Miller House in Columbus, Indiana by Eero Saarinen

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photos by:
May 2, 2011

Eero Saarinen’s legendary Miller House opened to the public in May 2011 for the first time. Leslie Williamson gives us an intimate tour of this Columbus, Indiana, treasure.
 

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  The pathway from the pool to the house is paved with the same slate that clads the exterior walls.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    The pathway from the pool to the house is paved with the same slate that clads the exterior walls.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  In the main living room, the pillows in the sunken seating area changed colors with the seasons: reds for the winter and lighter pastels for the warmer months.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    In the main living room, the pillows in the sunken seating area changed colors with the seasons: reds for the winter and lighter pastels for the warmer months.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  The custom-made sofa in the open-plan living area, with its brass back detail, was originally going to be an Eames Compact couch. But when its exposed back was deemed visually objectionable, Girard modified the piece to suit the room.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    The custom-made sofa in the open-plan living area, with its brass back detail, was originally going to be an Eames Compact couch. But when its exposed back was deemed visually objectionable, Girard modified the piece to suit the room.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  The dining room centers around a custom Saarinen-designed marble-and-terrazzo table ringed by Tulip chairs. Overhead is a Venini chandelier.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    The dining room centers around a custom Saarinen-designed marble-and-terrazzo table ringed by Tulip chairs. Overhead is a Venini chandelier.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  A mosaic tile wall softens the laboratory-like effect of the glossy kitchen cabinets.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    A mosaic tile wall softens the laboratory-like effect of the glossy kitchen cabinets.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  In the winter, the cylindrical fireplace in the central living area was always ready for a fire. In spring and summer, the base was filled with plants.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    In the winter, the cylindrical fireplace in the central living area was always ready for a fire. In spring and summer, the base was filled with plants.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  Xenia’s dressing room was much larger than Irwin’s and had a custom stool covered in Girard’s Mogul 081 fabric. A few pieces of Xenia’s extensive blue opaline glass collection sit on her dressing table.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    Xenia’s dressing room was much larger than Irwin’s and had a custom stool covered in Girard’s Mogul 081 fabric. A few pieces of Xenia’s extensive blue opaline glass collection sit on her dressing table.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  Alexander Girard 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
    Alexander Girard 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

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  Almost every window in the house was covered in a Girard-designed fabric.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    Almost every window in the house was covered in a Girard-designed fabric.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  The Miller girls’ bedrooms each had a different color variation on the Quatrefoil pattern.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    The Miller girls’ bedrooms each had a different color variation on the Quatrefoil pattern.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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    Photo by: Leslie Williamson
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  pattern instructions for needlepoint for Xenia  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    pattern instructions for needlepoint for Xenia

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  needlepoint seating pads on the Tulip chairs  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    needlepoint seating pads on the Tulip chairs

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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    Photo by: Leslie Williamson
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  Girard’s touch is visible in almost every detail in the house.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    Girard’s touch is visible in almost every detail in the house.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  His original textile master plan for the house was recently unearthed in the property’s barn.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    His original textile master plan for the house was recently unearthed in the property’s barn.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  Girard even integrated the floor plan of the house into the TV room rug design.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    Girard even integrated the floor plan of the house into the TV room rug design.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  The playroom later became Xenia’s office.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    The playroom later became Xenia’s office.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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  The front entrance of the Miller House is flanked by a series of glass screens, designed by either Dan Kiley or Girard.  Photo by: Leslie Williamson
    The front entrance of the Miller House is flanked by a series of glass screens, designed by either Dan Kiley or Girard.

    Photo by: Leslie Williamson

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