BR couple opts for ‘senior executive living’ in their new home

After living in a traditional home in Jefferson Place for years, Ben and Bettsie Baker Miller decided they wanted out.

They wanted something more contemporary, something with an open floor plan.

“Ben wanted the bells and whistles ­— the granite, the new things,” Bettsie Miller said.

The Millers found a new development in the Old Goodwood area and worked with architect Tommy Cockfield to design what she calls “senior executive living.”

“We have very little wasted space with little transitional space and hallways,” Bettsie Miller said. “It lives big.”

The entrance to the home opens to a large courtyard area with a pool and wide front portico, where the Millers enjoy evening cocktails.

The main room of the home is a combination living room, dining room, breakfast room and kitchen. Everything flows together seamlessly. And, with its 11-foot ceilings, the room looks even bigger than its approximately 35- by 40-foot dimensions.

“This is where we spend most of our time,” Bettsie Miller said.

Off the great room are two opposite wings.

The master wing includes the large master bedroom and bath, a “his and her” office, the laundry room, a file room and lots of storage.

The office is outfitted with commercial furniture to provide workspace for Ben Miller, a founding member, now of counsel, of the Kean Miller law firm, and Bettsie Miller, who had a career in public relations and government.

“Ben still does some legal work, and I have a home office,” said Bettsie Miller, who assists her nephew, Baker Brooks, and his business partner, Chandler Rice, with their construction company, Patriot Industries.

“I helped with the business plan and now assist with the accounting and human resources,” she said. “I am the fairy godmother of Patriot Industries.”

On the opposite side of the house is a guest wing with two bedrooms, which are the perfect backdrop for the Millers’ collection of art.

Many of the paintings are done by Bettsie Miller, who has studied with some of the area’s most accomplished artists including Libby Johnson and the late Henrietta Joseph and Joe Yoder. Other paintings are by local artists whose work she admires.

“When Ben and I got married 17 years ago, we decided that we would buy art as our anniversary presents,” Bettsie Miller said. “When we travel, we like to bring back art from our trips.”

Miller worked with interior designer Helaine Moyse in selecting furniture and fabrics for the home. “We have really enjoyed working together,” she says. “I am very opinionated, and she loves that. I can say yes, and I can say no.”

Moyse helped the Millers adopt a newer design plan for their home.

“Our house in Jefferson Place was very formal with silk draperies and a formal dining room,” Bettsie Miller said. “We wanted the design of this house to be lighter and brighter. The fabrics are fun and soft, easier on the eye.”

After seven years, the Millers still love their home with its small yard, abundant storage and efficient use of space. The one big room has perfect flow for entertaining and allows guests to visit while Bettsie Miller tends to her hostess duties.

“Everyone ends up in the kitchen anyway,” she said with a laugh.