From the moment they walked into the two-story Victorian house on Madison Avenue, Mike and Carol Miller could see the potential.

The color schemes were darker than they preferred, and the window treatments weren’t their particular style. The kitchen needed to be completely redone.

But the house was so solidly built that they knew they could mold it to their tastes.

“That’s really what we fell in love with — the bones of the house,” Carol Miller said. “When you can see possibilities, it makes all the difference.”

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The yellow house was built in the 1890s. For years, it had served as the parsonage for Grace United Methodist Church, which was located across the street until 1965.

The Millers moved into their Franklin home in 2006, selling their condominium in Fishers and moving to a home closer to their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren in Columbus.

“When we were looking down here, we looked at some newer homes, but we liked these historic homes,” Carol Miller said. “I feel like we’re the caretakers, where we can do what we can to preserve it and pass it down to the next owners.”

Carol Miller’s mother moved in with the couple, living in the first floor parlor. The house allowed her to have privacy while the Millers were upstairs.

Mike Miller and his brother worked on the house for three months. Final touches such as painting and hiring contractors to redo the ceilings came in after that.

The house was built with large, airy rooms, and multiple windows provide natural light throughout the day. The Millers chose delicate shades of yellow and green that are enhanced by the sunlight.

A built-in china cabinet was refurbished and remains original to the house. In their living room window, a center pane is made of stained glass.

The windows required significant attention. When the Millers moved in, every pane was broken both downstairs and upstairs. They replaced those panes and installed wavy antique-style glass.

“We’ve done a lot to the house to make it the way we wanted,” Carol Miller said.

They also put in hours of work outside. A large front porch provides a nice entryway to the home. In the back, a deck looks out over a tree-shaded backyard. The Millers added gardens, bird feeders and fountains to make it a kind of escape on their own property.

“It’s just like a park,” Carol Miller said.

At a glance

248 E. Madison Street

Owners: Mike and Carol Miller

Style: Victorian

Built: 1890s

Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.