Angela Grossmann-Roewe
Contributing Writer

Somewhere in Waterloo right now a couple can’t stop taking in the charm and character of their custom-built home and its unique decor. Mike and Sharon Miller, who have been married for 35 years, have become quite impressive and skilled at both architectural design and interior design. There’s nothing they can’t dream especially since Mike has been in the construction industry for 43 years and Sharon has been along for the ride almost as long. As founder of Miller Construction, he
recently retired and his son, Steve Miller, has taken over the small-town business.

The couple has lived in six homes throughout the area during their time together, often residing in homes Mike built until they sold. Although they now live in a two-year-old, estate-style ranch, the home just before it kept their attention for 26Above & Beyond Design by Marla | Inspired. Experienced. Design years – the longest ever for the Millers. It was a colonial plantation two-story that drew attention from even the most inattentive passerby. Their newest abode is quite a change from their previous homes.

The ranch displays only the finest materials and craftsmanship with stamped concrete walks and patios, carriage-style garage doors, brick and stone exterior, dormer, vinyl windows and skylights for natural light and energy efficiency. Situated in a newer, sought-after community, the two-year-old gem was birthed by the couple from start to finish with help from their son Steve, daughter Marla Vogt, and son-in-law Mike Vogt.

First they had to decide where to build a ranch style home where they could easily retire and grow old in. They longed for a subdivision that felt like a true piece of country land, eventually finding a lot like no other with views of farmland for as far as the eyes can see.

Then, they worked on their game plan to bring a taste of their vacation home to meet their main residence. You see, the couple is in love with everything about Colorado, having traveled there for over a decade take in the sights, sounds and lifestyle. After a few years of packing things up in an RV time after time, they chose to buy a log cabin in Colorado.

Even when Mike and Sharon are at home in Waterloo, they surround themselves with things from their second home because they just can’t get enough of the Centennial State.

When you enter the open and elegant floor plan, there’s more than one focal point guaranteed to catch your attention. The hardwood flooring throughout the main level is a rare sight because it’s unattainable in this area. In fact, it was shipped from nowhere else but … Colorado. The striking, distressed Southern pecan wood flooring combined with a stone, full-wall, and floor-to-ceiling fireplace with build in benches makes one feel like they are in a lodge.

Above & Beyond Design by Marla | Inspired. Experienced. Design

The mantel in the family room is one-of-a-kind and modeled after a picture in a Log Home Living magazine

Even the mantel in the family room is one-of-a-kind and modeled after a picture in a Log Home Living magazine Mike and Sharon carried around for quite some time. There’s no doubt the carpenter the Millers chose beat out the photograph.

The entire décor of the family room was based on Western style. A cow-skin rug from South America lies underneath a thick, glass top coffee table, which boasts iron legs with country-western belt buckles. Leather furniture, fur pillows and suede tassels accentuate the couple’s mission. You would never guess the light fixtures were bought locally as they look like they came straight out of a Colorado interior design magazine.

When they shop, they hit stops where one-of-a-kind and unusual items may be found, such as an antique dealer, auction, or small out-of-town boutique. “It’s funny how we have the exact same taste now and will set our eye on a piece to find out the other was thinking the same thing,” Sharon said.

Above & Beyond Design by Marla | Inspired. Experienced. Design

Southwestern flair kitchen designed by Marla Vogt.

The neighboring kitchen, designed by their daughter Marla, boasts ceramic tile flooring, a ceramic back splash with subdued Christian fish detailing, staggered cabinetry, slider drawers, sliding spice rack, planning desk with wooden cubbies. Also featured in this amazing space are a built-in oven, stainless steel appliances, cabinetry corvals, oversized crown molding, recessed lighting, center island, granite countertops, and walk-in pantry larger than a master bathroom.

“Our daughter did an excellent job in here and incorporated everything we wanted and more,” Sharon said. “We can’t wait to watch her use her talents when she opens her kitchen design store in Columbia soon called ‘Above and Beyond’.”

A formal dining room area right next to the heart of the home offers great conversation and many opportunities for family time with their children and grandchildren. More striking Southern pecan wood floors, large windows, and access to a covered back patio with a painted, stamped concrete floor add even more beauty. The couple spends much of their time enjoying their backyard island oasis watching for wildlife and dreaming of their next log cabin getaway.

One guest bedroom is dressed to kill in a feminine, pink, floral Victorian flare with antiques and quaint materials. The other resembles more of a man cave with many of Mike’s various hunting trophies, which include a bobcat, deer, turkey, antelope, and mountain sheep. He also claimed a spacious area off the garage he uses as his workshop and woodcarving room.
The master suite’s bath is to die for with an enormous walk-in shower graced with ceramic tiling, three shower heads, water temperature memory switch and bench, and corner garden tub. This space mimics a fourth bedroom in size!

No matter where they roam – Colorado can follow them home.

* Photo Credits Abode Magazine Belleville News-Democrat