, its grandest feature is an alley of honey locust trees that runs along the west side of the house.

 

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

The front entrance of the Miller House. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Left – daughter Xenia’s dressing room with a custom stool covered in Girard’s Mogul 081 fabric. Right – Alexander Girard’s fabric are used for curtains throughout the house. Gerar continued to work with the Millers on their house for more than 15 years, adapting the interiors of the house as the family’s needs changed. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Kids playroom later became daughter Xenia’s office. Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Gerard’s original textile master plan for the house was recently found the property. OMG – Girard sketched on YELLOWTRACE!!! Photo by Leslie Williamson for .

 

After J. Irwin Miller & his wife passed away, their heirs generously donated the house, along with many of its original furnishings. The Miller House and Garden is now owned and cared for by the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

In 2000, the property underwent a $2 million dollar restoration and the National Historic Landmark was reopened to the public, showcasing the work of leading 20th-century architects and designers – Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard, and Dan Kiley.

 

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Image courtesy of .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

Image courtesy of .

Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen | Yellowtrace

The Millers in their house! Image courtesy of .


[Photography by Leslie Williamson for and as noted.]

 



About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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