When he was growing up, Paul Miller’s mother “was always playing with color and creating tableaux in our home,” he recalls. This inspiration led the Virginia native, who also considered a career in acting or writing, to study interior design. “It would more immediately give me a creative outlet,” he reasoned.
Miller completed the design program at Lord Fairfax Community College and later apprenticed for designer Deborah Langfitt—an experience he found invaluable. “She was a good macro-view person,” he says, “and really helped me see the big picture.”
In 2004, Miller went out on his own, opening MakeNest Interiors, a Winchester, Virginia, design studio and home-furnishings boutique. Now tackling residential and commercial projects throughout the DC Metro region, he and his team aim to “create working solutions in an artful way to inspire joy,” he says.
“We focus on sustainability, functionality and beauty, exclusively sourcing made-in-America furnishings,” the designer continues. He often augments new, sustainable finds with clients’ existing collections and antiques—scavenging around to find one-of-a-kind objects.
“I’m a big believer in mixing design styles, like combining a Hepplewhite piece with a Lucite cocktail table,” Miller says. “The best rooms are a weird, wonderful mix that makes you feel homeowners have had diverse experiences.”