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Wanderings: Flagstaff, Arizona

Answering “The Call of the Canyon,” this mountain town offers scenic views, historic stops and a thriving artistic community any time of year

Reagan Miller’s designs explore Latin Modernism with a contemporary edge. Elegant lines meet the eclectic tastes of his clients, and each space is infused with natural light. Photos: Mark Scheyer

Illuminations: Ones to Watch

Spotlighting the work of Miller Dahlstrand De Jean Architects

Written by Michele Corriel  

Michele Corriel

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Synchronicity A Voice in Stone Equus The Archie Bray Foundation Ones to Watch: Artist Jinni Thomas Ones to Watch: Artist Karen Bezuidenhout Ones to Watch: Rory Egelus Ones to Watch: Ceramic Artist George McCauley Ones to Watch: Painter Rick Stevens Ones to Watch: Jon Dick Ones to Watch: Mixed-media Artist Christopher Owen Nelson Ones to Watch: Diana Tremaine Ones to Watch: Josh Elliot Ones to Watch: Doug Smith Ones to Watch: David Barrett Ones to Watch: Howard Knight Ones to Watch: Silas Thompson Ones to Watch: Kristine Allphin Ones to Watch: Chris Morel Ones to Watch: Sherry Salari Sander Ones to Watch: Alan Carr Ones to Watch: Robert Royhl Ones to Watch: Robert Seliger Ones to Watch: Karen Woods Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Glendon Good Ones to Watch: Painter Deladier Almeida Ones to Watch: Sculptor Stephanie Revennaugh Ones to Watch: Painter Gregory Packard Ones to Watch: Randy Stromsoe Ones to Watch: Beth Loftin Ones to Watch: Dyani White Hawk Ones to Watch: David Bardwick Ones to Watch: Donna Gans Ones to Watch: Susan Jarecky Ones to Watch: Carrie Fell Ones to Watch: Rose Masterpol Ones to Watch: Bryan Peterson Ones to Watch: Terry Karson Ones to Watch: Lisa Ronay Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Perspective: Gennie DeWeese [1921-2007] Ones to Watch: Andrew Mann Ones to Watch: Bonnie Teitelbaum Illuminations: Ones to watch Perspective: Frances Senska [1914–2009] Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Ones to Watch: Artist Ralph Wiegmann Ones to Watch: Artchitect Candace Miller Ones to Watch: Architect George Gibson Ones to Watch: Architect Nick Deaver Ones to Watch: Sculptor Bale Creek Allen Ones to Watch: Painter Brianne Janes Ones to Watch: Danae Bennett Miller Ones to Watch: Mark Edward Adams Ones to Watch: Josh Chandler Ones to Watch: Tony Abeyta Ones to Watch: Robert Spooner Marcus Ones to Watch: Ken Andrews Ones to Watch: Michael Kessler Ones to Watch: Jim Dayton Ones to Watch: Rahnee Gladwin Ones to Watch: Geoffrey Warner Ones to Watch: Gwen Samuels Ones to Watch: Kensuke Yamada Ones to Watch: Michael Greenspan Ones to Watch: Chuck Middlekauff Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Sculptor Carol Alleman Ones to Watch: Artist Kathleen Dunphy Ones to Watch: Jeweler Jesse Monongye Ones to Watch: Michael Ross Ones to Watch: Furniture maker Charise Buckley Ones to Watch: Sculptor Charles Ringer Ones to Watch: David Slonim Ones to Watch: Catherine Courtenaye Ones to Watch: Ironworker Ted Docteur Ones to Watch: Evert Sodergren Ones to Watch: Jacquelyn Bischak Ones to Watch: Guilloume Ones to Watch: David Coffin Ones to Watch: Francis Di Fronzo Ones to Watch: Jeff Pugh Ones to Watch: Geoff Parker Ones to Watch: Troy Collins Ones to Watch: Dean Mabe Ones to Watch: Shelley Muzylowski Allen Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Ones to Watch: Architect Tim Belton Ones to Watch: Anne Moore Ones to Watch: Painter Flavia Eckholm Ones to Watch: Clive Tyler Ones to Watch: Weaver Cheryl Samuel Ones to Watch: Painter Gavin Brooks Ones to Watch: Tracy Leagjeld Ones to Watch: Jared Sanders Ones to Watch: Shawna Moore Ones to Watch: Aleta Pippin Ones to Watch: Rene Gibson Ones to Wacth Ones to Watch: Mike Krupnick Ones to Watch: Matt Smith Ones to Watch: Stacy Robinson Ones to Watch: Dean L. 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LaRue Mahlke Ones to Watch: Artist Crista Ann Ames Ones to Watch: Christopher Ries Ones to Watch: Mary Bechtol In the Studio: Richard Parish Ones to Watch: Florian Roeper Ones to Watch: Greg Kelsey Ones to Watch: Andrew Denman Ones to Watch: Sandra Pratt Ones to Watch: Jeff Williams Ones to Watch: Josh Clare Ones to Watch: Daniel Weaver Ones to Watch: Nora Naranjo-Morse Ones to Watch: Marela Zacarías Ones to Watch: Glenn Dean Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Illuminations: Ones to Watch Collector’s Eye: Native American folk art collector Bruce VanLandingham
December 2016 | January 2017



Reagan Miller, principal of Miller Dahlstrand De Jean Architects in Houston, Texas, started his firm 20 years ago. Over the course of two decades, the firm has evolved to specialize in custom residential remodeling and new construction. 

The Darcus Residence in Houston is a perfect example of how the firm has come to be successful over the years — Miller Dahlstrand De Jean Architects prioritizes close collaboration and building long-term relationships with clients.

The firm’s portfolio is stylistically diverse, reflecting both the desires of homeowners and sensibilities of the architect. In this instance, the clients liked the idea of a Mediterranean-style house with a contemporary edge. Miller thought the concept of Latin Modernism would be more engaging, while fulfilling the architectural character the homeowners were after.

“These kind of projects are fun … where people want something that’s not style derivative,” Miller says.

Latin Modernism became the broad concept for the project, but Miller also incorporated the collaged nature of the world these days, fashioned after things such as Pinterest. Some clients assemble their living spaces bit by bit, collecting ideas over time. “For us, it’s as much editing as it is assembling,” he says. “I have to have something I can return to, and in this project it was the notion of Latin Modernism on the outside.” This meant crisp details. Miller used a combination of steel doors at the entrance and bold, big-paned glass on the windows. 

“On the inside, it’s bit more elegant, with a warmth that talks about scale and graceful simplicity,” he says. 

Miller found the biggest challenge in the five-bedroom home was the size of the urban lot. “It’s a fairly tight lot and they wanted a house [with five bedrooms]. The challenge was trying to create a house that fit the scale of the neighborhood and had some yard space,” he says.

In dealing with such a lot, there’s the limitation of being hemmed in by structures, cutting back on the opportunity to open up to views. To get around that, Miller created a stairway that allows light to filter into the spaces. 

“Truly, it becomes a front yard, backyard kind of house. Trying to open up views in the family room, breakfast room and the master on the second floor became important strategies,” Miller says. “We did that by grouping bathrooms, closets and utility rooms in the center of the house and by having the other rooms face outward. When you get to houses of certain sizes, and we’ve done bigger ones, it becomes about how circulation moves through the house.”

This house has two stairwells, a main one and one toward the back. The circulation pattern — how people move from room to room without spending a lot of time in corridors — required transitional spaces to break up the pathways. 

“So we created light-filled spaces, like the stairs, and transitional areas, like generous landings, to reduce the length of travel,” Miller says. “You need to have light at the end of the corridor to draw you to it, so we installed windows there. The procession through the spaces is important.”

The details inside the house were kept crisp. There are no casings around the windows or doors, no crown molding or other distracting ornamentation. Miller wanted the interiors to be a backdrop for the furnishings and décor. 

“At this time, our firm is eight people,” Miller says. “And that seems just right. I don’t want to lose involvement in the projects. I really enjoy residential, bonding with the homeowners and that level of communication and trust we have in one another. It’s rewarding to find that balance to make the project really sing.”

Reagan Miller’s designs explore Latin Modernism with a contemporary edge. Elegant lines meet the eclectic tastes of his clients, and each space is infused with natural light. Photos: Mark Scheyer

Reagan Miller’s designs explore Latin Modernism with a contemporary edge. Elegant lines meet the eclectic tastes of his clients, and each space is infused with natural light. Photos: Mark Scheyer