AMELIA ISLANDER MAGAZINE…www.AmeliaIslander.com
featured our home in their August 2020 issue.
THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM…
BY DICKIE ANDERSON • PHOTOS BY LYNN TENNILLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Dave and Kathy Miller are quick to tell you that, after living in two other houses, they are now settled in the Amelia Island home that is perfect for them.
The Millers have been closely linked to the evolution of Amelia Island Plantation. Dave Miller Sr. was the president of JCPenney when he heard about Amelia Island. He decided to check it out and instantly bought five unbuilt condominiums. Approaching retirement, Miller Sr. and his wife, Glo, bought their first house in 1989. The small three-bedroom, threebath home had a tiny kitchen, a breakfast area, and a large great room. The house was a constant gathering place for friends and family.
Real estate is in the Millers’ DNA. Dave Sr. and Dave Jr. established a successful business that bought, sold, and operated various real estate holdings and businesses. Dave Sr. was known for his generosity and philanthropy. The David. F. Miller Center for Retailing Education and Research at the University of Florida is named for him. He also led the initiative to form a Boys and Girls Club here in Nassau County, which is named the Miller Freedom Center in his honor.
Dave Sr. was an original University of Florida Bull Gator and an avid supporter of the Orange and Blue. The next generation is represented by Kathy and Dave’s son, James, who has joined his father in the family real estate business.
Dave Jr. and his wife, Kathy, purchased the first of their three Amelia island homes in 2001. It was just down the road from “Pops and Glo’s” house. After his wife’s passing, Dave Sr. undertook a major remodeling of the house. This included adding a large sunroom, a large screened-in back porch, a kitchen remodel, and an over-the-garage suite.
For their second home on Amelia, Kathy and Dave decided to downsize and try oceanfront living. Again, using
their skills for renovation, they worked with Julie Johnson and Benjie McEntryre of Julia Hall Interiors. However, at the time of Dave Sr.’s passing, the couple found it impossible to let the family home go. For their final stop, Kathy and Dave decided to settle in the original Miller home on Amelia Island.
Once again, the couple called on Julie and Benjie to help with the remodel. “Julie and Benjie are masters at taking what we own, such as special antiques, collections, and artwork, and working them into a new, updated look,” shares Kathy.
The original footprint of the house remains, but major changes were made during the five-month renovation. Kathy and Dave lived in the suite above the garage during the remodeling, which included the replacement of the pipes, electrical, insulation, heating and air, and all the floors with attractive French oak wide-plank wood. Even the marshside screened porch with its favorite fireplace was replaced.
The comfortable main living area opens onto the spacious screened porch and the marsh beyond.
The screened porch has a beautiful cypress ceiling and a favorite cozy fireplace for family gatherings.
The interior was reconfigured. The most dramatic change was reclaiming space over the kitchen. A space that housed air handlers became a dramatic lofted ceiling. A gorgeous Aidan Gray chandelier created and designed to give that “one-of-a- kind” look hangs over an inviting round table.
Kathy focused much of her energy on the kitchen area. The couple loves to entertain and knew the kitchen and adjacent family room were an essential part of the home. Kathy maintains a blog sharing her cooking, painting, lifestyle, and travel tips (www.kathymillertime.com). Her inspiring tablescapes and recipes are popular with her followers.
The cabinets in the kitchen are a warm beige, with the kitchen island stained a complimentary light blue and the large center island has seating for four. Countertops are leathered quartzite, a durable stone with unique markings reminiscent of oyster shells.
Appliances are from Thermador.
The master bedroom looks out onto a patio and the marsh.
The room is filled with some of Kathy’s collection of antique furniture and her colorful paintings of flowers.
A very small master bath was enlarged by taking space from the old laundry room and closet. A dramatic painting by Kathy hangs over the tub, adding color to the simple, open space.
The fireplace in the great room is one of the remaining original features of the house. Its coquina shells complement the updated décor. The room is filled with the Miller’s favorite antiques and artwork. A contemporary cabinet designed by Julia Hall Interiors houses electronics and a large television. (Painting above fireplace by Ellen Diamond).
A treasured painting of Centre Street by popular San Marco artist Dennis Campay on one wall was commissioned by Dave Sr. It has stayed in the home where it was originally displayed.
A dramatic marsh painting sits over a side table in dining area.
The Millers are quick to share that a favorite room is the sunroom with its lofted cypress beams that fit perfectly in the marshside location. Bright floral paintings by Kathy are paired with some of her favorite collected antiques.
In mid-remodel, Hurricane Irma threatened. The Millers credit Donna Lynne Custom Homes,
who worked overtime to get the new windows in place before the hurricane hit. Their framing crew nailed 2×6’s to dock posts to keep the dock from floating away as the tides rose. A walkway leads from the backyard down to a sitting area and dock on the marsh. (Look closely at the pilings to see the 2×6’s)
The rear exterior of the house lets in lots of natural light and offers serene views of the ever- changing marsh.
The rear patio offers plenty of room for elegant outdoor dining.
The Millers enjoy their escapes to North Carolina, where they love to hike in the mountains and entertain. They have bought and sold several homes there. They now share a home with family in a house originally owned by Dave Miller Sr.
Kathy maintains a studio in the space over the garage. Her colorful paintings include a series she did of SEC schools highlighting tailgating traditions. Her most recent paintings of impressionistic bright colored flowers are available through her website.
Kathy and Dave Miller agree that the third time is the charm. They love the history of the house they have remodeled and are so pleased that it stayed in the family, where it continues to be a gracious gathering place for special occasions.
Thank you Dickie Anderson and Amelia Islander Magazine for featuring our special family home.
To receive Dickie’s weekly newsletter or get information about her books including her four From the Porch books contact Dickie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to LYNN TENNILLE PHOTOGRAPHY for the beautiful photographs. Click on the links to visit their sites.
And a big thank you to Julie Johnson and Benjie McEntryre of Julia Hall Interiors for always giving the right advice and special recommendations during and after the design process.
Home is where the heart is and the hearts of our extended family are here in this home.
Come celebrate with me.
I’ll save you a seat at the table.