One for the ages
After building three houses and remodeling a fourth in 42 years of marriage, Ann and Terry Miller were ready for their last house.
This one, they decided, would be designed for how they live today and could be easily adapted for their “golden years.”
“We are traveling a lot now,” Ann Miller said. “We wanted to be able to lock and leave.”
The couple worked for a full year with architect Cindy Stewart, landscape architect Jon Emerson and interior designer Margaret Savoie to make sure that their Bocage Lake home was designed for aging in place.
“I call it our final resting place,” Ann Miller said with a smile.
Their plan for the future included entrances and doorways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other medical equipment. The master bathroom is designed with wheelchair access to the shower, toilet area and sink. The walls are backed with wood so bars can be added if needed.
“If something happens and one of us needs a wheelchair, all we need to do is add a ramp,” Ann Miller said.
To develop plans for the home, Stewart spent time with the Millers at the home they were leaving to understand what they liked and what they would change. Emerson designed the landscaping and how the home was to be situated on the lot.
Working with the architect, Savoie designed the interior to accommodate the Millers’ furniture.
“We even drew out on the slab where the furniture was going,” Ann Miller said. “That helps you place your light switches and plugs.”
As the home was being built, Terry Miller photographed the interior of every wall to have a record of the wiring, duct work and plumbing.
The front door of the home opens to a wide entrance hall with the master bedroom, bath and hobby closet on the left and an office on the right. The hall leads to the combination living room-dining room, which opens to the keeping room and kitchen at the back. Upstairs are two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sitting room and a large walk-in attic for storage.
The Millers said that one of the joys of the house is walking from the bedroom wing through the more formal living room-dining room to the keeping room-kitchen, where they spend most of their time.
“We have collected things over years and years, one piece at a time,” Terry Miller said.
“I like walking through and seeing those things.” said Ann Miller, who did all the needlework in the home, including the dining room chair seats and numerous pillows.
The kitchen is almost identical to the one the Millers had in their previous house. “I didn’t want to have to learn where things were twice,” Ann Miller said.
Emerson designed three patio-courtyard areas that connect by gates and wrap around from front to back.
“Each one has a little different feel,” Terry Miller said.
An infinity or endless edge fountain in a deep blue glazed tile is the focal point of the courtyard area. Designed by Sandy Ewing, of Ewing Aquatech, the water in the fountain gently flows over all four edges, offering soothing views from the master bedroom, living room and keeping room, even at night when blue lights create an intriguing glow.
The Millers treat the courtyard-patio area as an extension of their living space. “We eat dinner there almost every night,” Ann Miller said.
After all of their careful planning, the Millers are thrilled with their new home and neighborhood. “It’s a mixture of young and old. It’s diverse,” Terry Miller said.
“We love the sidewalks, where we can walk the dogs, and our cousins live up the road,” Ann Miller said. “We can walk to each others’ houses for dinner.”