THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM


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

Marsh Creek home photo by Lynn Tennille

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.

Living area with view through screened porch to the marsh photo by Lynn Tenille

The screened porch has a beautiful cypress ceiling and a favorite cozy fireplace for family gatherings.

Screened porch with fireplace and Kathy Miller original's beach painting photo by Lynn Tenille

Screened porch with views to the marsh and intracoastal photo by Lynn Tennille

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.

Aidan Gray chandelier in dining area photo by Lynn Tenille

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.

Kitchen with bar stools for extra seating

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.

Leathered Quartzite counter tops resembling oyster shells photo by Lynn Tennille

Appliances are from Thermador.

The master bedroom looks out onto a patio and the marsh.

Main bedroom with marsh views photo by Lynn Tennille

The room is filled with some of Kathy’s collection of antique furniture and her colorful paintings of flowers.

Main bedroom with Kathy Miller original flower paintings photo by Lynn Tennille

Kathy Miller Flower Paintings photo by Lynn Tennille

Antique armoire with Kathy Miller's Camp Chimney original painting photo by Lynn Tennille

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.

main bath with blue lightly stained cabinetry photo by Lynn Tennille

Soaking tub in main bath with Kathy Miller original Amelia Sunrise painting photo by Lynn Tennille

Soaking tub and large walk in shower with window for natural light painting by Kathy Miller Amelia Sunrise photo by Lynn Tennille

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).

Coquina fireplace original to the house photo by Lynn Tennille

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.

Original Dennis Campay painting of Centre Street in Fernandina Beach photo by Lynn Tennille

A dramatic marsh painting sits over a side table in dining area.

Dramatic marsh painting over dining room buffet photo by Lynn Tennille

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.

Sunroom with antiques and bright Kathy Miller original floral paintings photo by Lynn Tennille

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)

Walkway to dock photo by Lynn Tennille

The rear exterior of the house lets in lots of natural light and offers serene views of the ever- changing marsh.

Screened porch and sunroom view from dock photo by Lynn Tennille

The rear patio offers plenty of room for elegant outdoor dining.

Marsh side dining on patio photo by Lynn Tennille

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 dickie.anderson@gmail.com

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.

16 Comments

  • Pat Troxel says:

    What a beautiful tribute to the Miller legacy! I loved seeing the photographs of your amazing home…truly an iconic residence reimagined!
    Love to all!

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Thank you Pat! Know how much you liked and admired Pops as did he regarding you!
      We had fun remaking this special house (although living 5 months above the garage got a little old.) Miss seeing you

      Love to you
      Kathy

  • Vern says:

    Everyone in our family is so happy that the house remains a Miller home. I love spending time there now with Dave and Kathy enjoying all of the beautiful changes but I also enjoy reminiscing about the many family gatherings once had with Pops and Glo

    • Kathy Miller says:

      We did have such good times with Pops and Glo and with all the sibs and grandchildren. Grilling on the tiny back screened porch and Glo making her special meals. Sitting out on the decks watching the marsh and of course some great boat trips with Glo.

  • Nancy Hobart says:

    Your home is beautiful thank you for sharing it. I do miss all my Amelia friends.

  • Janet says:

    TERRIFIC ARTICLE!
    I love the legacy of Dave Sr, and Dave Jr. all woven together in the love of being at Amelia from the start. Now that James is such a part of the Plantation Real Estate I know the history lives on. Hope it will continue for all those who are just joining. Don’t want that early feeling to fade away.
    Great pictures by Lynn and of course Dickey says it the best.

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Thanks Janet! I always appreciate your thoughts. You know how special being here from the beginning was. And it is continuing, being a beautiful place to call home. So happy you and Ron are in our lives. And of course you know the specialness of keeping a place in the family with your Camp Winape in Vermont!

  • Liz Hynson says:

    What an awesome article about the history of our family, your gorgeous home and wonderful display of your beautiful paintings. I really enjoyed it.

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Thanks Liz! We have had some wonderful family gatherings over the years and look forward to many more! Just wish Pops and Glo were still with us…but I know they are happy to have it stay in the family.

  • RuthAnne Hicks says:

    A real dream home Kathy & Dave! Beautiful and inviting! Congratulations. 😊

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Thank you RuthAnne,
      Always appreciate your comments and reading my blog! I’m glad we met at The Plantation shop at that long ago Fl/Ga pregame shopping on Amelia!

  • Lynn Tennille says:

    Thank you Kathy! Your home is beautiful. I enjoyed listening to the family story and renovation behind it while I was photographing. It was so nice to work with you , Julie, and Dickie on this article.

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Your photographs are beautiful and made our home even look more special. I enjoyed working with you and had fun chatting with you, Julie and Dickie. What a group of ladies!
      Hope to work together soon. Interior shots can be so tricky and you handled it beautifully.

  • Sister Kay says:

    Such a beautiful home. I’m so proud of all that you and your family have accomplished. Love you so much!!!
    P.S. I am still looking for the watermelon picture🍉

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Thanks Sister Kay! I wish you could find that old photo of me speed splitting watermelon seeds off Grandma’s back porch! Would show my competitive spirit. Love you Kay!

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