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HOMEOWNERS — Ed and Carole Miller

BUILT — 2000

ARCHITECTURE — The mood of classic '20s-'30s Spanish-mission style

LOCATION — East Hampton, New York

LIVING SPACE — 12,000-square-foot main house

FAVORITE ROOM — The "warm, comfortable" library, built in Florida and reassembled

HER AT-HOME PASTIMES — Charity work, decorating, entertaining

HIM AT-HOME PASTIMES — Reading, golf, and dabbling in corporate work

Pool

Study

East Hampton, New York — While vacationing with friends in Hawaii, Ed and Carole Miller decided they wanted a summer home on the water.

Their friends suggested they look in the Hamptons. Carole confessed that she had never been to Long Island’s South Shore, even though both she and Ed were from New York City.

Persuaded by their friends, they made an appointment to see the South Shore — more specifically, that 20-something mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean coastline, dune-swept beaches, and quaint seaside villages known as The Hamptons.

In one 11-hour day, they saw Westhampton, Hampton Bays, Southhampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, and, finally, Montauk. They loved the area, but there was nothing available on the water.

THE LAST THING ON THEIR MINDS WAS BUILDING

On a fluke one rainy weekend while dining with friends in East Hampton, Ed and Carole consented to “just look” at a piece of property. Two acres of dense woods was what they found.

However, that didn’t deter Ed from traipsing off through the trees. When Carole heard “Oh, you’ve got to see this”, she knew Ed had found water. Within two hours, they were working with a builder. That was ten years ago.

The Millers purchased the two-acre lot on an Atlantic Ocean harbor and built a 3200-square-foot home. However, within a few years, they were ready to expand and began looking for another piece of property.

“We couldn’t find anything to equal what we already had. The location, the view...we have the most magnificent sunsets.” So they decided to remain where they were and rebuild.

“Can you believe it? We knocked down a seven-year-old home,” Carole says, with some amazement still in her voice. They salvaged all they could and gave it to Habitat for Humanity. In 2000, they began building what is now their 12,000-square-foot dream waterfront home.

"The location, the view...
we have the most magnificent sunsets."

No regrets. Carole cannot imagine it getting much better than this. As luck would have it, they found an incredible builder, Barry Brown of East Hampton, who, along with his wife and three children, has since become a close friend. And they found a wonderful architect. Compiling ideas of homes she and Ed had seen, “I told him what I wanted and he listened.” She listened to him, too. He put in five fireplaces; she took them out. Then she put four back in. It was a compromise.

Carole also felt a strong camaraderie with her interior decorator, Jane David of Jane David Interiors, Inc., with whom she had worked before on a home in Florida. Working together again on the East Hampton home, their business relationship evolved into true friendship. “Jane would fly up from Delrey Beach all the time. She had a very hands-on relationship with both the architect and builder."

The end result? A house that turned out to be even greater than the Millers expected. As Carole points out, building a home is a labor of love — and this was a two-year, long-distance endeavor. “The involvement is enormous," she says. "But I would have to say that this is truly my dream home."

The seven bedroom, nine bath home (with another bed and bath in the pool house) faces the Atlantic Ocean. "When you’re on the water, the back of the house is considered the front." And the view is breathtaking. One of Carole’s favorite spots, and of her own creation, is the infinity-edged swimming pool. Abundant boulder landscaping around and within the pool offer natural appeal to the "vanishing" edge. "When you’re sitting in the water, it looks as if it’s overflowing into the ocean."

ENJOYING LIFE

Ed is a retired business executive who is not really retired at all, as he sits on many boards of directors and continues to be an active part of yet another association. To relax, he reads and plays golf, but Carole admits his favorite thing is his involvement in the corporate world.

Carole is involved in charity work and also dabbles in decorating and design, which is evident throughout her home. She and Ed are both world travelers and avid readers.

"Jane would fly up from Delrey Beach all the time. She had a very hands-on relationship with both the architect and builder."

But Carole's one true passion is entertaining. The Millers consider their entire home to be open to one and all — especially family. “My family is my life,” Carole says.

The couple has two grown sons, five grandchildren, plus Carole’s younger brother’s children, whom she considers more as grandchildren than nieces and nephews. It’s apparent that the Millers' East Hampton home was built specifically to accommodate their entire family.

At first glance, the living room looks a bit formal with its beautifully detailed ceiling moulding, chandelier, silk sofa, and handmade, faux painted mantel. Formal, but comfortable. The dining room is Ed’s favorite, with its Persian rug and exquisite six foot chandelier suspended from a faux leather painted ceiling. And the 14-foot dining table extends to seat 24 guests.


The cinema/movie room has a Cowboys and Indians theme, one whole bank of sink-in suede
seating, and, of course, a popcorn machine. Shop Furnishings & Décor.

The cinema/movie room has a Cowboys and Indians theme, one whole bank of sink-in suede seating, and, of course, a popcorn machine. There’s even a lighted candy counter. The grandkids spend a lot of time playing video games, and sometimes it’s hard to get them out when the adults want to watch a movie. So Ed and Carole are in the process of adding on yet another room, a game room for the grand-children. “Like I really need another room,” she laughs. “But we do.”

Carole loves her entire home, but says, “If I had to choose one room, it would be my library. It’s so warm and comfortable.” And it was built entirely in Florida. “The builder came up, measured everything, and went back to Florida and built it." Then it was brought up to East Hampton and reassembled — right down to the beautiful granite fireplace surround. It reminds her of the grand libraries where men would retire after dinner to smoke cigars and drink cognac.

There is also a billiards room upstairs, with lots of comfortable leather seating. And the warm, sunny kitchen delights with its limestone floor, teak-topped center island, and exquisite egg and dart moulding.

Ed and Carole have definitely built the ideal home to be lived in — and thoroughly enjoyed.

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