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My Mid-Century Modern Dream Home

August 21, 2023

You’ve hopefully seen part one of this blog series, House Hunting through the Collection.

So, without further ado, the house in IHS digital collection that I wish was truly for sale and the winner of my “just browsing” house hunt, The Miller House in Columbus, Indiana.

If you, like me, love mid-century modern architecture then this house is for you. This was the home of J. Irwin Miller, a prominent businessman, his wife Xenia Miller, and their children. In the early 1950s, Miller commissioned the architect Eero Saarinen, landscape architect Dan Kiley and interior designer Alexander Girard to create this beautiful home and gardens.

Interiors of the Miller Home showing a sitting area, 1995, the conversation pit, 1976, and dining room, ca. 1975, Indiana Historical Society, M1003

The inside of the home is sleek, modern, and open. This isn’t to suggest that the home is sterile. No, there is a definite coziness and liveliness to the home. This home was well-loved and lived-in, as evidenced by the many photos of the Miller family and friends gathered in the conversation pit and around the table. This bodes well for my fiancé and I since having entertainment space is important to us.

Exteriors of the Miller Home showing a patio, 1974, an allée, 1995, and spring gardens, 1995, Indiana Historical Society, M1003

The outdoor spaces of the home are just as beautiful as the inside, and a perfect setting for a backyard wedding.  Beyond my nuptials, I could see myself enjoying the outdoor spaces regularly.

An allée in the gardens at the Miller House, 1974, Indiana Historical Society, M1003

This home has everything I want and need, and even some things I did not know I wanted (hello, conversation pit!). What I especially love about the home is that combined with the garden, it’s a private oasis from the stressors of everyday life.

If you’re interested in seeing the home in person, it is now owned by Newfields and is open for tours. And, if you would like to learn more about the Miller House, or go house hunting for yourself in the digital collection, please visit the IHS Digital Collection.

Regan Steimel is the Reference Librarian at the Indiana Historical Society and in her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

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