ABOVE: Laurie Taylor masterminded the restoration of this 1907 A&C great room, suggesting a panoramic mural for the seven-inch frieze.
Designers Laurie Taylor and Clint Miller
If there’s a trend toward designers working more closely these days with artisans and the trades, that guild spirit has rarely extended itself to the working arrangement between architect and interior designer. Conflicts so often arise over control. In the Pacific Northwest, though, just such a partnership is well known. For over a decade, Laurie Taylor and Clint Miller have been an indomitable team working out of Seattle. Laurie’s expertise in early-20th-century decorative arts, color and pattern is matched up with Clint’s methodical ways and accurate knowledge of architecture; the pair have produced gorgeous restorations as well as new design and construction. No, they are not married (to each other). It’s just that they really see eye-to-eye. Both have a particular interest in the Arts and Crafts period.
They recall that a mutual friend introduced them at a dinner party, just as Laurie’s design business was taking off. She needed help with architectural elements: colonnades and cabinets, kitchens and trim. Meanwhile, Clint was building a reputation as a gifted architectural consultant who has an eye for period detail. They decided to collaborate. You’ve probably seen their work, which has won awards and been published often—in the Seattle Times, in Arts & Crafts Homes and in Old-House Interiors, and in books including Bungalow: The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home and Bungalow Bathrooms.
Laurie Taylor hasn’t always been an interior designer. Raised in Seattle, Laurie graduated from Seattle University with a degree in psychology and worked in human-resource management in local government. But after beating cancer in the late 1980s, Laurie decided she would not go to her grave with any regrets—so, finally following her heart, she became a designer. Her wisest decision, she acknowledges, was to focus on Arts and Crafts, a niche few other designers had yet discovered. Business boomed along with the Arts and Crafts Revival, where Laurie found herself at the forefront. In 1994 she won a first-place award for interior restoration from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Now retired, one of her latest collaborations with Clint Miller was on the construction of a period-style bungalow, this time for herself and her husband, in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
Ivy Hill Interiors
Clint Miller was raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and has a degree in history from Northwestern University. Clint had careers in marketing and antiques-dealing for many years. But he’s loved to sketch architectural details since childhood, and when he began restoring his 1914 Colonial Revival house around 1979, his skills became obvious. Friends were soon asking Clint for design help on their remodeling projects. He found himself with a thriving architectural-design business focused on classical work and period restoration. He became an expert sleuth, reading buildings for signs of missing details; in one case, he was the first to notice an original chandelier hanging forgotten over a client’s basement ping-pong table. Along with Laurie Taylor, he’s helped give back integrity to dozens of Northwest homes, mindful always not to overshadow original intent and design.
Clinton M. Miller and Associates