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Designed to Thrive: How Keith Miller Crafts Interiors That Help You Flourish

Keith Miller is an award-winning interior designer who crafts unique human environments based on your personality, lifestyle, and passion for art and beauty. In this video, he discusses how he got started and his approach to the design process.

How It Started

Hello, I’m Keith Miller, Miller Interior Design. I am old enough to not have had as much exposure to it as people have these days. In junior high, my older sister was in college. She just learned of this degree and called me up immediately.

“Keith, I have a career for you.”

And I was like, “I’m sorry. I’m at junior high. Where are we going with this?”

She’s like, “No, I’m serious. There’s a kind of work that you’re going to love doing.”

I said, “Well, what is it?”

“Interior design,” she said, very, very stately. I was like, “Okay. Well, what’s that?”

She’s like, “Well, you know how you’re driving mom crazy with all of your recommendations around the house? How she maybe should arrange furniture or change wall colors?”

I’m like, “Yeah.”

She’s like, “People get paid to do that.”

I’m like, “No, they don’t.”

And so she’s like, “No, I’m serious. Remember that one time when we went to the Henderson’s house and a beautiful house and we were at dinner and hours later we’re looking for you so we could go home and we couldn’t find you anywhere? And we found you in the primary suite closet because you were interested in how they stored things. Do you remember that time?”

And I remember being so embarrassed. “Shut up. How did you remember that? Why are you talking about this?”

She’s like, “Keith, people get paid as consultants to help people organize, to help design spaces, to make places beautiful. You can do that as a job.”

And it was like the world opened and I was like, “Sign me up. This is exactly what I’m made for.”

“A favorite element in design that’s maybe not listed in books is irony, because I know that there’s humor in everything and nothing is truly new, until we put our own touch on it.”

—Keith Miller

Finding Purpose

I remember thinking, what I do is so frivolous, it all just burns in a fire and it’s so expensive, and why would people do this?

And it’s really fascinating when you study cultures [and people] that have gone from rescue, from abandonment, from a refugee experience — when they’ve made it to a place where they feel safe, they’re sheltered, they have good food and it’s sustainable, and they’re clothed properly for the environment, something more happens.

And so it tells us that humanity is designed for much more than just surviving and getting the basic needs met. We’re designed to thrive.

There have been discovered these three other elements that really promote thriving, and those are beauty, design, and light, and within light, color. Of the six essentials for human thriving, my industry carries four of those.

I’m so thrilled to know that I get to really step into that very core of what brings people to thriving and establish an environment that causes that to happen. That’s just such a delight.

The Design Process

This particular craft is so thorough and so filled with complexity, and wonder, and intangible variables, that it will meet you to your best of who you are and to the parts of yourself that expose how you experience frustration.

What I love to do is engage in these ways quickly on the front end, so we understand, how do you meet the world around you when you’re frustrated or lost or scared? How do you meet it when you’re at your very best and everything is shining?

And I want it to be a comfortable and safe place where you can be you and make solid decisions about these really remarkable ways that your life will be transformed.

“I will admit to you right here on this video that if I were not human, I would be a Labrador retriever with a big wagging tail. I admit it. I love people so much.”

—Keith Miller

Working Together

Everybody who’s really interested and invested in what this change might be, I like to meet them, all of you, and get to know how you interact with each other, how you make big decisions. Because this isn’t a small investment.

We start determining what the project is. If it’s a new construction from the ground up, if you have not found the property yet, or it’s a beautiful historic home and one of the lovely parts of town that needs either just move-in ready furnishings, or it needs a remodel of some sort or anything, if you’re downtown, if you’re out on the islands, if you’re out of country, these are my clients and these are the places where I serve.

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