The Miller Home
It was a crisp November day when Randy Miller flew over the Chattanooga area. From 40,000 feet, he spotted Fredonia Mountain. “It just looked sensational from the air,” he says. “So that’s how we found the property.”
By Candice Graham | Photography By Philip Slowiak
It may not have been the most typical vantage point, but looking down from the sky, Randy knew he’d found the place he wanted to call home. He and his wife didn’t have ties to the area, but they did have a love for the woodsy beauty of Southeast Tennessee. “It sealed the deal when I flew over it that day. Then we narrowed it down to this exact property,” Randy says.
Their rustic mountain home is now nestled on eight acres in the Fredonia Mountain Nature Resort. The resort, which is made up of 2,600 contiguous acres, is surrounded by trees, waterfalls, creeks, lakes, and hiking paths, and the home’s exterior aesthetic blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings. “The entire house’s design was inspired by the property,” Randy explains. Cedar shake shingles and mountain stone create a cabin look and feel, and a mahogany front door and natural slate tile in the entryway transition the look from the outside in.
Inside the home, wide plank wood flooring with differing widths creates a major impact. The pine floors, stained Bradford Umber and Tung Oil, are given a unique look by top nails. Mirroring the floor, the ceiling of the home is tongue and groove hardwood finished in the same stain.
Between the entryway and the kitchen is a wet bar that the Millers use when entertaining. Equipped with a beer tap, a wine rack, and storage for glasses, the space is made from custom cherry cabinetry. The green-gray granite countertop adds a punch of character.
In the kitchen, locally harvested granite is used on the perimeter and island countertops. Cream-colored cabinetry with an Old-World finish is used in the perimeter cabinets, and a cherry-stained island anchors the room. Drawers and shelving in the center island provide ample storage for pots and cookbooks. Copper hardware adds rustic warmth throughout the kitchen, and beveled glass doors on the middle cabinets display china backlit for an illuminating glow. Another cabinet has open shelving to display homemade sauces and canned fruits. Appliances such as a Wolf dual range with a gas grill and cooktop allow the family to use the kitchen for pizza making and grilling. Plus, a Sub Zero refrigerator concealed in the cabinet material and other stainless steel appliances make it a top spot for cooking. “It’s an extraordinarily functional kitchen,” Randy says.
Open to the kitchen is the nearby living room, which has cathedral ceilings reaching nearly 30 feet tall. A large wraparound couch provides space for the whole family to enjoy the natural stone fireplace or watch movies. “The stone fireplace is almost 24 feet high so it dominates the room,” Randy says, adding that the Tennessee mountain stone in the fireplace and on the outside of the house was harvested throughout the Tennessee Valley to Crossville.
The mantel, made from a large cedar tree that was harvested in the Sequatchie Valley, has a matching duplicate on the hearth’s other side, which is in the sunroom. Other stunning features in the living room include maple ceiling beams. While the beams bring a structural component to the cathedral ceiling, they also bring a striking visual element and blend seamlessly with the look of the home. Windows throughout the downstairs space reach nearly eight feet. “The entire first floor is ringed with banks of eight foot windows to take advantage of the view,” Randy says. “It’s a pretty location and it’s not hard to design a beautiful home when you have this piece of property to work with.”
A seating area near the kitchen provides a second area for watching TV and is backed by a wall of windows with mountainous views. Nearby, the home office forms a semicircle featuring bay windows all the way around, showcasing views of the mountains and valley. The custom-made desk is made with the same cherry cabinetry found throughout the home, and is topped with a unique granite piece. Custom built-in bookshelves with a bench in the middle outfit the room and create functional storage space.
The master bedroom is draped in a color palette of neutral tans and mint green tones. The matching wood floor and ceiling flow into this room as well, and can lighting creates a subtle glow. Tall windows look out to the woodsy yard beyond. The attached master bathroom features custom cherry cabinetry, this time with a lighter stain for a more relaxed look. Tile countertops and handmade mirrors rest over his and her sinks and a built-in shelving unit stores towels in an easy-to-access location near the tub. Both a walk-in shower and a walk-in closet are favorite features of the homeowners.
As an active family, the Millers say they couldn’t have chosen a better spot for themselves. “We hike and bike, and we’re all very outdoorsy. A lot of people horseback ride the trails, and there are five parks inside the nature resort,” Randy says. And they’re not the only ones who love their outdoor space – to their two golden retrievers, the acreage is like a dog Disneyland. It all may have started with a glance from the air, but since building on solid ground, the Millers have created a home that takes advantage of all the best things that nature has to offer.