CHI House Tour: The Mills' Midwest Modern Suburban Home

CHI House Tour: The Mills' Midwest Modern Suburban Home

Janel Laban
Jun 4, 2008


Name: Matt and Amber Mills
Location: Independence, Mo
Size: 3 bedroom, 1900 sqft.


When Kansas City based artists Matt and Amber Mills were deciding where to live, they came across the same dilemma most of us do. Should they live downtown in the ultra hip urban areas closer to where they work? Pros: Great places to eat, not of the chain variety...Cons: Paying for parking and no where to walk the dogs. Or should they live near family out closer to the suburbs and have a daily commute like most people in our metro? Pros: Stones throw from family and good schools... Cons: Packed full of big box stores and fast food.

Most people don't think of the "suburbs" as being versatile enough to be transformed into an aesthetic that suits a young hip couple, who are both graduates of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and currently work in greatly respected fields of art. But they have proved the majority wrong.

Having worked diligently for the last two years to make this home into a space that feels light and contemporary, they have done the work like most of us do... all by ourselves and one step at a time. Their house feels less than ordinary with it's custom artwork and paint/paper treatments. They have spent time with plastic sheeting up and coming home from work only to spend their entire night sanding newly installed drywall and scraping popcorn ceilings. Saving for a family, they have done their work economically and resourcefully. They are still looking at choices for kitchen cabinets, backsplashes and countertops as visions of nursery ideas bounce back and forth in their minds since they are expecting this fall. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was the Mill's suburban masterpiece. They are a perfect example to show that just because you live in the Midwest, it doesn't mean that your abode has to be bland or full of over-sized furniture, it just requires a little sweat and determination to find the right pieces for the right places.

PS - The artwork that was custom screen printed onto their kitchen table may be found here
with a close up here.



My Style: Modern/eclectic

Inspiration: Dwell magazine, modern design and illustration. Urban settings.

Favorite Element: Wallpaper -

Favorite Room: Living room

Biggest Challenge: Refinishing the floors while living in the house...

What Friends Say: "This must have taken a lot of work!"

Most Embarrassing Element: Brass house numbers... and dog hair.

Proudest DIY: The floors. It was a lot of work and made the most impact.

My Indulgence: The wallpaper. It just makes the two rooms. Without it, I don't think we could have lived with everything else being white.

Dream Source:
European shops. No catalogs.

Had forever: The wooden cabinet in our bedroom. Amber has used it for a place to store her violin music and supplies forever.

Just got: Some galvanized metal planters for the front yard.



Furniture: IKEA... almost all of it. Dining table is custom.

Accessories: IKEA, Target

Lighting: IKEA - ok, I just realized I might be addicted.

Rugs and Carpets: Lowes

Beds: IKEA. I know, I know.

Artwork: Our own.


Thanks, Matt and Amber!

Image: Sarah Rae Trover

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