Feature Fixtures of Luxury Homes
In San Diego’s modern luxury homes, every detail has the opportunity to be beautiful. Of course, there are the grandiose structures that make a house envy-inducing, like stately columns, ocean-view balconies or swimming pools. But even the seemingly mundane features can become works of art. In many luxury homes, artfully crafted details like designer sink and shower faucets are common and serve to add an extra element of refinery and elegance. Alex Miller, a local San Diego artist and architect, creates those feature fixtures full time and is incredibly passionate about his work.
“Most faucets are decorated pipes,” Miller says. “I didn’t want it to feel that way.” Instead, Miller takes his inspiration straight from the ocean. His influence derives from water’s shape and surface, the curve of waves and the pull of tides. As a lifelong San Diegan, Miller grew up near the ocean and says he has always felt the need to include the look and feel of water in his work. It’s fitting that he now styles faucets, which of course, carry water—the very element that inspires their design. “Faucets made a lot of sense to me because I spend a lot of time in water,” Miller says. “My dreams are inspired by the water and the sky. It just made sense to harness my skill to make faucets.”
Though he’s been making them for three years, Miller didn’t always have home fixtures in mind. He says he had been drawing and building things his whole life, and always knew he would become an architect. Miller attended Tulane University for his degree, and began his career working for a large firm after graduating. However, he discovered right away that corporate architecture wasn’t the right path. Instead, Miller found that he was far more interested in organic projects and inspired by the natural world and its fascinating cycles. “Water has a magical story,” Miller says. “For me, the ocean is the beginning and the end of the cycle, but that’s where it’s really coming from. The surface of the ocean is evaporating into the sky and comes back down as rain.” His work evokes the movement, rhythm, and vibrancy of the water cycle, as well as maintains a luxury look and feel. The faucets are expertly crafted with care, beginning first as a clay prototype, then transformed into three-dimensional computer models, and finally cast in brass and coated in various high-quality finishes, like brushed nickel and 24 karat gold. Each design is made to be a unique and stunning part of the home—not just a decorative detail, but a functional and artistic one as well.
“In architecture school, they teach that there should be a reason for every line that you draw,” Miller says. “If you do that, then we all end up living in boxes. By focusing on justifying every line, we forget to make things beautiful.”Miller is a rare cross between left-brained architect and right-brained artist, but the blend of both worlds is what brings functionality to art, and vice versa. In a way, art and architecture need each other. Though he balances both well, Miller does consider himself more of an artist, preferring the creative process over an intellectual one. He says he is directly inspired by dreams, nature and sculpture.
Miller says, “The faucet in your home should be a sculpture as well, marking the celebration of having this precious resource available at your fingertips.” His artful and inspiring pieces do just that, commemorating water’s place in our daily lives, and complementing any modern home with a touch of nature.